It seems that everywhere you turn these days some organization is organizing a 5K race to benefit a project.
Or maybe I just notice them more now, being married to someone I believe may be addicted to them. Nancy does enjoy running and is infecting others with the condition, me included.
She is also a fan of supporting local business and organizations in many ways, including with this running avocation. Nancy and her female running partner recently co-chaired the second edition of a 5K for our Church, Peace Congregational Church in Clemson The event raised more than $1,600 and will benefit Clemson Community Care, the food bank in that part of Pickens County.
That was a couple of weeks before the Pickens Azalea Festival Run, which was held in support of the Beverly M. Smith Scholarship Fund. It saw a record number of runners/walkers in it’s sixth edition. It was sponsored by the Picken’s Women’s Association. Hmm??? Is there a feminine theme developing here?
Nancy has run in Anderson’s Midnight Flight, The Turkey Trot and Easley’s Spring Fling Run several year’s ago.
My biggest claim to fame in all of this is that I took a great picture standing at the finish line at the Easley race a year ago. I waited until after the race finished to get my favorite festival food – a Polish Sausage Dog, with extra peppers and onions, please.
Well, that was a year ago and my life is changing. I am becoming a runner, too. Nancy and I were recently on a weekend trip to Columbus, Ga.
On the drive down, she started tapping away at her I-phone to determine fun things to do on a weekend trip there.
I was thinking, concert in the park, stroll down the River Walk, great restaurants.
She found those and said, “Oh look, they’re having a 5-K. Let’s do it.”
The Midtown Classic, benefited the Neighborhood Food Bank. Food banks are among our favorite causes to support. So we did.
My nerves began to gather as the the crowd of more than 250 runners toed the starting line. I had been quite confident til then. This was my second 5K after all. The first one had been held in the North Carolina Mountains and included a half mile climb up one of those mountains after all.
In Columbus, which is about as flat a place as one could hope to run a 5K, I was foolishly optimistic. Nerves gathered as I noticed the collection of fit-looking stringy, much-younger men in the pack.
The buzzer sounded and we were off. I had been trained by my darling, “Keep your chest up, lift your knees. Take a moderate pace at first. Don’t worry about all those that will pass you in jack-rabbit start.”
I did not worry about the younger men and women who passed me in the first half mile. I did not worry when Nancy disappeared into the crowd ahead of me. She smokes me every time we run together. It was being passed by the much older guy, wearing the knee brace that bugged me most.
I did finish, however. I was still breathing. No one had to carry me. And I cut four minutes off my time from that mountain race.
And Nancy? She won her age group.
And we both had the chance to help feed some folks in South Georgia. It is a good sport and is being used to support some good causes in Pickens and elswhere.