On Sunday morning, I accomplished something I never thought was possible for me at this point in my running career.  But, somehow I managed to complete the 2021 Sioux Falls Skedaddle Half Marathon race.  The feeling?  Unreal.

For those who aren't aware, running has always been part of my life since I joined cross country and track in grammar school. Although I never competed at the collegiate level, I never stopped running or participating in 5k and 10k races.  It's a routine that has always been with me.  Running is just a big part of who I am, and the Sioux Falls Skedaddle was a race that really tested my strength as a runner and as a person.

I wish I could say it was a beautiful sunny day in the Sioux Empire for the Sioux Falls Skedaddle.  But of course, I can't. Sunday depicted South Dakota's unpredictable April weather all in one day: snow, rain, sleet, hail, and wind.  And yes...I ran in all of those elements.

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I have been seriously training for the Sioux Falls Skedaddle for a little over two months.  I have to give credit to the crew at the 605 Running Co. for really guiding me through this journey.  I would meet with Coach Jacqui on a regular basis to learn some new running techniques while discussing training styles. From there, I was able to find my stride.  Heck, if it wasn't for the 605 Running Co. we wouldn't have had a race!

The Sioux Falls Skedaddle was one of the few live races still happening across the country this year due to COVID-19.  Almost 500 runners competed, and they came from 25 states including Minnesota, Texas, Arizona, Nebraska, and Illinois.  As previously mentioned, although the weather was certainly not kind to start the 13.1-mile race, the race was still a blast. Runners were really able to experience different parts of the City of Sioux Falls.  I'm biased, but my favorite part of the run was when we hit the ground running on the bike trails. The breathtaking bike trails are truly one of the city’s finest jewels!

A little over two hours later, I made it across that finish line! The feeling of finishing a half marathon is absolutely indescribable. I am truly blessed to have experienced this accomplishment with so many other extraordinary competitors.  I am not the best runner out there. However, I would not be the distance runner I am today without my countless amazing cross country and track coaches.  Specifically my 5th-grade track coach, my first coach who truly inspired me, Coach Gregus.  She pushed me to do my first distance race, and I can now honestly say I cried at the end of that run. Despite that absolute fail, Coach Gregus did not give up on me and put me in that same race a few weeks later. I placed third that day.

Running isn't easy, but the reward is so worth it.  Thanks to the 605 Running Co. for hosting such an awesome race!  The Sioux Falls Skedaddle is truly "the people's race!"

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