We had a great time on August 26 running the Officers Down 5K. This was the first year for our community to host this event. Here is their mission from their website:
It is our mission as The Officers Down 5K to celebrate officers who put their lives on the line daily to keep our communities safe and honor those who have fallen in the line of duty. While officers give to the community on a daily basis, it is now our time to give back.
Officers Down 5K was founded in 2011 with a goal to bring the community together on “just a day” rather than just when an officer is killed, to show support to the men and women in blue.
The race did not start until 10:00 am, so packet pickup was the morning of the race. This was a disappointment. I prefer to pick up my packet the day before so that I have everything, including my bib, ready to go before the race. Packet pickup also is usually near the actual event, so that gives me a chance to preview the race route. Instead, a friend and I made a special trip out the day before the race to preview the route. It reminded me of the last race we did on July 4, so I felt like I really knew what to expect.
Since the race had a late start, I was able to get up on race day and eat a full breakfast! After breakfast, I got ready for the race and went ahead and headed down to the event. I arrived by 8:30, and decided to do some walking before the race. I’ve been walking lately before my runs and I do think it makes a difference. The event took place in a large parking lot, so I made several laps around. After 9:00 rolled around, more people and friends and relatives started arriving, so we congregated and chit chatted.
The opening ceremonies began with the Star Spangled banner. Then there was the kids’ fun run. Once the kids were done, it was our turn.
The race was a simple out and back, which I like. At least on the way back, you have a good sense of how far you’ve gone and how far you have to go. I immediately noticed that their mile markers seemed to be a little long. Whether or not that would effect the entire race, I didn’t know. I’ve participated in races where the mile markers were off, but the entire course overall was accurate.
Fortunately for us, we have had a mild summer, and particularly the last month. It was 65 degrees when I got up and about 70 degrees when the race started. That is unheard of this time of the year. Often in August, we don’t see 70 degrees, not even as a low for the day.
Unfortunately, with the race starting at 10:00, that put the sun right overhead bearing down on us. It made the run very warm, but tolerable. Besides that, it was a typical city-street run with your gradual hills rolling up and down.
Since this race was not timed, and the course seemed to be long, I kept an eye on my pace and my time. At the 3.1 mile mark, my time was 40:55, which is what I’m recording for this race. This would be an unofficial PR for me! My average pace overall was 13:08, which is very good for this old, slow lady. (Let’s not mention that there were officers running in full uniform that finished long before I did!)
All participants received finishers’ medals. After the race we were given sack lunches from two different local restaurants! There was a raffle for some gear, and we got to see a K-9 demonstration. We also got some really cool swag at packet pick up.
With the damage from Hurricane Harvey there’s a lot of focus on giving and donating to good causes. Participating in some kind of run each month, regardless of the distance, is a great way to give to causes you deem worthy. That’s why you won’t see me doing “fun runs.” Some months have more runs to choose from than others, but I try to choose runs that benefit organizations that I am comfortable giving to.
But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:3-4