Sunday, September 11, 2011

2011 GLASA Twilight 5K

I was excited to return to the GLASA Twilight 5K on Saturday evening. Last year, I was able to finish second in my division while completing the 3.1 mile run in 27:30. This year, I hoped to break 25:00. Sharon Bielski, a young woman who had never guided a runner who is blind, was my guide for the event in Lake Forest. I met Sharon for the first time an hour before the event. One of my favorite parts about this race is that it is the only one which my parents have attended each time I have run it. So on a yearly basis, it is the only race in which they see me run. This year, my dad decided to run in it too. He does not train. He is not use to running, but he insisted he could complete it along the way, he could beat me. Although my dad does not train, he use to be a running, cyclying, and basketball star in his home town when he was a teen. When I was too young to remember or participate, he would take the kids to the park each Saturday morning to engage in various athletic activities. Mostly, my siblings ran. Over the years, my siblings competed in various sports and more recently, each one of them has done at least one 5K race. A couple of them have done many more. In addition, my nieces and nephews have started gaining interest in running with a couple of the younger kids wanting to follow in uncle Israel's footsteps and race triathlons.

I was excited for my dad, but also a bit nervous. I was worried whether his body could handle 3.1 miles. I was worried that he could indeed beat me. After all, on any given day with the right conditions or chain of events, the best "team" may lose. What if the conditions, footing, or destiny smiled on him and he did stun me by crossing the finish first? The Twilight 5K had what felt like its largest field. In fact, the race was delayed by ten minutes as there was a huge race day registeration walk-up crowd. After the military tribute and the moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 in NYC, DC, and outside of Pittsburgh, it was time to go. The horn sounded. Sharon and I made our way through a field which included World War II vets, high school track teams, and five year old boys and girls. As I remember the course, it is a fast flat course. Only, this year it was not. It was filled with uphills and long inclines. Still, we moved. By the first mile, we were rolling at a 8:30 pace. My dad who planted himself behind us prepared to have me set the pace all the way through until bolting out ahead in the final sprint, was not around. Fairly early in this race, we had been moving at a pace which he found comfortable and he stayed with us a short distance behind, but by the time we reached the first mile, Sharon and I had stepped on the gas and opened up a gap which he could never close. We coasted by the second mile marker at 17:10 and we were on our way to the final mile. At this pace, we would not break twenty-five minutes. Sharon asked if I wanted to push it a bit, but we maintained our speed. At times, we would, but for the most part, we reamined very calculated throughout the race. In fact, we only truly picked it up for a longer than normal stretch as we entered the final shoot sprinting and high stepping across the finish line. As of this, I do not know our official time, but although we probably did not break twenty-five minutes, I was very happy with our run. I truly enjoyed running with Sharon. Thank you Sharon for the opportunity and experience to run with you at this race. I hope we will get a chance to run more races together. She is a ture guiding pro!

Congratulations to my dad who pushed his body and completed the 5K with a nice sprint to the finish. He probably finished in about thirty minutes. He was spectacular. Now, he has stated that he plans to train some in the future so that he will run the GLASA 5K next year and that time he promises to go all out and beat me and any other family member who wishes to register and challenge him.

No comments:

Post a Comment