|Snow pellets caught in spider web.|
Boy I sure know how to pick ‘em—the days for 5Ks that is! If anything, the weather was even colder for the Oberlin Earth Day 5K on April 20 than it was for the Run for the Red the previous Saturday. In fact, two hours before the race started there was a bout of snow flurries and snow pellets!
By race time, it looked like the sun was going to come out, but the wind blew a fresh set of dark clouds overhead, making it a darned chilly run. Still, I had home-court advantage: the race started at Tappan Square, a 13 acre park in the center of town with an approximately 1 km circumference, and my favorite place for training. The course itself wound through a quiet residential neighborhood, a nice easy trip with no hills.
|Click for supersize panoramic view!|
The field was tiny, only about 90 runners. There’d been a 5K walk earlier in the morning, so most of the people in this race were actual runners, not walkers (with occasional bouts of jogging) like me. So I took it as a challenge just to not get too far behind. But behind I was, dead last after a few hundred yards! I kept my eye on the elderly gentleman ahead of me, but try as I might, he stubbornly remained 50-100 yards ahead for most of the race.
We ran the last 100 yards or so, and he was going to defer to me and let me finish ahead of him. But I said "we finish together" and we held hands as we crossed the finish line! What an absolute thrill and honor that was! (Oh how I wish there'd been someone with a camera to catch that!!!) And to my further delight, my time was 46:18, more than a minute off my PR the week before!
|Athena in her Boston Marathon jacket, and Matt|
We hugged and I confess I got a little teary.
Despite the cold (I didn't feel fully warm until hours later), this was certainly the most rewarding race I've done so far. Not only did I PR, but meeting Matt and Athena was so inspirational to me. It's a day I won't soon forget.
Oh yes, and I was second in my age group, and got the prettiest bling!!