By Efren Martinez
You Run Like A Girl!
Since as long as I can remember, I have heard this bogus phrase more often than once. Regardless, running like a girl would be OK for me as long as I could run like Ali Klikna. Recently she showed me, along with everyone else at this year’s Cancer Run and Ride, how a girl can run competitively.
I have been a DJ in our Modesto area for over 21 years and was there to Entertainer the Event. Not only did I have the pleasure of providing the beats along with some silly antics, but thanks to my wife for taking over on the sound system, I was able to jump in the 2-mile race and I do mean jump in, “every which way but loose” and it was quite noticeable that a silly explosion of crazy neon had taken over methat morning. As I was about to make my way over to the start line I looked over at my wife and said play one of my15-minute mixes I’ll be right back. But, as I approached the start line overly enthused and busting out at the seams, my friend reached over and said, “you know your blowing off loads of race energy” Oh my goodness, he’s right. Suddenly I glanced over at my wife with a smile and yelled, “make it a 20-minute mix!”
At the sound of GO it was time to get our race on and we all took off like rockets ready to kick some fitness Astronauts. Well, almost all of us, there was one runner who held back and that was Ali. As our race started, I fired it up in the lead and surprisingly stayed there at a comfortable pace and after about a mile into the run, I felt even better so I dug in hard and took a bigger lead for the reminder of the race. Well, it was all about the home stretch and out of nowhere came this girl, this lady, with her inspiration of how a girl can run. As I was approaching the finish line, I felt good, I felt strong, unbeatable and it was all my race. Then Ali showed me what girl power is all about. As she approached me from behind, I heard her breath in my ears and before I knew it I was chasing her shadow. I was blown away seconds from the finish line and instantly I thought. Wow! This lady’s got it going on, she had saved some for the finish and proved to be a smarter and a faster runner than me. Ladies and Gentleman, I give you 1st place over all, Ali Klikna!
After the race, I quickly went over to Ali to congratulate her on a great race and as for me; I had just ran the fastest 2-mile of my life with a time of 11:33. Sure I was thrilled, but honestly a bit bruised competitively. But, as I have learned from the best and my thoughts rapidly turned to find out what makes Ali so darn fast. Sure she had great running form and was smart enough to hold some back for the push at the end. Eager to learn, I asked her. Well, it turns out that she used to run for The University of Santa Barbara and currently holds The University record for the 800 meters with a time of 2:10.81, which is the 5th all time record at UCSB. WOW! So this would explain why she’s so screaming fast. She’s had some of the best training in the world. But wait, here’s the most inspirational part of Ali. As I was getting into her advice, her husband walked over with a stroller, she then reached down to care for her newborn babies. Yes, I said babies as in plural. That’s all for me folks! This is one incredible lady. I was thrilled to have learned that she had recently given birth to two beautiful twins 6 months ago. OMG! Hands down, she’s not only a talented runner but she also serves to all those expecting mothers out there that it isn’t the end of your fitness competitiveness once you’ve decide to give the gift of life. Mothers to be, Ali as my witness, it can be just as thrilling afterwards on any race day with a win over all. So in conclusion, running like a girl might get a bad rap from some, but as far as I’m concerned, running like a girl like Ali, is something I wouldn’t mind being compared to. Congratulations Ali for placing 1st over all with a time of 11:26 and serving me a side of 2nd place. I’m cool with it because this old dude who took home the Masters Award got more out of this race than any other and thanks to you, it’s now my best foot race I have ever raced.
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