I've seen a lot of threads on this forum titled "Can I do this?" and "What if I'm last?" and I wanted to share something for people struggling to complete their first 5k.
Today I volunteered at a local 5 and 10k race. My job was to hold off traffic on a residential road and since there were no cars but runners coming at me from both directions I cheered instead. About 10 minutes after the main 5k pack passed through my area, a man came walking down the hill. He walked with a severe limp, sometimes assisted his effort with a cane, and there was a race bib on his chest. As I cheered for him, he flashed me a huge smile, pointed at some of the walkers in front of him and asked,"Do you think they will wait for me?"
He obviously had a great spirit and I can't even begin to imagine how much courage it took to sign up. But guess what? He finished. I imagine he might have had the same fears as many of you. But he pushed that fear aside and he completed a 5k today. When he crossed the finish, every single person in the finish area cheered for him. I found him so inspiring and hope someone else can find some inspiration in his courage.
As a midpacker, I usually stay to cheer for the last people cross the finish at races simply because, in my mind, they are the ones who have had to overcome the most the get there. Each of you has a story of what you were and what you are now. You should be proud to finish - even if you have to cross last. Remember that last is better than a Did Not Start. Please dont let your fears get in the way of accomplishing your goals.
“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."
-Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)