by Christine Myers
Having been born and raised in Altamont, I knew that the hilly terrain of the Helderberg to Hudson Half Marathon (H2H) was synonymous with the term “challenge.” Truth be told, I was initially hesitant to register for the race. I found myself constantly oscillating between the mentality of “Ugh, the hills” and “I don’t know when I’ll get this chance again.” After several weeks’ worth of nail biting and weighing the pros/cons, I signed up with less than three hours to spare until the registration window closed.
Circling back to the term “challenge,” if there is one thing that I have learned throughout my life thus far, it’s that when you are faced with a challenge, you jump for it. You take it head on, nose to nose, with your eyes wide opened. H2H was no exception to this rule. After months of cancellations and let downs, I was going to race, and that’s all that mattered.
For me, H2H was not about hitting a personal best, it wasn’t about winning, and it wasn’t about competing. H2H was about finally getting to do what I love in good company after months of the world telling me “no.” It was about reminding myself that running is what I truly and deeply love. Nothing – not even a pandemic, could ever abolish the gravitational pull I feel toward this sport.
It’s 6:17 p.m., I am sitting in Druthers taking advantage of the free beer coupons (Shout out to Druthers) and Karen Bertasso, winner of the race last year and one of my biggest running idols, comes up to congratulate me and together, we laugh and reminisce about the race. The bonding of the running community, especially here in the 518 area is extraordinary. We are in this together for the long run: there is no room for regret, only for hope. H2H was about hope. I am once again, hopeful for the future of racing. New might not be analogous to normal, but challenge is compatible to H2H, which represents hope. It is embedded within our “new normal.” It’s simply a matter of taking the time to slow down, recognize it, and appreciate it.
Top 25 Finishers in the H2H