Saturday, October 14, was the 4th Annual Kyleigh’s Gift 5K run/3K walk. Proceeds from the race go to support infant wellness education and parental support. One of the things they do is give a sleep sack to each newborn at our local hospital.
The race was set to start at 5:00, and so were severe thunderstorms for our area. There was also a candlelight ceremony scheduled at 6:30 to recognize National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Before the race and/or before the ceremony, you could decorate a luminary. Everything was originally planned to be held outside but got moved to indoors due to the severe weather we were expecting.
All of the events took place at the hospital with the race going through the parking lot, down a road less traveled, and then on a walking trail that goes through part of the hospital grounds. We were told it was one lap for the 3K, and two laps for the 5K (must be that new math). Since I’m still recovering from my ankle sprain, I registered for the 3K. I knew I could walk that distance. My friends, however, registered for the 5K.
Everyone was mulling around waiting for the race to begin. So far it was dry, but it was gray and we could hear thunder, so it was evident that bad weather was approaching. Finally, at 4:45, the race director said that they were going to go ahead and start the race since the bad weather was supposed to arrive at about 5:30. He made it clear that only those comfortable with being outdoors with severe weather approaching should proceed.
The horn blew and we were off–runners first and walkers behind. It soon became evident that we were running/walking right towards a thunderstorm. Lightening was very close. A lot of people turned around and went back after traveling less than 50 yards, especially those with children.
I set my tabata timer for 10 seconds work/running and 30 seconds rest/walking and planned to use that for at least part of the race. However, there were times when I thought that I felt good, so I went ahead and ran a little longer. I continued to run/walk and it soon began to rain.
Once I reached the paved trail, the wet surface was slick, so I decided I would have to walk the rest of the way. I tried running beside the trail where the grass had been trimmed, but it was too uneven for my ankle. It was not a risk I was willing to take. I had to slow way down and watch my step on the trail.
After going a short distance on the trail, a race official in a golf cart pulled up beside me. He said they were calling all the runners/walkers in due to the weather and that he wanted me to take the first entrance into the parking garage that I could. The weather wasn’t horrible yet, but it looked like it could get that way in an instant. I had gone 1.3 miles.
By the time I made it through the parking garage and up a few levels, the storm was here. People were being encourage to go inside. Within a few minutes the wind was blowing and tents and speakers were going everywhere.
Once inside, we waited. We watched the rain come down and the wind blow. We chatted and took a few pictures with our friends. We gladly ate some of the snacks that were provided. The electricity went out a few times, and the water rushed into the building under the doors. It was good to be indoors and to be safe.
We would not realize the full extent of the damage until later. Parts of town had utility polls snapped in half. Many were without electricity and wouldn’t have power for a few days.
He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:26-27