The 5K For Veterans race was held at Long Islan’d Macarthur Airport which allowed runners and walkers to race on the runway of Southwest Airline’s hub. It was the first time this event was held and was highly organized and efficient. It raised money for veterans in all wars and had the help of the police and fire departments along with members of each branch in military.

It was also the 5K Gina selected to celebrate her 50th birthday. She was joined by her two sisters – Susan and Christine, along with their sons James and Timothy. It was a warm and humid morning but over 1100 people turned out to have some fun. We were ready to spend a great day hanging out and welcomed the fact that the sun burned through and made for a hot day overall.

Though it took a while for James and Tim to wake up, they were ready to go and the ladies themselves were geared up and excited. Once we all lined up we were ready for the chance to race on a fast, flat course, with some airplanes taking off overhead.

As with any 5K, once the gun goes off it’s all out and that’s exactly what I did. I had my new Odwalla gear to test out and made sure I dropped some hours off the training week to post a good result for G (though Friday’s workout was challenging). And run I did. I simply followed the lead car and nver looked back to bust a win!! I finished in 16:54 and really felt great and elated to break the finish line tape! I simply played Rev Theory’s “Hell Yeah” in the mental ipod and never stopped. It was indeed a great course and an exciting rush of speed.

I had time to jog around a bit and speak to Brendan at Sayeville Running Co. before making my way back to the finish line. I wasn’t able to run back on the course since it was heavily secured so I made a posiiton real close and awaited each one to finish. James came through in 31 minutes, Tim at 38. Awesome runs for both as they honestly never raced more than a mile before this. Chrisitne sprinted the last 100 yards and came in at 45 minutes with Susan and Gina at 46 minutes! That was really good since Gina thought 50 minutes was more realistic, so they smashed that goal!

A great finish for all and the  5K really show the fun, family environments that race’s are made of. I met some runners and chatted up the usual post race experience while walking around getting pictures and soaking up the excitement. I think G and I come back with more swag and drinks/food after a 5K than most of the longer races we’ve done. We got to hang around a bit until the awards and I pumped out 14 chinups at the Marine tent. The awards were unique in that I got a 16G Ipod Nano for my efforts instead of the usual trophy. In fact, all the top 3 runners in male/female divisions won one! Now was the time to really celebrate.

We had a homemade breakfast at Susan’s house afterwards where we spent the rest of the day in the pool, getting sun, and relaxing. It was one of those days you hit the pool, dry off, talk, get warm, jump back in, repeat. We had some dinner and cake before it was time to head back home. But G really appreciated the day and that was what mattered. She didn’t want it to end.

Now got the AC up and humming so summer feels in full swing after the string of hazy, hot, and humid days we have had. We have no set races planned in June and July so it will be all preparations towards October and anything in the next 2 months will be a “jump in” type of event or volunteer endeavor. Stay cool.

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