Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 Run For Remembrance 5K Recap!

 
On Saturday, Amy, Jeff and I, along with about 300 others, participated in the second annual Run For Remembrance 5K.  This race was held last year shortly after a local fire left two firefighters dead and two others severely burned.  I was glad to see the race continuing this year, but appalled at the start time - 5:00 pm.  In May.  It's pretty warm here by May, so for that reason, I decided not to run the race.  But then, about 10 days before the race, the organizers posted on their Facebook page that they were up to 100 entries - yikes.  Last year, they had well over 1,000 entries.  So Amy, Jeff and I decided to sign up and walk it - we may be soft-hearted, but we're not crazy.

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. 

24 comments:

  1. Love the reason for this race! And totally get it why you walked it instead of running it. You know I suck at running in the heat and that's the Dutch heat that's nothing compared to yours.

    And under an hour is quick, I am a bit slower when Bella and I walk but I stop a lot for photos and for Bella who wants to sniff all the smells :)

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    1. Bella would have had a field day out here! I can take some heat when I run, but not those temps, nor the sun. That's why we're vampire runners, out in the early morning before the sun rises, lol!

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  2. It's taken years to perfect my swagger walk.

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    1. I busted a gut laughing when I uploaded the pictures and saw that...I could almost hear theme music going with your swagger walk!!

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  3. I've driven past Brayton often back when we lived there. There's such a big sense of community there - loved it! I'm glad to see it continues on.

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    1. HUGE community, indeed. Cool that you've seen it!

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  4. They did it at 5PM in the heat so you can identify and empathize with the heat the firefighters have to deal with!!! LOL

    Good job!

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    1. Interesting thought, but I suspect they picked the day and then realized it was A&M's graduation, so they tried to work around that...which really didn't make any sense as the graduates wouldn't have been running this race anyway. Really just needed to be on a different day, in the morning.

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  5. Maybe you should suggest to the organizers to have the race much earlier. It's so weird to me that it is so hot at 5pm in May, when I still might be wearing a light jacket!

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    1. I was surprised when I went to packet pickup and found out that the head organizer is a runner (with the other running club in town) - what was she thinking?

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  6. Did the course take place on a firefighter training ground? Even though it was hot and there weren't as many participants, the victims were probably glad to see that you came out to give your support!

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    1. It did, and the organizers were very gracious in thanking everyone repeatedly for the support.

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  7. What a great event! And how cool that it goes around their training facility - I would love to see something like that!

    LOL, I was going to say the same thing as MaryFran - I wonder if that IS why they have it at 5:00 pm.

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    1. This is definitely the most different race course I've ever done! Very interesting, indeed.

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  8. Good for you - getting out there in the heat and for a great cause.

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  9. 5pm is such an odd start time! I think we have a Halloween race that starts at about that time, but typically our evening races start at 6:30 or 7 (or even later), when it's cooling off. It actually got up to 90 here last week, and will again today, so I totally sympathize with you guys walking in that kind of heat!

    That's a neat course though, I'd totally walk that (or run without "racing") just to check everything out and take pictures.

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    1. The day after, I was walking across a store parking lot with my youngest - it was just as hot, and I said, as we hurried into the cool of the store "now stay out here and walk around for 3 miles" - yes, it's hot here in Texas, but I usually don't stay out in it for that long.

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  10. 88 degrees--eeeek! But good for you for doing it for such a good cause. Your story about the firefighter in front of you was really touching.

    Loved seeing all the pictures. Who knew they had such a place? I know several firefighters. I wonder if they've been there?

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    1. I bet your firefighter friends have been there. It's pretty famous. Did I tell you that when I first moved here, I kept thinking that there were a lot of fires because I saw smoke so often? Turns out it was this place!

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  11. Wow, that does put it into perspective doesn't it! My Dad burned his hand trying to light the pilot light on our furnace when we were little, burned his whole arm to 3rd degree burns, I've never to this day heard anyone yell with pain like that before.

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  12. I agree with Lori! Just because firefighters work in hot, hot heat doesn't mean runners honoring them should run in it. Email the organizer and ask them to consider making it a morning race. Not that it will bring it back to 1000 runners (first year empathy) but it might make more people consider it!

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  13. Wonderful photos of a wonderful event!!!!!!

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