Lani Zaren

Why did you sign up to do this race?
I did this race because it’s been one of my goals to finish a 5K since I started my weight loss journey in January 2019. I was actually only supposed to spectate my husband running that morning, but he convinced me last minute to give it a go with him since I was down 46 pounds and not at risk for seriously hurting myself.
How did you feel once you crossed the finish line?
I was so beyond exhausted when I crossed the finish line, but I was also beaming inside and out. Even though all the other racers had finished well before me and had all gone home, and the only people waiting around were the race coordinators, I still felt so proud of myself and was not afraid to show it.
What would you say was the hardest challenge in this race?
The hardest challenge of this race was the fact that I had not “trained” for it. I had started dabbling in jogging 5 months prior, but this race was a last minute decision and I knew I wouldn’t be able to jog the entire way – I probably walked about 50% of the race.
What was the most rewarding thing about completing this run?
The most rewarding thing about completing this event was how I felt about myself during and after the race. Although I doubted myself a lot along the way, I never put myself down. I was optimistic the entire way, and I feel like I came out of this with more self-love and self respect than I went in with.
Was there anything or anyone in particular that helped you throughout your training?
Even though I had not trained for this event in the traditional sense, my husband Ron was there for me every step of the way – quite literally. He could have finished this race in 27 minutes but instead chose to hang back with me, walk with me when I needed to catch my breath, encouraged me and told me how great I was doing every step of the way, and finished in last place with me at 53 minutes. I cannot express in words how much his dedication and love mean to me, and how much he influences me to be my very best.

Lani Zaren

Any final words of encouragement and thoughts you’d like to share?
Before the race, I was extremely nervous. I was sweating, shaky, and had huge knots in my stomach. Everything told me to back out – I wasn’t ready, I was going to embarrass myself. But I’m so glad I didn’t listen to those words of fear. I’m so happy I pushed through that initial anxiety and just did it.

Furthermore, all the experienced runners were really welcoming and encouraging. So to anyone feeling scared, or like if they’re not “ready”, or that they might embarrass themselves, let me tell you by experience that it will all melt after “ready, set, go!”.

There will always have to be someone in last place…but that’s still ahead of everyone who didn’t do it.

You can connect with Lani on her FB page.