Finish line: a reader’s account of Corri la vita

Running an accidental half-marathon

Shania Crowhurst
September 11, 2014

This week was full of thrills. From a spontaneous pillow fight in front of the Duomo to a wine tasting event in Chianti, I'd say it was a success. The most interesting part of the week was probably today. My friend Jacki and I found ourselves accidentally running a half marathon. One might ask, ‘How exactly does one accidentally run a half marathon?’ Well, here's how...


Yesterday, Jacki asked me if I wanted to run a 5k with her this weekend. A 5k run wasn't exactly my idea of a good time but I figured I needed the exercise after a month of eating gelato non-stop. I haven't done any form of cardio since I was on the lacrosse team a year and a half ago, but I was part of the cross country team my freshman year of high school. That had to count for something, right? It was only about 7 years ago. I was sure that my body would just remember the movements and start to go with the flow. To be honest, I really just wanted a free t-shirt. They were sponsored by Salvatore Ferragamo so Jacki and I decided that they were a must have. When we arrived at the registration tent, we discovered that the t-shirt supply had run out. What a disaster. Our faces were full of disappointment but we decided to still register. Staying positive, we actually thought we might be in with a shot of winning. Yes, it is for charity but I was sure there would be a trophy of some kind.


Little did we know, we would be running with elite Italian athletes. That morning, we ate a healthy breakfast and made our way to the course. Swarms of people filled the streets. Still half asleep, we decided not to warm up or stretch, at all. What a mistake that was! We followed a group of runners to the starting point and waited patiently for the gun to go off. We couldn't understand why the color of their bibs was different from ours but we were too tired to care. That's when we realized we were in a crowd of people running the half marathon, not the 5k. It was too late. There was no escaping it because the crowds were too squished. Everyone took off running.

My thoughts while running: Kilometer 1: Wow, these people are so slow! I'm passing everyone. Kilometer 2: Wait....why are we running up a mountain? Kilometer 3: Thank goodness, a water station! Unpleasantly surprised with fizzy, sweet tea! Who serves that at a race?! Kilometer 4: The man that just passed me had to be at least 75 years old. Kilometer 5: GIVE ME STRENGTH! I wish my calves would just go numb so I don't have to feel them anymore. Every remaining Kilometer: I'm going to die...Why haven't I died yet?...I wish my dad was here...I just rolled my ankle again.


When I reached the finished line, I began to cry. They were tears of pain and happiness. My body is shot but my pride is doing well. I finished the race towards the front of the pack, which was extremely surprising since I am seriously out of shape. My cross country coach would have been proud.

If I could go back to that morning, I probably would not have changed a thing. Although it was an unexpected surprise, it was worth it. The race was tough, but not as tough as having cancer. Corri La Vita is a charity race which raises money for breast cancer research. If my challenging experience can contribute in the fight towards curing breast cancer, I'd do it again every single day.




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