Home > Uncategorized > She can run for miles and miles

She can run for miles and miles

The most important sentence in a written piece is the first sentence. So, yes, I just used the most important sentence to tell you that it is the most important sentence.

That’s because I still haven’t come up with a way to start this blog, other than I’m simply proud of my wife. Yesterday while I sat on my rear, eating a cup of fries (they actually serve them in paper cones) and washing those fries down with a couple of Belgian brews, Jenna was participating — nay, she was competing — in a 10-mile run. And this is just the first of two warm-ups for a 20k (about 12.5 miles) she’ll run at the end of May.

Yesterday afternoon we drove to Antwerp, a city known for its diamond district about 40 minutes north of Brussels, for the annual Antwerp 10 Mile. (The name is kind of ironic — Belgium and Europe use the metric system, yet they called this event the “10-mile” run, whereas in the states we don’t use the metric system, but we call our runs 5Ks, 10ks, etc.)

While Jenna did her research, I had no idea the run would be so enormous. She was one of 15,000 runners, and that’s just in the 10-miler. Thousands more ran the marathon and the ladies’ fun run, two words that I still think are mutually exclusive.

Always the planner, Jenna made sure we were on time for the event (i.e. three hours early). Nevertheless, when Jenna made her way to the starting line, she was still near the very back of the pack. After she got her place in line, I walked to the starting line hoping to get some photos (below) of her at the starting line.

When the gun fired off (actually, they didn’t use a gun, since they’re so hard to get in Europe), signaling the run was beginning, it was 3:30 in the afternoon. I stood at the starting line, but not until 3:44 did Jenna finally make it there. Yes, it took her 14 minutes to walk from her spot just to get to the starting line — the crowd was that thick.

But from there, Jenna coasted. Averaging less than a 9-minute mile, she was still running at a nice pace by the time she crossed the finish line at about half-past five (all the while, I toured the area around the finish line, making sure to test the beer and fries for quality — both passed — and also reading the book I brought along).

When she finished, she looked like she had simply walked from the couch in our living room to grab a bottled water out of the fridge in the kitchen. She had barely broken a sweat. Had I run that distance, my face would’ve been tomato-red and I would’ve been depositing my breakfast into the closest trash receptacle. I say that from experience — that happened to me the first time I ever ran a 5K, as Jenna can attest.

In two weeks, we’ll head to Bruges, where she’ll run another 10-miler, and two weeks later she’ll compete in the Brussels 20K, a race so popular that the registration — open to the first 30,000 runners — usually closes within three hours of opening. Being the planner that she is, Jenna, of course, had no trouble landing a spot in the field.

Categories: Uncategorized
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  1. May 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm

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