Most of last week, I went about back and forth about racing over the weekend. During any taper, the miles are getting reduced which makes the legs eager to race. And, running hard keeps me sharp.
Thus, on Friday, I was searching the internet looking for a local race. There were a number of races in the area, but I selected the Season of Hope 5k Run at Knights Stadium. The better part of 15 years have passed since I last ran a race at Knights stadium so going back seemed like a good idea.
The last time that I ran there, I won so what better reason to go back.
Checking out the race web site, I made note of the usual logistics. But mainly, I was looking at the cost and the start time. The cost was $30 which isn't bad, I guess, for race day registration. But the start time was 8 AM.
As I thought more about it, the sun would not even be over the horizon before the race started.
Sure enough, I ran my warm up in the dark. Well, I sort of ran it in the dark. Knights Stadium has plenty of lights.
A few miles into my warm up, I was running along what I believed to be the course and I noticed that they put out the mile marker signs and then they came back to move them.
I got the full story when we lined up. The grounds crew at the stadium expected it to frost over night so they flooded the field with water.
Therefore, the race organizers had to adjust the finish back from home plate. Meaning, they added extra distance out on the course to supplement the shortage inside the stadium.
A short time later, we were lining up for the start. The thin gloves covering my hands were not doing the job. They were already cold.
Looking around at the start, I was trying to gauge who else was there. My goal for the race was a good hard effort to keep the engine tuned for OBX.
We take off. I make the turn at ¾ of a mile. We make two U-turns on the course. I don't see anyone behind me. I finally meet the runners coming out and sail through the mile in 5:31. I check over my shoulder and no one is insight.
Knowing that no one is close takes the edge off and I focus on running the tangents.
The 2nd mile comes and goes and finally the 3rd mile arrives. I head up to the stadium and down the gravel hill. Turning just inside the stadium, David Lee has his timing mats setup.
My fingers are beyond numb. I am trying to flex them but they are resisting the movement. Several minutes pass before the blood flowing so quickly up down my legs finally circulates up and down my arms and into my hands.
Sorry, I forgot to mention that the sun had yet to cross the horizon and the temps were in the mid 30s. I wasn't the only one that was cold.
About an hour later, they had the awards and I got a nice ceramic plaque for my efforts.
Before ending this write up, I wanted to share a little of the back story behind this race. Tyler is a little boy that has the dreaded disease Dystonia. During the awards ceremony, I met Jason Botko one of the sponsors of the "Season of Hope 5K Run". He filled me on what Dystonia does to kids. It's just an awful thing.
I hate all diseases, but especially, I hate diseases that target children. Every child has the right to grow up in this world happy and healthy. Something I fully support is that all of the money raised in the race goes toward the research being done to conquer this disease.
Driving home after the race, I felt better about my day because not only had I learned something but I was supporting research to make the world a better place for our children.
If you want to learn more about Tyler's Hope and Dystonia – click here
Sharing one thought at time,
The Cool Down Runner