So, I ran the Race 4 Taylor 5K on Saturday.
It’s so hard to believe, but this is the first 5K I’ve done in 4 months. I did the McLeod Sports Medicine 10K in March and scheduled to run another 10K in April but decided not to due to weather and saving money for our cruise.
Needless to say, I was pretty excited to get out there and run the Race 4 Taylor! The fact that it’s super close to my apartment and for a great cause made it even better.
Taylor Elmore was a senior at West Florence High School when he was killed in a car crash on his way to visit the College of Charleston for a tour in 2009. His family organized an annual 5K (which now includes a 10K) in his honor, with the proceeds raising money for the Florence Track Club and a scholarship in Taylor’s honor.
While I never met or knew Taylor, I’ve heard so many positive things about him and know so many people who were close to him to know that he was a smart young man with a bright future, and it’s nice to remember him once a year since he life was cut short so tragically.
Along with that, my friend and fellow technical writer, Kari, was on my mind yesterday. Kari, who lives in Ohio, organized a 5K race called Team Smitty 5K in honor of her father, who suffered heart disease. Her father is a runner and so is she, so hosting a race in his honor, with proceeds to benefit the American Heart Assocation, was a perfect idea!
The Team Smitty 5K had 93 participants in its first year- which I think is totally awesome, and kudos to Kari for all her hard work! It’s definitely a reminder of just how serious health issues can be, and how they can affect anyone- even runners- and that we need to be thankful for every day and every run- even bad days and bad runs. It could always be worse.
I woke up bright and early Saturday morning (before 6:00 AM- because I’ll wake up at any hour to run), and went through my normal pre-race ritual of hydration, oatmeal, potty, and pictures. Considering the rapture rumors, this pic was ever so appropriate.
I got to the race and talked to and hung out with some of my fellow running friends– tons of the runners here in town know each other (it’s a small town) and you see the same faces at every race so you make friends but also meet a lot of people. It’s really nice to have friends there to cheer for you at the finish, too!
The race course was through the neighborhoods around West Florence High School, and it’s a fairly easy course (no trails, no hills). However, running in 80% humidity can be HARD. Fortunately, parts of the course were shaded so that was nice, and there was a water stop at the halfway point.
I don’t wear a watch and couldn’t see the clock when I sprinted across the finish, but I did it in 24:52– a new personal record! I immediately ran to the refreshment table for a Rita’s Italian Ice. This race had the BEST refreshments… Rita’s Italian Ice, Chic-Fil-A, tons of candy, bagels, fruit, snack bars, yummers.
Then, I went to the finish to meet my friend Laura (who wasn’t running but was there to cheer on her kids, who did the fun run) and cheer on everyone else as they finished. Everyone did really, really well, especially considering the crazy heat and humidity!
We all hung around and took pictures for awhile until the awards ceremony, which was pretty neat. My friend Angela came in first place overall for females, and I came in second place overall! I was really stoked but still surprised- it’s always hard to know who’s ahead of you and behind you when you run because you’re not focusing on anyone else’s race but your own.
I got this pretty awesome glass which I immediately filled with candy. I’ve never gotten a glass before at a race, so it was cool to get a completely new award.
After the awards ceremony came door prizes (Good thing I place in races, because I never win door prizes!) and the balloon release ceremony in Taylor’s honor. Since it would’ve been Taylor’s 19th birthday, they released 19 balloons.
So… the race was really cool. It’s one of the better in Florence, and I really enjoyed doing it. A total of 220 people participated between the 5K and 10K, which is a really awesome turnout in our community. I was really glad that it fell after I got back from vacation, and I’ll definitely be doing it next year too, if possible!
Until next time…