Wow! I am embarrassingly late in responding to such a nice message! Thank you so much for your kind words.
And my tips for your first race are:
– Don’t start out too fast. Start at a comfortable pace until you find your groove, and save your energy for a speedy last mile or half-mile.
– Figure out which side of the course is the “inside” (left or right) and stick to it – for example, if the course is around a lake, stay as close to the water as you can. You’ll run a shorter race and get a faster time!
– Avoid weaving around people, as that’ll make you run a longer race and slow you down. I usually line up with the pace group that runs a little faster than me to avoid passing/weaving around slower people at the start.
– Don’t be ashamed to walk if you need to. Pull off to the side of the course to get out of others’ way and walk quickly/give yourself a pep talk, then resume running.
– Finish strong! Tell yourself, “There’s only XX distance left, and THEN I can rest!” Smoke that finish line, smile and savor the moment. You’ll absolutely love it.
Best of luck to you!