Thursday, April 14, 2011
Surprising 5K winner
It was simply a beautiful weekend.
Friday morning, I walked extra copies of The South Reporter’s Pilgrimage edition to the Marshall County Library for distribution. Volunteers were going over last-minute preparations for the arrival of guests.
The Holly Springs Garden Club, sponsor of the annual event, could not have asked for better weather.
Later, I walked to the post office and across the courthouse lawn, where vendors were busy setting up their arts and crafts booths.
Staff writer Sue Watson spent much of Friday taking photos of various activities. I took more Saturday.
I enjoyed talking with several out-of-state visitors – who went on and on about Holly Springs’ beauty and hospitality.
Our youngest, 9-year-old Erin, enjoyed being one of several hostesses at Finley Place. She had fun and worked extremely hard.
I went to pick her up Sunday afternoon a bit early, at about 4:30. The tour was scheduled to end at 5.
A few tourists were walking up the steps into the historic home, when Erin stuck her head out the door and put me on hold, “Dad, I’m still working,” she said.
I left and returned at 5 and she finished about 5:15.
Our son Andy helped deliver box lunches Friday from Christ Episcopal Church.
Then, he also decided Friday that he would run in the 5K Saturday morning on the square. I was a bit surprised but replied, “Great.”
I attended the Pilgrimage 5K for photos, and Erin accompanied me, saying she wanted to watch Andy run.
After snapping the start, we walked to Hill Crest Cemetery for some photos of the first few runners coming up the tough hill near the end of the race.
I caught a glimpse of the first two or three runners going toward Holly Springs Primary School, where the route turns back and goes into the cemetery.
Then I was ready to take a picture of the leader as he tackled the hill.
I did a double take.
“Erin, is that Andy?” I asked.
“Andy? I think it is,” she said. “Oh my, is he winning?”
He had told me a few minutes before the race that he was going to set a good pace and then push himself. But I never dreamed he would win the 5K. He runs track but not distance races.
His time was 22:10 – which he knows would not win most highly-competitive 5Ks – but he still enjoyed the victory on this day.
I informed him that the winner of last year’s Killer Kudzu 5K, which follows the same route, finished the challenging course in 15:27.
“So you just have to work on getting about seven minutes faster,” I said with a laugh. “All you have to do is actually practice some.”
The Killer Kudzu, by the way, is just a few weeks away. The annual run, sponsored by American Pacific and benefitting the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, will be held Friday, May 6, starting at 7 p.m. on the courtsquare.
I also joked with Andy that I might, with just less than a month’s worth of training, compete in the Killer Kudzu myself.
“Go for it,” he said.
I’m writing this column two days after the Pilgrimage 5K and the training has not yet begun. Maybe I will get inspired soon. If not, I will just stick with taking photos.
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