EDITOR'S NOTE: Kent Cutright, a 43-year-old resident of Mineral Wells, has been penning his thoughts throughout the summer as he trained for the News and Sentinel Half Marathon. On Saturday, Cutright completed the 13.1-mile journey.
It is hard to believe that the 25th annual News & Sentinel Half Marathon is over.
What a great morning it was for a run. If you have never participated in an event like this, it can be somewhat nerve-racking. For some people, they get nervous simply because they never attempted a race of this distance before.
For others, they have trained hard and really want to give it their all when the gun fires. As I was standing with a couple of my friends waiting for the start of the race, I noticed that one of my friends was somewhat emotional.
I looked over at her and she was starting to cry. Being the sensitive guy that I am, I informed her that there's no crying in running. That comment seemed to have broken the tension she was feeling because she did a very good job running the half for the first time in more than 14 years.
For me, this morning has been by far the most relaxed I was before any of the previous half marathons in which I have competed. My game plan was simple, beat last year's time and enjoy the run. I am happy to say that I accomplished both. As I write this article I am waiting on the official times,but unofficially it looks as though I beat last year's time by more than 20 minutes and made a lot of memories along this route.
Some of the things I will remember from this half marathon was the excitement in a friend's voice when he said that they conquered the bridge for the first time ever as we were heading over toward Marrtown Road.
I will not soon forget those people who lined the route and cheered for all the participants or getting a high five from my favorite Southern Belle, Jenna, when I was on Camden Avenue. Or all those volunteers that made this day so special. I know I won't soon forget watching another friend of mine who had been battling a stomach virus finish strong. Or being there when a friend of mine found they placed 4th in their age group.
But probably the thing I will remember the most about this half marathon is what happened as I was coming down Market Street. A young man that I have always had a ton of respect for, Derek Sparks, was walking up the side walk on Market Street. When he saw me he came off the sidewalk, dressed in his street clothes and started running with me. He could tell I was starting to run out of steam, but he kept telling me that I could do this and finish strong. Well thanks to Derek I did. I just want to say thanks "D" and I hope you kick some serious butt at Davis & Elkins this year.
I would like to thank everyone for the encouragement and even the letters I received over the course of this training, especially the autographed picture from Mad Max.
It is has been a lot of fun sharing with you all just some of the fun and frustration that runners and walkers go through in preparing for a half marathon.
Thanks to my running buddies for pushing me, but more importantly I thank God for giving me the ability to be able to run. Like I've said before, if I can do this just about anyone can do this, but it starts with you taking that first step.
Thank you all again for allowing me to share with you over these past few weeks and I hope to see you out and about running or walking. May God bless you all.