As always, the Virginia Ten Miler did not disappoint.
This weekend was supposed to be a double race weekend with Race 13.1 Charlotte, but that got cancelled due to the riots. It’s okay, though. I think I actually liked it better this way.
As I mentioned before, I had the privilege of running this year’s Ten Miler with the “world famous” color guard. (They kept calling us that, no one really knew why). I kind of felt like a little bit of an impostor since I don’t have any direct military ties, but I knew they were always short on people carrying flags. I’m a strong believer in supporting our military, and they had a flag for me, so on Saturday I joined 15 others in honoring our country.
During the national anthem, the mic kept cutting out, but the crowd picked up and finished it out. I felt an overwhelming sense of American pride, but little did I know that it was going to get even stronger.
The course was of course the same course I had run the three years prior. However, this time it had a fresh perspective. I was carrying a flag, and was with a lot of former military personnel. Other military members stopped to salute the American flag. People thanked us for running to support our Troops.
My favorite was when any group of volunteers would start chanting “USA! USA! USA!” as we ran past.
The weather was hot, and there were times I really wanted to walk. But Steve, the leader of our group wouldn’t let us walk. Instead we had to half step as we waited for everyone to regroup.
I really don’t have a lot to say about this year’s race, because it’s hard to put into words the things I felt. This year was different from the rest because I had a duty, no matter how small it was, to run for something greater than myself. In a time where our country faces uncertainty, hard feelings, and a sense of terror at times I was given a breath of fresh air. I was shown that there are still people out there who believe in the America we know and love.
Would I run it again with the Color Guard? In a heartbeat. See you guys next year, if you’ll have me.