Sunday, June 22, 2014

#16 - Laughing at my Nightmare

My usual goal when racing is to either finish under 30 minutes or just finish. This time, I aimed to beat my personal record (PR) of 27:36.  With the forecast of a clear 65F morning, together with the slightly hilly terrain, and asphalt road, I felt I had a very good chance.

There was a multitude of races scheduled for Saturday, June 21, 2014 but I chose to join this one because I had a good laugh when I visited the organizer's website,  I made the right choice because I ended up enjoying it for many reasons.  For example, read the text on the shirt (click image to see big letters).

I did not expect to see so many participants.  I'm guessing at least 175 runners and walkers lined up in the parking lot of the East Hills Moravian Church at 1830 Butztown Road in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Volunteers efficiently registered people.  I was able to get my bib and shirt in only about  2 seconds because they pre-packaged everything into a neat bag.

After the 1st mile
Everyone was off and running at 9:00 AM. I found myself going too fast too early again. I always need to remind myself not to get sucked into that initial rush. Always remember to save your energy for the last leg and finish strong.

We ran around residential areas and 2 schools.  Aside from the 10 yards of grass on one of the school's soccer fields, the surface was mostly asphalt.  As opposed to signs posted on trees or on the road, people held up the kilometer markers.  Halfway through the course, volunteers also handed out water. 

Nearing the finish line, I could see the clock display 26 minutes and something seconds.  Only 50 yards left and I heard the crowd cheer.  A young boy, probably 12 years old, passed by me and shot me a quick smile. I smiled back. I finished in 27:40 - 5 seconds shy of a new PR .  In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have taken all these photos while running, but then, this post wouldn't be as colorful.

No PR today, but I did take 2nd place in the 40-49 women's group.  

Shane delivers closing speech with his dad.
This was the 2nd annual 5K organized by the Laughing at my Nightmare Inc., a foundation organized by 2014 Moravian College graduate, Shane Burcaw, to support the fight against muscular dystrophy (a condition he himself lives through).

I enjoyed this event for many reasons. First, they awarded me with a shiny medal. Second, they let me bring home as much bananas as I could carry. And most importantly, Shane inspired me.  Shane's closing speech reminded me that if I took another look at my troubles, I would be able to see that there's really a lot more to be thankful for than to complain.  Shane does it everyday.  He's able to make fun light of his situation, such that he can write about it. So, why can't I?

Shane is writing a book that's due to come out in October this year.  I'm looking forward to getting my own copy.

About the race

Clockwise:  course map, human mile markers, elevation history
Location1830 Butztown Road in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Date and Time: Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 9 am

Course: rolling, asphalt 

Shirt:  Cotton

Runners: 175 (approx)


Post Race Food: bananas and water

Prizes for different age and gender groups

Organizers website

Results were available immediately after the race. Online version will be available Monday after the race according to the timers website

More pictures

Getting ready to start

1st mile

Volunteers handing out water

Around the schools

2nd kilometer

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