by Charlie Hungerford
As I get to know runners, it seems like everyone has that "one race" that is their benchmark race, or their bucket list race, or their goal race - a race that inspires and drives them toward their running goals. For me, that race is the Cox Medical Mile 5K. While I had walked the race prior to becoming a runner, I now look at this annual event as the race where I became a runner. It was the first 5K where, without any planning or training, I decided to see if I could simply run part of the route. That was 2012, and I probably ran about 1 mile in one and two block stretches. I remember finishing and thinking, "well, that wasn't so bad." I returned the next year, with some training and practice under my belt, and was able to run the entire 5K without stopping - a first time accomplishment for me. The next year, I progressed to breaking that magical 30-minute 5K mark. The Cox Medical Mile has been more than just a race for me. It's my annual reflection of what drew me to running, and it's a reminder of how far I've come in 7 years.