Hello world, I am so happy to share with all of you that I was able to complete my first 5K, one of my life’s challenges. Was it easy you ask, not at all. For me as a first time runner it was extremely difficult. However being able to run with the amazing group, I am currently training with, made it so amazing and fun. It was all for a great cause…to save these babies…

Jaguar (Panthera onca) in a tree Pantanal, Brazil.

Once our team was ready we all headed to the stretching area.



The stretching took about 10 minutes and then we were asked to all stand behind the start line as the race would commence in the next 3 minutes. While we all waited at the start line my heart began racing like you can’t imagine. Different thoughts began rushing through my mind, “Can I do this?” “Will I be able to finish?” “Why am I here?” “Am I going to be disappointed?”, so on and so forth. I then took a look around and saw people from all over the world. Some were younger, some older, some with babies, but all there for the same goal, to finish the race and help save the Jaguars. And then…the countdown, 3, 2, 1 and we were off.


Oh my God, this was really happening, the race had started, I needed to move. Go, go, go I kept telling myself as I saw all the runners begin to pass me. You need to move if you plan to finish this race somewhere in the middle, so I did. I began running my little heart off as calmly as humanly possible. After a short while, there came my brain telling me to stop, to walk, as much as I fought it my body began to quit. Oh no, will I be the only one giving up? No way, I came here to conquer this goal and I was not leaving without doing just that. So I slowed my pace and eventually did some speed walking. I walked until I was able to catch my breath and then off I went again. Tried running a little faster and walked once I felt I was out of breath. Ended up doing this throughout the race.

Eventually I completed the race at a time of 45 minutes, 15 minutes per mile. Pretty awful if you ask me, but being that it was my first race, I am proud of myself that at least I was able to finish. The winner made it in 20 minutes, under seven minutes a mile. That is amazing, way to go.

Running has always been one of my challenges, but with time and training, I have noticed that I am beginning to overcome that challenge.

What are some of your challenges? Share your story.
If you enjoyed reading…


Mayra Hernandez