When I first started running (in 2011), I found that it brought out so many emotions that I didn’t even know I had. Even through the huffing and puffing I was amazed every time I laced up and walked out the door because I was doing something I never thought I would. It instilled a new confidence, a newfound freedom, and helped me to learn to truly believe in myself again.

I had completed numerous races going into Her half in 2016. However, I was coming off two years of significant injuries as well as shoulder surgery that previous November. Oh and the WORST race of my life was just two months prior. I was a mess to say the least. I lost a lot of those warm fuzzy feelings over the two years of setbacks, but Her Madison helped me find hope again. It helped me believe that even in our toughest times we can begin again – and we can finish strong!

This race is nothing short of amazing. The cocktail party, the expo, the gear, the wonderful staff, the organization, I could go on and on, but I have to talk about the finish line. As someone who loves music when I run, I always crank it up as I enter the finishers chute and rock out to whatever strategically placed song I have on my playlist.

Her Madison was different

For the first time ever, I removed my headphones because I could literally hear the cheers before we ever turned the last corner. The memory of what I saw when we turned that corner still brings tears to my eyes. It was the most beautiful tunnel of cheering, smiling, and welcoming faces – some of which had literally been there for hours.

Ladies who had completed the 5k or the half that stayed to cheer on everyone that was still out there. Absolutely amazing. I try to put it in words, but it’s definitely something you have to experience to fully feel and appreciate. I’ve never seen anything like it. The best part was after when I was given my sparkly medal, I got to be a part of that awe inspiring tunnel. We continued to bring in women that were making their dreams come true and it is a memory I will treasure forever.

My goal for the race this year is to truly take in every minute and enjoy being in the moment. Is this a good course for a PR? Absolutely, and it’s REALLY pretty!! But it’s also a great course for finding yourself. And no matter how your day goes, I can guarantee that when you make that last turn you will have a huge smile on your face. We can’t wait to welcome you to the best finish line on the planet after your half or 5k!!

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