Saturday, October 13, was a beautiful fall day. During the pre-dawn drive south and east to the race location, I watched the sky and high clouds shift through shades of grey, mauve, pink, gold, turquoise and more. Oh but it was frosty! Even by race time, the temperature had only "warmed" to 35•.
|I explained #run3rd to other runners.|
The Project Homeless Connect Walk on Water 5K was my first race. While I admired Sean and the other run3rd-ers, I didn't think it would be something I could do. I was worried about previous foot/leg issues I'd had and the effect that pounding the payment would have on my no-longer young bones and joints. (I turned 60 this summer.) "Why don't you just walk?" new Team Captain Tony Conticello @RunDisney56 suggested. So Labor Day weekend I bought some running shoes and started walking!
This was a fairly small event, with about 400 participants signed up. There were a total of 328 finishers in the 5K run, 5K walk and 10K run combined. We all gathered by the start line and then took off! The course took us first under the highway and through some quiet Akron neighborhoods. A depressing number of both runners and walkers strode easily past me in the early minutes, but I resisted the urge to look over my shoulder, concentrating instead on keeping a steady pace. A couple of times I heard voices behind me, so I knew I wasn't dead last! I have to say it was really cool to have cops stopping the traffic as I sauntered down the middle of the streets! I also enjoyed being handed a cup of water at each mile mark. I took it both times, even though the second time I wasn't feeling thirsty.
|Gathering at the Starting Line, with trees aflame.|
After going back under the highway, we followed the unfortunately weedy and overgrown Ohio and Erie canal and headed to the lovely Summit Lake. The sun was getting warm and I could finally remove my gloves, and eventually my jacket. I had to slow down a bit to re-pin the bib on my race tee!
|You can't see them here, but my shoelaces exactly match the race tee!|
|This part of the course had a hazard: goose poop on the path! :-O|
Besides Canadian geese I saw American coots, easily recognizable black ducks with white bills and foreheads.
Then came the "walking on water" part!
When the finish line came in sight, I picked up my pace as best I could. The Beatles "Roll over Beethoven" on my playlist certainly helped. Seeing I was going to finish in under 50 minutes also helped! :-) I would have jogged the last bit, but it was uphill. I did however skip across the finish line!!
It turns out there was no starting mat, so the clock time is the official time. My clock time was 49:31, a 15.6 min/mile pace! I finished 4th out of 8 walkers in my age group, 24th of 49 women, and 43rd of 77 overall walkers. I was very proud of myself! :-D
|I carried your dedications in my pocket. Twitter was set to notify me when I was mentioned|
so every time I heard the ding, I knew one of you was urging me on! <3
Proof that I DID walk on water!
My dedication to Sean written the night before the race:
Why I #run3rd for @SeanAstin.
Over the last several months, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with a lot of new people through Twitter, and some have become dear friends. They come from all over the world. Some have similar world views, political opinions and religious beliefs to mine; some of them have views that are very different. With some I share similar tastes in movies, music and other activities, with some I do not.
Yet we all share one thing in common, and that’s a deep respect and admiration for Sean Astin. His honesty, consideration for others and willingness to listen openly encourages us to behave similarly. His enthusiasm for not just his acting career, but also as radio talk show host, founder of run3rd and many other activities encourages us to expand our horizons as well.
On behalf of all his fans and listeners, I want to thank him for that.
Thus for my first race, I #run3rd for Sean Astin.