Yesterday morning Chris and I ran the Matthew Freeman 5K Run for Peace in Richmond Hill. This was the 3rd time the race was held in J.F. Gregory by the Matthew Freeman Project. CPT Matthew Freeman was a native of Richmond Hill and a Marine. In 2009 he was killed in action in Afghanistan. His parents started the foundation to help bring school supplies to the Afghanis based on one of the last things Matthew asked of his parents, to gather some supplies for the kids because all they wanted was pens and paper.
Chris and I signed up with his battalion to run this year. Our sister company is currently deployed to Afghanistan. They did a “shadow run” for the 5K in honor of their own fallen Warriors. One of them won his age group last year and was KIA in February. Those of us here in Georgia went to do the race in support of them.
After a brief opening ceremony and the national anthem, we walked to the start of the trail. Chris and I brought Bailey with us so we started near the back of the pack which was our biggest mistake. As soon as we crossed the timing plates we were barely moving. We ended up having a hard time weaving for the first 1/2 mile to get around everyone. It’s a pretty narrow trail so fitting a couple hundred people on it at once is problematic until everyone settles into their pace.
At about 1 mile in we settled into our rhythm. I didn’t go into this race with any goal in mind. Chris has a PT test today so he was taking it easy so his plan was just to run with me. I decided I wanted to keep sub-9 minute miles and just go with it. Along the course the JROTC from the local high school were out as support. There were 2 water stations on the route but we skipped both of them. I felt great until about mile 2.5 when I started having some pretty bad cramps.
As we rounded into the last straightaway to the finish I told Chris I wasn’t going to be able to go any faster. He said oh yes you are. I’m pretty sure my response was “fine, I hate you” and we sped off.
My Garmin said we crossed the finish at exactly 27:00. Official results aren’t up yet but that’s a shiny new PR! I shaved just about 30 seconds off my last 5K time!! After the race there were bagels, bananas, and water available. We found Emmie (who had hung out with Heather) and cooled down.
Bailey was the first dog to cross the finish line so we told her she won her division. She was pretty stoked. I wore my new “I Run This Body Shirt” from Dorothy at Mile Posts. I freaking love it. Dorothy has inspired me to DREAM BIG. My current “dream” is to run a sub-25 minute 5K at some point. Here’s to making it happen
Overall I really enjoyed participating in the Matthew Freeman 5K Run for Peace and definitely plan on doing it again next year. While I was not a fan of the bottleneck-start of the race, the cause and the enthusiasm makes it worth it.
Did you race this weekend? How did it go?