Boogie On: Hey, folks, it's time to party in red

Ready. Set. Boogie! Spring training is almost done and in six sleeps we will all be together to celebrate community health, our beautiful city and to party in red big time!

If you look up the word race in the dictionary, it says " a contest between or among runners to decide who is the fastest; a contest between two or more people seeking to do or reach the same thing or do or reach it first."

I can tell you, without a single doubt, that Boogie's definition goes far beyond the first finisher.

I don't want to take away from the elite runner - it takes a whole lot of talent, dedication and commitment to being a Top 10 finisher. We have them at Boogie and I love watching them run and appreciate (very much) their energy.

We are all inspired by elite runners and it's a privilege to run amongst the top finishers. At Boogie they are so supportive to the rest of us with high fives, smiles and support.

But Boogie is a huge celebration of all paces (running, walking and strolling). For those of you who are coming for the first time, there are a couple of important points you need to realize.

First, you won't finish last. I remember when I entered my first 10K, I was terrified I would be dead last. I was so afraid of this it trumped my fear of public speaking. Funny, how now the two things I feared most are now two of my biggest passions (running and public speaking). Second, it's normal to be nervous. This week coming up you may feel nervous, jittery, worried and sleepless. Don't worry; that is all normal. Third, get to the start by 8 a.m. Gentle reminder that half-marathon runners go first this year and the rest of us want to be there at 8 a.m. to settle into the energy and have time to go pee, adjust clothing, talk with friends, and get ready to warm up (always a highlight at Boogie).
Yes, it's time to have fun. Rushing to get there is always wasted energy and will take the joy of the day away from you.Lastly, enjoy every step of it from start to finish. If you have a great run (awesome) if your run is more of a challenge (still awesome). Running on goal day can be unpredictable, so make sure your mind is set on fun no matter what. Each race is a totally different experience for all of us, and this is what keeps us coming back for more!

When you cross the finish line, celebrate your success (big time). We (the Boogie team) have watched thousands of runners and walkers cross the high-energy Boogie finish line.

We have seen runners cry, hug each other, put their arms in the air, hold hands with their friends and family and enjoy their well-deserved moment. Our team will be there to high five you, cheer loudly and give you our own personal congratulations.

The Boogie finish line is only one step toward a whole new world and many more Boogies to come.

Jo Berry is co-ordinator of The Daily News Boogie and executive director of the Boogie the Bridge Society.

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