Yesterday was my second turn at Race For Life and it was a great day! I think there were twice the amount of people this year over last year. The weather, for all it did rain on us for about ten minutes, was sandwiched between glorious bright sunshine.
My plan was to run the 5K and get back home fast for other family meeting this afternoon, but dipshit that I am: I got the wrong time. So rather than kicking off with the runners at 11:00, I was stuck with the walkers at 11:30. That'll teach me to re-verify my details. But it was blessing in disguise as I had brought my camera with me and spent a lot of time walking among the crowd and snapping photos and taking video...which later I lost because my of fat thumb pushing the "Sure format my disk!" button instead of taking the photo I wanted. Gutted! But many of the pictures from the last part of the race were saved. I did run about half of it when there was plenty of space to maneuver on the outside.
Almost immediately I was holding back my emotions and fighting tears. As I walked with the crowd of a thousand I couldn't help read the dedications on everyone's backs. People who've died from cancer, people who've survived. Grannies, uncles, husbands and children. You see their pictures of when they were smiling and happy and know they're gone. It was hard to get caught up in the great spirit of the walk when the undercurrent of loss was right there in front of all of us. Some of these people only passed away a couple months ago. One read "For my best friend, diagnosed two weeks ago," and I wanted to put my hand on her shoulder and give a supportive squeeze, but it's not the thing we do, we walk on. And we did - nearly 3000 of us.
Constant music, lots of supportive applause from the sidelines, lots of laughing and folks in costume keeping the energy of the event high and light. I loved those people.
I finished in under a half an hour - how I have no clue as I said I was half walking, so I must have ran more than I thought. I got my medal and bag of freebies - including brown lipliner, Yuck! I thought that just eaten a chocolate cake look was over with? and headed out because we had to collect Shorty from a birthday party and then go to my in-laws for late lunch. Such a busy day, but those images and the feeling of the day will stick with me for a while. I'm looking forward to it in 2009. Running this time! Click continued for pictures...