Last week you read about my first race ever. This week you get to read about Bri’s first race ever.
The story begins two Thursdays ago. My friend Brian asked if I was running Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k, Richmond’s big spring run up and down Monument Avenue. I told him I wasn’t running since it since I don’t pay for races unless they’re extraordinary deals like my 10-miler was.
Brian: “Do you want to run it?”
Me: “How much?”
Brian: “It’s free. You can use my bib. I have shin splints.”
Internally: Oh, free you say?
Externally: “I’m really sorry to hear that. You could walk it?”
Brian insisted he wouldn’t be running or walking the 10k. I’ve never had shin splints, so I can’t comment on what that feels like. So I agreed to run it for him. “I wouldn’t want that bib to go to waste,” I told him.
On Friday he gave me the bib. The name on the bib was: “BRI’S FIRST RACE EVER.”
“I haven’t trained,” I tried complaining, but that’s hard when I just ran 10 miles five days before. “I haven’t run since Sunday,” I added.
“That’s perfect,” Brian counseled me. “You’ve been resting for the 10k.”
“Do you want money for your bib?” I asked. At least I think I asked this. I didn’t really want to pay, but I felt bad running the race for an injured man. Brian insisted he didn’t want money. Or maybe he didn’t insist, and I’m just putting words in his mouth. Either way, he got to keep the shirt.
“I’ll make sure Bri gets a PR,” I told him.
“All I want in return,” Brian said, “is a blog post.”
Well, here it is, Brian. I mean, Bri.
Because Brian/Bri had never run before, he placed himself in the 63:00-65:59 wave. This was fine with me. My only goal was to run the 10k in under 60 minutes, and that wasn’t a huge discrepancy.
Bri had different plans.
The "short" story is, I decided since this was Bri’s first race (ever), I should have some fun with this and embody Bri to the fullest extent. What would Bri do? What was Bri thinking? What would Bri wear? What was Bri feeling?
I am running this 10k with my friend's bib that reads "Bri's First Race Ever." I am having too much fun pretending to be Bri.— Cazey Williams (@CazeyW) April 9, 2016
On Saturday, Bri woke up. Bri did not sleep well during the night. Bri had had a glass and a half of wine at the VMFA Happy Hour because Bri decided to carb load (or maybe Bri just wanted wine). Bri also had some coffee too late in the day, so Bri probably only had six hours of sleep. But then Bri downed the rest of that iced coffee in the morning and Bri was ready to run.
Bri met up with some friends to walk to the 10k. Actually, Bri met up with my friends, but whatever. Since Bri only decided to run the day before, he didn’t know what time he was supposed to be at the start line. Fortunately, my friends let him know.
Bri’s friends found Bri a bit too hyped for the race. Bri was ready to run. They wanted to go back to bed. Bri suggested they do lunges as they walked to the start line. They passed.
At the start line, there were just so many people. Didn’t the race begin at 8:30? But we have to wait for our wave? Aren’t we all running the same race? What is this structure? These were Bri’s thoughts.
Our friend’s dad decided we should try sneaking into an earlier wave. But then some sort of volunteer (a likely Trump supporter) stopped us because our bib did not match the correct wave. “You shall not pass,” he said.
While we waited for our wave to actually get to the start line, Bri’s friend told me that I could probably run the 10k in under 50 minutes. I don’t think she meant this as a challenge. It was just a comment. Bri took it seriously.
And we were off. On this race, Bri stuck exclusively to the Stomp & Holler playlist on Spotify. Soon Bri was passing people. He realized, tired as he was, passing people gave him adrenaline. Bri once read that skipping around people in a race expends needless energy, but Bri fed off the dodging. Bri caught up with a friend. And another friend. And then he left them behind.
In the future, Bri might invest in treadmills that have obstacles to hop around. Sorta like Dance Dance Revolution.
At mile marker three, it began to snow. A lot of people question this assertion, but it did snow. Bri Snapchatted this to his friends. I mean, my friends. And then he kept running.
At mile marker four, Bri noticed the time. He had only been running for 30 minutes. Holy crap, he could do this in under 50 minutes. Bri was a cheetah.
You know how the rest of this goes. Bri ran. And Bri won. Though you can’t really win a race. Bri got a PR. Though that’s not hard when you’re running your first race ever. Except, in the last half-mile, Spotify decided to play an add.
"Ever wondered what it would be like to have Spotify Premium?"
NOT NOW, SPOTIFY!
I texted the real Bri (the real MVP) after the race: “You PR’d! Congrats!”
On Monday Brian sent me my actual results. Bri did really well. Like, really, really well. He placed 101st in collegiate men. (His place in Men 25-29 doesn't really matter, because Bri is, in actuality, 24.)
And then the reality hit me (that would be Cazey): I ran a record race time, and that record was not mine. I could never claim that as my own in any official capacity. Other than on this blog.
Still, it was something to be proud of.
Similarly, a friend asked, "What if the real Bri never beats Bri's record?"
And then Brian sent me Bri’s photos.
Bri is a soccer mom. Bri power walked the 10k apparently because Bri had to get the kids at soccer practice.
Where was Cheetah Bri? How in the world did Bri PR when Bri is simply strolling?
Phew, Bri did run at some points. Anyway, congrats, Bri. You did it.