On Saturday, I was honored to run in the inaugural Peyton’s Wild and Wacky 5K and 10 X 5K. This race was held in memory of Peyton Moore, who passed away in 2013. Peyton’s parents, my friends Noah and Jennifer Moore, are some of the strongest people I have ever met.
In his nine years, Peyton inspired a community. He raised over $15,000 for the Injured Marines Semper Fi fund, participated in multiple sports such as football, wrestling, running, and javelin, and was a Cub Scout. He also helped his father, Noah, coach a local Couch to 5K program and loved encouraging new runners.
From the swag bag to the awards, everything about Peyton’s Wild and Wacky 5K (and 10 X 5K) echoed love. At packet pick up, everyone received a backpack with goodies such as coupons, a small toy, and a granola bar. Every time Peyton’s grandpa picked him up from school, he stopped at Whole Foods and picked up an apple and a granola bar for his grandson, so he would have a healthy snack. The store donated granola bars so that all of us would have a healthy snack and think of Peyton’s Grandpa Stewart.
Everyone also got a very nice tech shirt that features Peyton’s art and a lunch from Jim and Nick’s BBQ. Brian Fancher Photography was also on site, and Brian is the best sports photographer in the Charleston area and takes some amazing shots. Age group awards were rocks that were hand-painted by Peyton’s friends and classmates.
The event was organized by Eagle Endurance, and the price was reasonable, even offering a discounted entry for children so that families could participate, since Peyton, Noah, and Jen ran races like this together. Proceeds benefited Peyton’s favorite charity (the Semper Fi Fund), along with Mt. Pleasant Academy and the Mt. Pleasant Track Club.
The race’s format was a 10 X 5K (Ten 5Ks- one on the hour, every hour, for ultra participants) with a 5K for everyone else smack in the middle. The ultra runners began at 7 AM, and the 5K only runners ran starting at 11 AM. It rained on race morning, so the 7 AM 5K was in the rain, and the Middleton Place Trails were muddy and soggy for us 11 AM runners.
I got to the race early and ran 2 miles on the course, just long enough to figure out this was more of a mud run than a trail run. Not wanting to fall or get injured (goodbye, months of training!), I decided to take it easy and be careful in the muddy parts and run a little harder on the few clear areas. I was also running with a wonky (but improving!) hip, so I took that into consideration and did not push it.
The 5K race began at 11, and with so many runners, there was a bottleneck for everyone to get out on the course. The single 5K had over 250 runners, not including the ultra participants, who could run individually or on teams of two or four runners.
One of the coolest things I noticed was how everyone ran this race in his or her own way. In your typical road race 5K full of adults, everyone runs pretty hard and usually people run alone. In the Wild and Wacky 5K, it was common to see kids stop at a mud puddle and jump in it, runners taking pictures beside the course mile markers that featured Peyton’s picture, people purposely running or walking together in groups, or runners stopping to wait on ultra running friends who were on their fifth 5K of the day. Everyone made this race their own unique way to remember Peyton.
ran maneuvered the course around Middleton Place in 26:40, placing first in my age group and fifth overall female. The race had 5-year age groups for adults and 2-year groups for kids. I received a TrySports gift certificate as well as this fun painted rock. I placed the rock on my front porch so I’ll see it and think of Peyton whenever I leave the house to run.
Every runner also got a cool finisher’s medal with Peyton’s art on it. I thought that was a nice touch because most 5Ks don’t have finisher’s medals, and many age group awards are items other than medals. I happily run races without finisher’s medals, and it’s not a make or break deal for me when signing up for a race, but it’s a fun incentive. Who doesn’t love a nice medal?
After the race, I got a post-race massage onsite and ate some snack-y refreshments. Ultras have the best refreshments- hello, Nutter Butter cookies! Then, I ran/walked the course again with some friends who were doing the ultra relay. We did the 12 PM 5K together, and it was fun running the whole course again at a slower pace, chatting and enjoying the scenery. Middleton Place is a beautiful and often overlooked Lowcountry attraction, so if you get a chance to run a race there, it’s worth it.
With the rainy weather, soggy trail, and several other local races and events going on last Saturday, Peyton’s Wild and Wacky 5K (and 10 X 5K) had a great turnout. Peyton loved running in the rain, so the wet weather and a beautiful rainbow at the end made it even more special. This event was a great way to remember a special little boy and support an amazing family, and hopefully it grows and spreads Peyton’s legacy.