Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket 5K Recap
This Race is dedicated to Kevin Carter
I heard about the Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket 5K from my weekly Active.com email. The name and location of Columbus, OH caught my eye. I went on goldjacket5K.com and saw how awesome the medal was, and penciled the race on my calendar.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve been going through some difficult times with my Best Friend fighting for his life in ICU. I was nervous about leaving Louisville and his condition worsening. My gut told me to go ahead and run a race I was really looking forward to.
Besides faith and prayer, running has been my escape from the stress. No days off in the heat and humidity just to give my mind positive energy to deal with the challenges coming from different directions. I made my mind up to be happy regardless of the chaos.
My oldest foster daughter was away with her Mom for the weekend, so it was just LeeAnna and I on a quick road trip to Columbus, OH. We stopped in Hebron, KY for the Gap distribution Center and followed 71 N all the way to Second Sole in Gahanna for packet pick up.
The medals and age group awards were on display. I was pleased with the black and gold shirt and design. After we checked into the hotel we stepped out for pizza at Taranto’s. The service and pizza were both amazing.
LeeAnna and I laughed all evening as I tried to finish up my Rock ‘n Sole recap. I got a call that my Best Friend was doing much better and able to communicate with simple gestures.
The race started at 8am from the Second Sole location. It was sunny and 74 degrees. The course was down and out with a water stop at the half way point. We ran along N Hamilton Road at the start. LeeAnna was by my side, and there was a young lady who passed us. She was running at a nice pace. There were about 6 men ahead of us.
As we turned into the subdivision off Beecher Road, I passed a young man and I noticed the first woman was losing her pace. We turned into the campus of Columbus Academy. This must be a very prestigious school. A half day of Pre-K is 10 grand and high school tuition is 22K. I was happy to be in a shaded area as I ran tangents on the curves. It was on one of those tangents where I took the lead for 1st place overall female.
I told myself not to celebrate anything yet. The humidity was kicking my butt and I never underestimate the ability of others. I didn’t know who was behind me, and I wouldn’t dare turn to look. I would peep the competition at the turn around.
There was a group of 3 men running together, and I was a few strides behind them. At the turn around I saw another woman who was about 20 seconds behind and the #3 and #4 women. Near mile 2, I spotted L and she yelled my name. I gave her a thumbs up as I passed another man. I knew I was holding a serious pace because I couldn’t hear any breathing behind me.
I told myself “Go!”
Coming out the subdivision and back onto Hamilton Rd, there was a slight incline. Hill repeats from spring marathon training gave me the confidence to power up and over. There was a straight shot to Second Sole. I was on the heels of the 3 guys and one of them took off so I wouldn’t pass him. No other woman caught up to me, and I finished 1st place woman overall.
I stood along the course to chat with runners who traveled from nearby states for the medal. I spotted LeeAnna and yelled her name. She got into beast mode as I coached her to the finish.
Awards were announced at 9:05 and she was elated to win 3rd place in her age group.
This is where it gets tricky. The online results listed my time at 20:09. I believe this is a minute faster because my Garmin registered 21:09 which is 10 seconds away from my 5K personal record. I was 5th place overall out of 187 runners.
We drove back after a hearty meal at IHOP and went straight to the hospital to show off our bling. Kevin gave us high 5s. I am so glad I followed my heart to do this race for both me and LeeAnna. This was her first experience hearing her name called for a running award. If I let worry consume me to stay in Louisville, I would have missed my blessing. This serves as a reminder that I am on the right track in life and doing right by those I love, especially Kevin.