We got to the race a little early and ran into Dan from the running store - got to give him a big hug and check in with how he was doing...a bit surreal to be at a race benefiting firefighters just two days after a fire had impacted our friends so much. We also saw his wife, Janine, and chatted with her a bit. She was actually planning on running the race! But, she's a fast runner, and her theory was that the faster she ran, the sooner she'd get out of the sun. Good point - but we were still going to walk, especially since we'd already run three miles that morning - yes, on top of our one mile walking warm up, plus the three mile run, we were adding another three miles. Which didn't seem like a big deal - after all, it's just walking, right?
Well, it was walking, sure - but walking on blacktop, with the sun both beating down and reflecting back up at us. Even though I had sunscreen on, I could feel my legs burning. And walking takes more time than running, so we were out there for about 55 minutes - yes, we were messing around taking pictures and we took a little detour to show Jeff one thing that the course wasn't going by this year, but still...if they hold this race at this time again next year, all they'll be getting from me is a donation.
Here's some pictures from our 88-degree 5K walk:
Crowds beforehand - quite a difference from the previous year.
Jeff and I pre-race - my running buddy Jenny was one of the race photographers, so she had us pose at the backdrop. Naturally after she took our picture with her fancy camera and gigantic zoom lens, I handed her my iPhone for this shot. I'm sure there's no difference, haha!
The race is held at the Brayton Fire Training Field, where firefighters from all over come to train. This was one building that they use - it's weird to see many buildings with scorch marks on them, but they really do light them on fire so the firefighters can practice extinguishing them.
No particular reason for including this picture other than showing you Amy's swagger walk.
Amy and I climbed on the rubble of the Disaster City sign for this picture.
Callous Jeff and Amy taking a cursory glance at the school bus disaster, not even going over to help!
Where else can you take a picture near "Rubble Pile 1" but at Disaster City?
This is where we veered off the course a bit - last year we ran by the "collapsed parking garage" but didn't this year, so we had to show Jeff. See the car there? Firefighters train for so many different scenarios. I'm just glad they are willing to go rescue people when disasters happen.
Train derailment. Again, Jeff and Amy don't seem all that concerned. I worry about them...
Afterward - we were hot, sweaty and thirsty! They had ice-cold bottles of Gatorade waiting for us and I swear, it was the best Gatorade I've ever had.
They also had fresh strawberries after the race - I felt like my body was as red as the strawberry, but I guess it really wasn't. Very nice post-race treat, especially in that heat!
Part-way through the race, we were behind a group of people, and I realized that one was a survivor from the fire last year - he was still wearing compression sleeves on his arms, and his hand were missing some fingers. Yes, we were experiencing discomfort during that race, but it was only for a short time and we knew that it would be over soon - it was nothing compared to what this firefighter, and the other survivor, have had to deal with for the last year, and will continue to deal with. It sure brought everything into perspective very quickly for me.