Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stay Strong - SAM Strong! Sam Strong 5k Race Report

I did something today that I’ve never done before – I RAN an entire 5k. Yes, I RAN the entire thing! Okay, so water stops don’t count!

After working so hard with Couch to 5k, and pushing my limits on my long Sunday runs, I thought that I was ready to do this.

I headed out for Newberry, bright and early, ready to get this done!  I knew NOTHING about Sam, or Duchenne, or anything else – I was there for the bling.

Packet Pickup was inside Newberry Elementary School.

Newberry High School
I got my bib and goodies and threw them in the car, then headed back in to use the little girls’ room.

Sure beats Porta-Potties!
I walked around a bit before the race, since I was actually early!

There was a bounce house for kids. 

Captain America over there on the right
There were a LOT of Silent Auction baskets set out (none of them appealed to me). 

Everything was donated by the community
Fit-2-Run was there as well.

Fit-2-Run, always trying to sign you up for free shoes
There was a speech at the start line, about Sam and his life and how awesome he is, and then we were set free, it was GO time.

Middle of the pack view
I ‘took off’ slowly, not wanting to tire myself out.  Mile 1 seemed to come quickly.

Mile 1 already?
I was pacing these two little girls (well, they were pacing me, I think) and they didn’t seem to grasp how AWESOME I was. I was RUNNING the WHOLE THING!

Walk faster, that awesome chick in the skirt is behind us...
Mile 2 showed up and I was blown away at myself – I was STILL running! I was hot as hell, but I was still trotting!

OMG - I'm 2/3 of the way done and STILL running!
Okay, so I didn’t run the WHOLE thing – I did stop to take this photo. It struck a nerve this time (and I’ve seen signs like this a lot). But then I began running again. There’s no stopping me now!

I always COULD run, but I wasted the gift for too long
The finish line was in sight, and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” spurred me on towards the finish. I was cheered in with Newberry High cheerleaders.

And yet, I still don't like cheerleaders.
Not to be outdone, I celebrated my finish with Thor!  Man, this kid had some ENERGY!

I think we were dancing. Not too sure about this one.
My official time?  50:43. Ouch. NOT my slowest time, though!  Way back in 2012, my FAM time was 51:00!  I beat 18 people (out of 161 total runners). 

After my awesome finish, I celebrated with a free sno-cone (okay, I won’t lie – sno-coneS. Plural. I think I had 3. I love sno-cones!)

Nectar of the Gods - Cherry Sno-Cones
Throughout the race, there was a DJ playing good music (and wholesome music, not crap, either).  Once everyone came through the finish, he began playing line dances, like Cha Cha Slide, and well, this 37-year-old mom learned how to Cha Cha!   

Two hops this time
While there is no video of ME dancing, I did attach a clip of SAM dancing with everyone. He taught me, pretty much at this moment, that you are only limited by what you refuse to do. Kid in a wheelchair? Dancing!


Because Sam liked super heroes so much – his whole race was super hero themed, obviously! – there was even a costume contest. I saw lots of folks in Wal-Mart shirts that had capes, but there was a straight-up Captain America, a Wolverine, and of course, Thor.  Thor won, and no win could have been more deserved!  He was upbeat the entire time, dancing like a maniac and cheering for everyone. That kid is a good future ahead of him, if he keeps up that attitude!

I'm not sure whose smile is bigger?
Sadly though, it was time to head out, so I took my 3rd sno-cone to go and piled in to the car. I’d never been to Newberry before, so I set out to do some exploring. It took about 3 minutes before I hit the edge of town, so I turned around and ended up getting stuck on the main drag, waiting for a train to go by. 

Blain is a pain, and that is the truth
I think we were there for almost 10 minutes!  Traffic backed up quite a bit behind me.

I guess that truck gave up
Once home, I checked out some of my swag. I got a medal and a cool sticker.

Simple but pretty medal
I got a small Campus USA first aid bag (I love these!). 

Ziploc bag filled with runner's first aid stuffs
Antacid, Tylenol, Mints, Bandaids, Wet Ones - all good stuff!
And I got this letter, from the family of Sam.  I thought it was very touching.

I think I will definitely do this next year!