Coming in last in a race (and feeling like you came in first)

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Many of us have come to appreciate our running careers at whatever our pace may be. We’ve learned that there’s no point in comparing ourselves to others and to enjoy the positive feelings we reap from participating in an activity that provides us with challenges, experiences, moments of joy, strength and encouragement.

I came across a friend’s Facebook post about her fear of coming in last in a race and, her subsequent enjoyment, when she did, because of the supportive and beautiful environment in which it happened.

Nicole C-M and I met 15 years ago, when we both participated in a Half Marathon in Rio de Janeiro as part of a contingent of participants in one of the Canadian Diabetes “Run for Diabetes” events. We were paired up as roomies (the organizers must have thought it was a good idea to put two Nicoles together) and have kept in touch through social media.

Nicole posted on her FB the following and I thought it was worth sharing. She’s currently living in Knaresborogh, England (although from Muskoka, Ontario area):

“I have always had a fear of being last in a race, but today I was last (though my 5km pace was the fastest since I started using Strava on December 31st, so still a win). It was a great experience. The tail runner was with me the whole way chatting and encouraging me along, and the next race was about to begin as I was crossing the finish line, so I had a lot of people cheering me on. It was the longest run I’ve done since October, so still grateful to have finished, even if I was slow. Great experience, great runners (especially those Knaresborough Striders!), wonderful start to my Sunday.”

10km at the Skipton Shuffle (Nicole C-W’s beautiful pictures from the route are below).

Here’s to coming in last and feeling like you came in first, Nic! Or as she put it, “Here’s to everyone feeling good about themselves, no matter how they place. Kindness to ourselves is as important as kindness to others. 💕

Nicole P. loves to run and focus on the important things, the positive ways it makes her feel.

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