So there is a ladies walking group I meet up with on Mondays and Thursdays. We walk a loop that’s about 2-1/4 miles at varying paces. Some of us got together for this year’s Wilma Dash. This benefits the Pretty in Pink Foundation which helps women in their battles against breast cancer. The slogan for the 5-K is “It’s not always about who crosses the finish line first, but crossing it with style!”
Most runners/walkers were in groups representing their companies, churches, neighborhoods, or just friendships. There were pink frilly tutus, yellow frothy tutus, gaudy 5″ high sequined tiaras, more tasteful rhinestone-studded ones, t-shirts emblazoned with quotes, slogans and catchy phrases (S.W.A.T.T.– Sprinters, Walkers and Trash-talkers), stetsons, floppy beach hats and gilded visors. There was even a funky chicken. I cannot imagine how hot it must have been in that suit. A field of over 800 runners and walkers, all crammed on Water Street beneath a billowy starting gate.
At the sound of the fog horn this human mosaic began moving as one, then separating, then emerging individually up the first challenging hill. Women who successfully battled cancer and won. Women who ran for those who could not. Women who ran for those who ran for them when they could not. Women with strollers, moms for fitness with children and without them, any age imaginable, everyone in the bright hot sun enjoying every moment. Cheering along the street sides were husbands, boyfriends, families, bystanders, and one guy with a mobile set of drums making up happy lyrics as each wave of women passed.
I usually run or walk with my rescue dog Lily every morning before sunrise for a couple of miles. A 5-K is only about 3.1 miles, how much harder could it be?
In the blazing hot sun, up and down gently rolling hills, along cobbled streets it turns out, a lot harder. Well, harder than I thought. Some women sheepishly taking shortcuts across city blocks, I pressed on, breaking stride now and then to walk 20-30-40 feet and catch my breath. then running, more sweat than I imagined I could ever lose pouring down under my baseball-capped face. Feeling better noticing other women with the same results.
38:52, final time. Probably shameful but I am very proud of that time….
I can’t wait till next year!