Forget the noisy restaurant; the overcrowded bar. When I turned the age that I'd had marked on my calf all season (in many triathlons, the age you'll be at the end of the year gets marked in indelible ink on your calf), I wanted to celebrate in a meaningful way.

I wanted the nifty women I'd biked hundreds of miles with, who I'd traveled to out-of-town triathlons with, who I'd sweated through the summer with, to meet each other. They're real women with interesting lives and demanding jobs who do triathlons, like me, "on the side," and I wanted them to know something about each other when they zipped past each other on training rides and runs in the park.

So I held my own Birthday 5K. On a gorgeous fall day in Central Park, six of my favorite amazing women ran, chatted, and laughed our way through 3.1 miles together. The day before, I mentioned the run to a guy I know, who wrapped up our conversation with, "I hope you win your own 5K." Win? Never thought about it. Of course, we ran together and finished together. And here we are at brunch with our medals.

Best of all: The only hangover we had was the lingering feeling of wanting to do it again soon.

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