In honor of Cady, her parents have been advocates non-distracted drivers ever since. Primarily, they focus on teenagers being distracted (texting, on the phone, music too loud, etc.) Their annual fundraiser is a race/walk that they hold around the anniversary of her accident. One of my students was best friends with Cady. It also turns out that Cady's youngest brother was in KidDoodle 1's preschool this year. Needless to say, this event was important to us. If you're interested in more information about the organization, click here.
Now, on to the race report:
KidDoodle 2 and I go to pick up our packets the day before. The pickup is at the family's house, and they've got it down to a science. It's almost a drive-thru sort of thing. Roll down your window, give them your name, and you get your registration and t-shirts. Pretty smart. No bib number, but I figured that. This race is going to be pretty informal, but no less important.
The day of the race, it was absolutely beautiful outside. Lower 70's with a slight breeze off of the lake (yes, we have lakes in Nebraska). There are a lot more people than I expected, too and there was a lot of orange. It turns out that was Cady's favorite color. Very cool to see that. I move away from the crowds so that I can stretch out and get ready. Like I said, really informal but I still want to do my routine before a run. While I'm stretching, 2 of my students (one former, one current) see me there. They give me a weak attempt at smack and the former student is a little over-competitive, so NOW I have something to shoot for.
The race director (a.k.a. - Cady's dad) tells us the route we're taking and then, as an aside, tells us that it's not really a 5 mile run, but a little less than that. No big deal. I look for my students at the starting line, but can't see them. When the director says "go", I'm off...but I'm stuck behind some people. Ah, it's nice to know no matter how big or small the race, there are still "those people". I negotiate my way around them and find my pace. Once I settle in, though, my 2 students blaze past me. Well, hell, that ain't gonna do. I pick up my pace - not to pass them - but to keep them in my crosshairs. I look at my Garmin and this is setting me up for a tempo run. Not only that, but - as I keep a comfortable distance - we go from a 7:45/mile to an 8:20/mile pace. They're all over the map. I know that they know I'm behind them. Stalker. There's no way they can keep this up. Sure enough, around 1.5 miles, they stop to rest....and they are gassed. In the imortal words of Nelson in The Simpsons:
So now that I've passed them, my plan is twofold:
- Don't let them catch up.
- Don't stop to rest
I follow her for about 150 yards, make the turn and she starts her kick. As luck would have it, Lose Yourself comes on the iPod shuffle. It's on now. I overtake her and manage to place 3rd-ish (out of about 40-ish) I know I won my age division, so I'll go hang my hat on that.
P.S. - My students came in at least 15 minutes behind me.
It was a great day for a great cause and I hope that they raised a lot of money for their efforts. I know that this will be an annual event for the RazZDoodles.
*Editor's Note - Oh yeah, my kids and wife did the walk. I forgot about them. KidDoodle 1 was planning on running the 1 miler, but opted not to. KidDoodle 2 was just along for the ride. WifeDoodle had to push the stroller on a mainly limestone path. She got a workout for the day, though.