Doug and I volunteered at packet pickup Friday night. This is my second year volunteering, and I see myself volunteering every year from here on out. I love everything about this race. The way it's put together, the system they have in place, the volunteers, the Coones family. Everything. After volunteering, there was a mob of us that happened upon a local restaurant where everyone sat and chatted up the whole evening. It was a nice time.
So after getting home later than what we expected, we headed to bed. We were able to sleep in til 6 am. That's a dream for us on Saturday mornings. We got up and around and headed out to the race.
What a perfect morning. You could not have asked for a better day. There was a slight chill in the air, but you knew it wouldn't take long to warm up once the sun came up and race started.
We milled around meeting up with old friends, new friends and TNT members. For some of the TNT members, this was their first official race. How fun!
The sun was coming up and you could see the sun beaming on everyone's faces. The race was about to start. Everyone lined up in their respective spots. Doug and I lined up in the 10 minute pace group. I'm thinking I'm going to get mowed over, I shouldn't be here, but I stayed anyway.
After some announcements, prayer and a balloon release of red and pink balloons-pink for Jayne, red for Jared (his favorite color) the race started. We took off from the elementary school and wound all around through the neighborhood. It was perfect.
I took off a little too fast for my liking, but soon remembered, we're running a 5K here, not a marathon. There were kids zooming everywhere. It was fun to watch. They were in and out of everyone. Of course, they all took off like crazies, 100 miles an hour. There were actually 25 elementary schools that participated in the 5K running program to get them ready for this race. It was so fun to see the young kids and their families come out.
I zoomed through my first mile. 9:33. WOW! That's superstar speed for me.
My second mile I stopped to walk 30 seconds a couple of times. Still another 9:33 mile. What? This can't be.
After I crossed the finish line, I walked back to find Doug to cheer everyone in. It was so much fun. We stayed until the very end to watch everyone cross (or so we thought at the time) and then we headed into the gym for the awards ceremony. Tom was ready to start the ceremony when he was made aware there was still another participant on the course. This makes me teary eyed just thinking about typing it. He lets everyone know that there is still one lady left on the course, that he wants everyone to go out to the finish line and cheer her in. What a kind soul he is. So we head out to the finish line and cheer her in. You could see she had a physical disability with her leg, but she was trekking the 5K nonetheless. She later told Tom that she had done a couple of 5K's before but had never had a crowd cheer her when she had crossed that beloved finish line.
Before the trophies were given to the winners of the race, Tom had several other awards he was handing out. One was the Jayne Coones Spirit Award. It went to the Davidson family pictured below. Zach has been fighting ALL, Jeff (dad) has done multiple TNT events to bring awareness to the fight with 100 mile bike rides, running marathons and triathloning. Jeff's wife (sorry I forgot her name) is a nurse and was one of Jayne's nurses when she was undergoing treatment. As you can see, this family has A LOT of spirit for this cause and deserves this trophy like none other.
Another award, the Jared Coones Never Give Up Award, was presented to my friend and Honored Patient, Leesa. After getting cancer, it going in remission, getting it back WHILE training for a marathon, training through it and then getting rid of it again, I see all the reasons in the world Tom saved this award for Leesa. This girl does NOT give up!What a great morning! It was perfect!
An added unimportant note...I finished 20th out of 143 female participants in my age group. It's not very often I get to brag about my race time or place. But I do have to say I am very pleased with my time. It shows some great improvement. It shows my running has been paying off. Whoo Hoo for me!