My First Ever 5K

The Healthy Tri-State 5K run this past Saturday proved a milestone for Tony.

Fun and Friends at My First 5K

Exercise has been a staple in my life for 50 something years. From the days of crawling in the crib wearing diapers, to those youthful 10 mile skates on my favorite rink, to present day golf games where I carry my clubs for 18 holes even in summer heat, my body has craved exercise.

So when I decided to join in the first Healthy Tri-State 5K run this past Saturday, there was little doubt in my mind that would I be able to run without stopping for the “entire 5 K”!

So it was on a misty and murky day that I joined one-hundred and seventy Tri-State running fanatics in a salute to fitness. This being my first ever timed distance run I had reservations. Would people laugh at me for being a “slow-poke”? No! Would I be sucking air after 1K? Yes!

As we left the pavilion area of the Barboursville Community park at 8 am sharp, our initial jaunt took us away from the Lake William on a gradual ascent toward the ball fields. I thought to myself how I could be sleeping late on Saturday morning!

Run coordinator Mary West, of YMCA fame and quite possibly the fittest woman on the planet, encouraged all participants as the first K passed. “Nice job Tony”, her convincing words reverberated!

As we wound our way thru the spacious park, my mind wandered as it always does when I commune with nature. My thoughts ranged from the sublime (how majestic even a gloomy spring day can be) to the ridiculous (maybe someday I can do the Boston Marathon).

Speaking of Bean Town, about 2 K into the race the course took a decided turn upward. Suddenly the slope of the course turned steeply as B-Ville’s version of Heartbreak Hill (Newtown Mass, some 15 miles into the Boston Marathon) stared runners squarely in the face.

While I mastered the hill with just a bit of extra sweat, the turn back to home base was filled with a negative thought; namely, I am only half way there!

As I worked my way steadily back toward the ball fields, I noticed an unmanned water table no longer had filled cups of water. Convinced that there would be other chances to accomplish my goal of running the 5K uninterrupted, I stopped to fill water cups for those who would soon pass.

I waited/rested for 15 minutes as the last of the contestants passed then I linked up with a few of the 5K walkers. Marlo Pierson and Linda McCarthy Bailey would be my escorts as I concluded my first ever 5K.

We wound our way back toward the pavilion where we started then made a complete loop around the lake. Along the way, anglers were busy fishing for catfish and bass as our first peak of sun of the morning shone thru the clouds. My shirt was now drenched in a fittting salute to the morning humidity!

An hour after I started, the 5K (3.2 miles) was history and I felt a sense of accomplishment. Sure I had not run the course as planned, but I had made two new friends. My next 5K would have to be the one to prove just how good-a-shape I am really in.
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