By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,141)
“I got a personal best today. I’m still in shock! I did it all in 45 minutes,” said a beaming Leslie Denton Saturday afternoon after competing in her first ever UrbanRaid on Munjoy Hill. Denton was one of almost 700 athletes who registered for the grueling 5K race interspersed with obstacles designed for cross-fitters of all ages – the largest UrbanRaid yet as well as Denton’s personal best. “I thought it would take me closer to an hour,” she said.
In June of 2012, three hundred men and women signed up for the first UrbanRaid on the Eastern Promenade. Last year 500 registered for the race and this year the number went up to about 700. On July 9, 2011, Tri-Maine held its UrbanEpic Challenge on the Eastern Promenade with the challenging “slip and slide”. The two groups decided to consolidate into the 2012 UrbanRaid. The “slip and slide” was retired
“A rainy and cool day would have been better,” said Denton, of Thorndike, as she cooled down under a tent at the front of the Maine State Pier, the beginning line and the finish line. Next to the heat which was made worse by the lack of wind coming off the water, Denton found the monkey bars the most challenging obstacle on the course. The marine hurdles were also difficult for Denton. She began training last October and this was her third event this year and the most difficult of the three, she said.
Part of her inspiration came from the memory of her deceased, older brother, Larry, a marathoner himself. He used to encourage her to run, but she never did. In high school, she was a hurdler, but never seriously considered running, until last fall. As Denton approached the starting line in the UrbanRaid Saturday, she heard Larry’s favorite song being played over the sound system: “In Your Eyes,”by Peter ? “I’m sure that moment helped me achieve my personal best,” Denton said. “I talked to him during the whole race, I always do when I’m running. Larry was part of my personal best.”
“I know he’s shocked. I know he’s happy for me,” said Denton. “I’ll be back next year!”