5K at 36-below

"You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement." – Steve Prefontaine

To start, I wasn’t going to be discouraged by the weather. The sub-zero temperatures weren’t going to stop me from heading out to run the New Year’s 5K. My friend Jason swung by and picked me up, and after a quick stop at Scheels in Moorhead, we found ourselves at Island Park Cycles for the race.

It wasn’t easy getting up this morning: Tim and I headed out for a midnight, blue moon excursion, to bring in the new decade on the run. Nearly 8 miles later, I had had enough. I was tired and sore from running over the uneven snow-plowed trails. The moon lit up the night as we traversed the trails along the Red River. It only seemed fitting to run into the new year and decade. It was one of those times that you know it’s a special run even while you are in the middle of it.

The midnight run made getting up a little more difficult this morning but I coaxed my legs and body out of bed. Somehow I’d find a way to brave the cold and not push myself too hard during the race.

Just before the race started, I checked the weather stats: 13-below, 15 mph north wind, minus 36 degrees with wind chill.

Minutes before 11 a.m., about 60 runners left the warm confines of the bicycle shop and headed outside. I felt good at the start and 23 minutes later it was over. Somehow, I felt warm throughout the race as I carefully watched each step to avoid falling on possible icy spots. A few pictures afterward and food – grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and peppermit Oreos – proved a fitting end to a fun run.

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