Like most runners, I love the exhilarating feeling of racing all out, pounding out repeats with splits I’m proud of, or finishing a double-digit long run over the bridge.
All of those runs are great for training the physical body and mind for the rigors or racing. Sometimes the best runs aren’t workouts, races, or long runs where you leave feeling “accomplished”.
Sometimes the best runs are slower, easier runs that train your soul for the sport.
On Sunday, I ran the Be the Light for Jimi 5K at Charles Towne Landing, which was an untimed group run to raise money for local musician, Jimi Beauston. Jimi and his band play for the Race the Landing 5K series, and he was diagnosed with cancer in early 2016. The community rallied for various fundraisers for Jimi.
The Race the Landing organizers wanted to do something for Jimi, so they organized the group run. Instead of timing and awards, everyone was encouraged to donate online or in person to fund Jimi’s cancer treatments and other expenses.
Cancer treatments are certainly not cheap, and patients need funds to cover other expenses as well, like mortgage payments, keeping the lights on, eating nutritious foods, and transportation to and from appointments.
After a few words, introductions, and a prayer, everyone went off on the race course to dedicate their miles to Jimi.
Emily and I ran together, smiled for every picture, and I logged about 7 miles. The weather was warm, but Charles Towne Landing is beautiful and shaded. Since we ran easy, we noticed scenery and animals in the park- which we wouldn’t ordinarily notice in a race.
After the run, we all gathered for Cinnabons, coffee, fruit, refreshments, and togetherness.
Due to injury, I’ve cut back on racing, but events like 5K for MJ and Be the Light for Jimi are a great way to give back as a member of the running community. You don’t have to compete to be a part of the sport and make a difference for a charity or someone in need.
With no awards or timing, no one had a spirit of competition. Everyone crossed the start and finish line, but no runner was trying to win, and Jimi was the real winner for fighting a cancer battle much harder than any run.
This run made my week. I was glad I donate and dedicate those miles to Jimi since he’s brought joy to our lives by playing at the Race the Landing after parties. Jimi will perform for our races this summer, starting with the first one on Thursday, May 4.
If you’re in Charleston this summer, I hope to see you at Race the Landing, too!