On Saturday, I ran the Provo Haunted Half Marathon!!! 🎃
I’d originally planned on running the Dino Half this year, but illness pushed it to this one. And I’m SO glad.
My worst fear was that the finish line would be gone by the time I got there.
So, the run got off to a bit of a rough start. At the starting line, a bus full of runners crashed into the gear bus just as I was about to put my coat on it. That put things back a half hour.
My legs were rusty for the first couple of miles, but I found my groove in my music. I decided I’d run the whole way, no matter how slow. Then my left headphone died.
At mile 9, I was doing WAY better than I’d imagined, though still slower than most people. I jokingly asked the guy at the aid station if he thought the finish line would still be up when I got there. He said in all seriousness, “Probably not.” Bummer.
I just needed to run faster!
Then my other headphone died. I turned up the volume on my phone and beat-boxed it.
I reached the “Hill of Horror” after mile 10… it just kept going. At one point, my pace was so slow, two tall dudes strode on past me—their walk faster than my “run.” At the aid station after mile 11, I hit a wall and had to walk. Though it’s the farthest I’ve run without walking, I couldn’t cheer up. I was so discouraged.
As I approached another downhill (FINALLY) I ran again. The cheers of strangers and texts from family helped me muster strength. Then my phone died.
But after mile 12, the finish line felt so close. I ran past the two tall dudes and up the last hill. Through the trees, I saw the giant jack-o-lantern: the finish line. It was still there. I cried.
Then I heard, “Great job, mom!” I saw Dexter coming over to meet me, and Paul, Canon, and Ollie all cheering for me. I cried some more. I caught up to a guy I’d been following the whole time as we ran through a decorative tunnel, joking about how metaphorical it was.
I sobbed at the finish line as I got my medal and met my family there.
This… this is why life is worth it. There is so much joy and love on the other side of that hill and tunnel. It’s real. It’s really there. The finish line still stands, and it’s SO worth the fight.