Around June of this year, I signed up to do my first 10K in Chino Hills on the first Saturday of November. I started training a month and a half before the actual race. Two to three times a week, I would run about 3-4 miles. I wasn’t able to train consistently as much as I wanted to due to a swelling and pain on my foot. Luckily, everything ended up working out for the race.
The race started at 8 in the morning with the cold crisp air that numbed my hands and feet! A mile into the race, my hands were still freezing. I had to clap my hands while running to get the blood flowing. Unfortunately, clapping or slapping didn’t help much to beat the cold air.
Probably two miles in, there was a painful 45 degree angle uphill that felt like it was never going to end. At this point, you saw walkers. I didn’t feel as guilty walking up the hill compared to when I was walking after a mile on flat ground.
Note to self: Chino Hills really does have hills.The city doesn’t lie about their hills.
When you’re doing a race like this, you honestly meet the most inspiring and encouraging people. After the torturous uphills, I met a runner named Nathan who was probably in his 50’s or 60’s. As I was struggling to run at a steady pace, he encouraged me by simply saying, “You can do it! You got this! You’re almost halfway there!” Those simple phrases of encouragement really made a difference. I really felt like I was able to make it to the half way point.
He asked me if this was my first time doing a 10K and I said yeah as I tried to catch my breath. The way I was running or the way I dressed must have made me look like I was new to this race.
Afterwards, he continued to run along at his own steady pace. I then battled with my mental self to just keep pushing myself. During a race like this, it’s not all about your physical strength. It’s also about your mental strength of endurance which was challenging throughout the race. So I ran for a few minutes by myself. I looked ahead and saw that a guy was standing on the side perhaps waiting for a friend to catch up. As I ran closer to him, he ended up being Nathan! Surprisingly, he was waiting for me!
He continued to encourage me and started conversing. I actually didn’t want to talk to him while I was running because I was secretly dying from weakness. On the outside, I was trying to keep my cool. From our conversation, I learned that he did a 100 mile run in the previous weekend. It took him 25 hours! No big deal, of course. No big deal.
Once I passed the halfway mark, the trail was becoming more scenic with the canyons and the stillness of nature. The halfway mark was the time and place to become one with nature. If interested in hiking, Chino Hills is a great place to explore.
A little less than half a mile of the race left, I was able to hear the streets of Chino Hills. Once I heard cars driving by, I knew that I was getting close to civilization. I knew I had to push myself to the max at this point to make every moment of the race worth it. So I started running towards the finish line with the little energy I had left.
I finally made it to the finish line with the time of 1:36:20 in 54th place out of 79 runners! The time could’ve have been better. But hey, all I can say is that I’m glad I made it alive and that no EMT had to pick me up on the side! I was really worried that was going to happen. Praise God!
Andrew who is the second guy from the right registered for the race on the day of. He ended up getting in 2nd place in the whole 10K race with a time of 58:50. Congratulations Andrew!
Derek (guy in red shirt) met Xoan (bottom left) during the race who pushed him to finish strong! Thanks to genuine caring people like Nathan and Xoan, we were all able to finish the race! I’m telling you, you meet the nicest people at a race like this.
I plan to do another 10K in the future but with no uphills, please. The next race I have lined up is actually the Color Run in Irvine on the 8th of December. That should definitely be a fun one and painless.