More than six thousand runners/walkers, young/old, healthy and struggling with health, showed up Saturday morning to take part in Race For The Cure. This years event doubled its numbers from 2005! Downtown Jacksonville was pulsing with energy. Galloway runners representing The Donna Hicken Foundation were a part of the masses. Moving through the pink and white clad bodies I first greeted Tim and then Chris. Moments later I saw Jonathan. When I was halfway through securing the time chip to my left shoelace I heard Phil. Typically Phil keeps his emotions in check but something about that broad smile was enough to tell me it would be a good morning for a run.
Our group gathered and determined that a sub twenty minute 5k would be the goal. Chris had a sub nineteen under his belt from three weeks earlier and Jonathan would gun for a sub eighteen. Tim, Phil and I were planning to keep Chris in our sights.
I ran strong for almost the entire race. Our pace felt perfect and we were closing in on the finish as a group. With less than an eighth mile to go things went bad for me. Tim and Phil made their push and took over Chris. I let them go but felt strong enough to hang. Then (unfortunately) I looked over at a time clock on the course that displayed 15:45. What? That can't be. My mind and body deflated. I hadn't kept track of distance or time since the first mile. Four minutes of running before the finish? I stopped and walked. Gathering my thoughts I started to jog. I looked ahead at my group turning into the park. When I finally made my slow turn into the park I realized the finish was only two hundred yards ahead. How stupid of me! The sprint to the finish was all I could offer. Talk about losing yourself in a run.
Phil finished FIRST in our 45-49 age group with a time of 19:48 (I knew there was something to that grin I saw earlier). Tim finished SECOND in our age group with a time of 19:51. I finished third (including the walk) with the time of 20:07.* Jonathan finished third (under 18 minutes) in his Young Rabbits age group. Chris finished fourth in his age group with a time under 20 minutes. The lead group of “Donna” runners did well.
Encouraging smiles and boundless enthusiasm filled Metro Park. This was a special morning and we all embraced the cause with a strong, collective purpose.
I'm hanging at the halfway mark in fundraising.
Don't show up late!
Please keep the donations coming.
We run 23 miles Saturday, October 28.
I hope you enjoy the photos.