I started running in June at the age of 43, with no athletic training ever. Today I ran my first race, the Dallas Race for the Cure, in 35:36, and if the directors hadn't closed off the starting line from the finish, I could have run it again because I was feeling so good and happy. I wasn't fast, but I did complete the race and squeaked in under my goal time.
I noticed a couple of things as I ran. First of all, a lot of people have purely terrible form. And those that I noticed with terrible form at the beginning of the race looked even worse by the end. Second, I was one of the few midfoot runners I could see (I ran in FiveFingers). I didn't pay much attention to it until the last K or so when I noticed that I could hear the people around me really slapping the pavement hard with their feet, but I could barely hear my own feet touching the ground. I think it made a difference in how not beat up I felt at the end of the race.
I had such a good time and I'm looking forward to my next race eagerly. I give Eric and his 6 week Beginner Course the credit for getting me off on the right foot (so to speak) with my running.