I raced hard at the P4H DC race. Still, I barely held that maniac Kiwi Annabel Anderson off at the finish. She was on an old 12’6″ that she borrowed the day before the race. I was on my shiny new 14′ race board. That’s what it took to barely keep in front of her. And I drafted someone for a while to catch my breath. She was such a pain in the ass. She is so fast. I loved yapping back and forth with her. It made the race a ton of fun. She’s a great competitor.

I made a ton of mistakes during the race, but still had a great finish for my abilities. I was reflecting on hitting the mud bar twice before getting out of the water at the docks. I was starting to get bummed when someone came over and put a medal with a blue ribbon over my head. “Wow!” I said. “This is cool.” Katie (View from the Back) said, “This might be the only time I ever get one.” She wore hers for the entire week and still has it on her desk at work.

What I learned: A race with 150 people is the culmination of 150 different simultaneous races. Each race has a winner. Each winner has a story and a struggle. And each winner needs to be recognized. For some it’s just the mileage from the start to the finish. For others, it’s a divorce, losing 20 pounds, finishing chemotherapy, trying a new board, their first race, a breakup or a new haircut, or the first time they’ll break into the top 10. Every person has a journey that’s far longer than the course. And where they finished in comparison to others isn’t nearly as important as that they finished. Celebrate every competitor. P4H did an awesome job of making everyone feel proud, feel like a part of the community, and to be stoked. All it took was a t-shirt and a medal on a blue ribbon. It’s on the mantle next to my wife’s half-marathon medal. Thank you Kathy and crew, P4H and Watermans Applied Science.

A race with 150 people is the culimination of 150 different simultaneous races. Each race has a winner.

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