CASSANDRA FRASER | C-VILLE-athon Streakers
I am a Cville-athon streaker, a big fan of local races, a grateful beneficiary of Charlottesville Track Club training programs, and a proud member of the thriving Charlottesville running community.
My improvement over the past four years is a testament to the coaching and encouragement of Mark and Cynthia Lorenzoni and the inspiration and support of many running friends in town. Some are featured with me in a photo from the 2017 Cville-thon ceremony at Ragged Mountain Running Shop. In other photos, I am shown with running friends at marathon and half marathon events. This year I BQed and came in third in my age group at the Tobacco Road Marathon. This fall I improved my time even more and PRed by nearly a minute at the Chicago Marathon.
Though I have not met all of my running goals yet, I am proud of these accomplishments, particularly because I only started running four years ago and never could have imagined that running would become such a part of my life after age 50.
There is something for everyone in our vibrant running community, from beginners to professional runners, those out there just for fun and those looking for more serious training to see what they can do. The positive spirit of our Cville running community and the networks of friendships that are established spill over into so many aspects of our lives and our work in the community. Through running, we practice being honest and sensible about our situations, knowing when to push hard and when to hold back. We learn that dedication and steady practice can lead to different kinds of running and life improvements
Also, we realize that success can take many different forms for us and others. It all depends on the circumstances, many of which are beyond our control and change over time. It's great fun to celebrate everyone's varied successes, but also rewarding to give and receive encouragement when things aren't going so well, when injury, bad weather conditions, or tough life events dash our hopes.
My favorite local race is the Charlottesville Women's Four Miler. It is such a beautiful venue and it's amazing how much money is raised year after year for such worthy cause. This race comes at the end of a tough summer marathon training season, when we are weary from the heat and high mileage, but we are also really tuned up, in great shape, and capable of getting a good time. Sometimes the weather starts to turn and the temperatures are cooler, working in our favor. I love seeing the fast women runners out there on the course streak by to the finish line, when I, a "normal person runner," am out there trying my best too. Plus, I am equally inspired by all the walkers and runners, young and old, who commit to an exercise program, participate in the women's four miler training program, run on their own or as part of mother-daughter, sister, work, or friend teams. The presentations by breast cancer survivors and doctors, the dedication of race directors Cynthia and Audrey Lorenzoni and many volunteers, and the award ceremony at the end are all very moving to me. It's great seeing so many friends and neighbors out there whom I know from the community.