A Running Challenge

Third time's the charm?

Not when it comes to me and the Collins Dixon 5K!

I've run this race twice before, and both times I've written about it, I was very positive with my prose. (See The Gift of Running and Finish Strong)  However, this time, the course handed me my proverbial bottom, so the tone of this post is going to be, well... honest.

The event, itself, is great!  It is run very well, and it is a fantastic tribute to Collins Dixon, a young man who lost a battle with brain cancer at the age of twelve.  The only suggestion I could make to improve it would be to start the 5K by 8am or sooner rather than 8:45am.  And you'll understand more about why I would make that suggestion if you keep reading.

The course for the race is good, but it does have an AWFUL hill around mile 2.5 when your heading back toward the finish line.

Up and up and up and up....

Now, you might be wondering why I wouldn't suggest changing the course to improve the 5K, and the answer is simple.  The aforementioned hill has been endearingly named Collins' Hill, and it is the perfect metaphor for what Collins experienced as he faced the daunting battle that is cancer.  So, having this hill in this race is fitting. It's appropriate. And although I imagine that part of the course does scare away a good number of people, my friend Jaimee and I have come back and run it - for the past three years now.

before the race
And this year, the heat, the humidity, and the hill, combined together, really did a number on us!

The heat was awful! This is the main reason why I wouldn't mind seeing the race start the 5K sooner rather than later.   With each passing minute, Georgia mornings heat up quickly in July.  And after the race began, I knew I was in for a "butt" whooping! The heat, combined with the humidity, sapped my energy reserves, and about half way through the course, I knew that when I got to Collins' hill, I would have to walk it.

In years past, I have walked some of the hill and ran parts of it.  However, this year, I walked the whole hill.  In fact, there were a few times it felt as if the hill was pressing down on me, and - I hate to confess this - there were times I had to stop walking!  But even worse than that, after getting to the top of the hill, I CONTINUED TO WALK!  I couldn't even push myself to run at that point - not until I saw the finish line in sight.  THEN, I finally talked my weary body into jogging forward.

Despite all that, I did feel as if I gave it my all that day.  The time of 42:50 sure doesn't translate into that, but I know in my heart that I pushed on to the best of my ability in that oppressive heat and humidity.

I don't know that I finished strong, but I finished!  And I left it all on the course.  And I know my friend Jaimee did as well!

We were both BEAT DOWN after this race (pictorial evidence above). But truly, to end on a more positive note, our fatigue was nothing when you consider what Collins had to endure.

So, Jaimee and I want to challenge you! If you live in the north Georgia area, consider running this 5K next year.  It will test your running ability like no other course around!  But, at the end of the day, you will have an immense sense of satisfaction for having done it and for having supported brain cancer research. And for helping Collins' parents honor the life that their brave son lived.

Today's forget-me-not: Finish strong!

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize." (1 Corinthians 9:24)

No comments yet. Please leave yours!

Post a Comment