“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Dash For Donation 5K Recap

Race: Lifeline Ohio's Dash for Donation 5K
Distance:  3.1 miles
Date:  July 13, 2013, 8:30 am
Finish time:  28:40
What sets this race apart:  The Team Challenge and the stories

A friend of mine, Fred, that runs with my large running group received two life saving organs from a complete stranger in 2001.  Each year, he runs this 5K as a tribute to the donor and the donor family.  In recent years, he has participated as part of the Team Challenge for the event.  This year, our team, Team Superman, had 81 official members!  We ordered Superman tech t-shirts and went out to run the race in support of Fred and Rob (his donor). 
Me and Fred pre-race
During our pre-race team photo meet-up, Fred introduced the team to Rob's family that had come down for the event.  I admit I got a little teary eyed (believe it or not - I can be quite an emotional sap at times).  Below is the video we made during the meet-up to post on Lifeline Ohio's page.

After soliciting opinions from all of you, and with the hiking and mountain training taking it's toll, I'd decided that I was going to run this 5K for fun.  A no-stress kind of race.  My friend Sarah met me at my house to drive down together.  All week it had been rainy and humid, making the "fun" choice easier.  That morning, it was cool and dry as we drove to the race.  During warm-up, I briefly considered racing it, but mentally I had already committed to running for fun and I was enjoying the complete lack of stress.

We did manage to convince my friend Sarah that she should try for her sub-30 if she felt good.  My running wife and I agreed to pace her and distract her.  I could completely relate to her pre-race nerves, and tried to help keep her distracted and grounded as we watched the kid race, complete with mascots, and the 1K fun run/walk.  
Sarah, me, Laurie and Lynne enjoying the pre-race atmosphere
The first mile started with a generous downhill, so we got off to a quick start.  Once we finished the downhill, I urged us to settle in and tried to come up with some fun Avery stories neither of them had heard yet.  (I was running with my best friend and my running wife, this is tougher than it might seem!).  I got Lynne to tell some work stories too.  I think my favorite part during this first mile was when Sarah spoke in a full paragraph and I said "that was a whole paragraph, you can run faster."  HAHAHA!  And yes, she called me a colorful name.  :D

The second mile had both up and downhills as the course went around the Scioto mile area.  I told Sarah the "chugga-chugga" trick for getting up the hills, and I think everyone around us wanted to know who brought the crazy chick out to the race.  I think somewhere in this mile is where I took Sarah's handheld from her and carried it for her.  See - proof I can be nice too!  

The third mile was more of the same as we wound through downtown.  I talked Sarah into pushing up the hills and allowing herself to recover without overdoing the speed on the downhills.  She kept TALKING about calling me all kinds of names, but I think she talked about it more than she actually did it.  That's love right there.

As we got close enough to see the finish line, I picked an arbitrary point and told Sarah that we were sprinting when we got there.  Even though a sprint wasn't necessary to get her the sub-30 at this point (that's how amazing she was doing), I told her "let's set a PR that will be hard to break."  Maybe I should go into motivational speaking?  LOL.

Throughout the race - I tried to walk the line of making Sarah smile, but not laugh (so as to not make things harder).  I may have even called her ass cute at one point.  What did this mean for my race?  I had the MOST fun that I have EVER had at a 5K.  After Sarah rocked out the finish with a blistering sprint and KILLED her previous PR by almost 5 minutes, I was on an emotional cloud nine.  It was as though I had run some kind of crazy PR or something.  I smiled, laughed and was giddy about it the rest of the day.  I don't think I can truly share how incredibly happy I was for her.  I knew she could run a sub-30 5K, but to be at her side as she crossed the finished line in 28:40???  Perfect, just perfect.
We're SUPER!
After the finish, Sarah and Lynne hung out while I ran backwards on the course cheering on the rest of Team Superman to get in my extra 3 miles.  It was so much fun to cheer them, and somewhat emotional seeing the other teams and the photos of other donor heroes.

Even though I only ran 6.67 miles for the day, it's been one of my favorite running Saturdays all summer.  I mean, she KILLED it.


  1. WOW!! That's an incredible time- and 5 minutes off her pr? Amazing!

  2. Races like that can be so satisfying. Sometimes it's good to have it not about ourselves, but support/coach a friend on. Best feeling ever :)

  3. Umm, I might have gotten a little teary just now. Thanks for you help (and just being my friend)!

  4. What a lovely memory!

    P.S. Love your superman shirts! :)

  5. You probably don't remember that guy Kurt who helped me PR at the Detroit Marathon last year, but that's what this story reminded me of (except this is even better because you're such good friends). Congratulations to Sarah (and to you for having so much fun).


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