I could write reams about all the rain we’ve endured the past two months. We’ve had rain nearly every weekend since mid-April. That’s not counting the weekdays – there’s been plenty of rain then as well! Even our Memorial Day holiday was spoiled by showers on Saturday, but we also dealt with that stinkin’ hot, 90-plus degree weather. Overall, this Spring has been quite forgettable and not my cup of tea at all.
Yesterday, Mother Nature once again spoiled my plans by throwing some rain and storms into the Saturday mix. I had planned on participating in a 5K race/walk, but, when I was ready to leave the house, it was raining, and an all-day rain and some storms were predicted, so I backed out. Likewise, I was looking forward to a vintage vehicle event, a gathering of Model A cars, and that event got scratched late Friday due to the impending soggy Saturday weather. Enough already with the rain!
This morning I left the house at 7:10 a.m., and one glance at the sky told me those dark and brooding clouds likely would spell doom for today’s 5K race/walk slated for 8:00 a.m. at historical Heritage Park. I was proven wrong, because luckily the rain held off during the race (yay), but once the after-race/walk festivities were finished, the rain began in earnest. Great … the weather folks predicted NO rain until late today. “Wrong again” I sneered as I walked quickly to the car, thinking of the few errands that would take me in/out of the rain before I finally got home.
As I mentioned above, I participated in Fish & Loaves 9th Annual Happy Soles 5K Run/Walk held today at historical Heritage Park in Taylor, Michigan, along with 225 other runners and walkers. The trek is considered a certified “flat and fast course” which began at this Park’s open-air pavilion, and took participants outside the Park, through several neighborhoods, then through a lovely wooded area, and ended up at our starting point.
The event raised money for the Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry, a faith-based, non-profit, volunteer-operated organization based in the city of Taylor, Michigan, which assists in giving food and adequate nutrition to Taylor residents, as well as those in need in six surrounding cities.
After we picked up our race packets and donned our tee-shirts and bib numbers, we assembled for the start of the race as the speakers blasted a song called “All About That Pace” which was a parody of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” song that was popular a few years ago. We were all straining at the bit to start, especially the runner named “Captain America” who was front and center, and, likely a wee bit chilly in the overcast and sunless sky and 62-degree temps.
We were informed of the race route and water stations, a woman sang the national anthem, and we were off at 8:03 a.m.
I was not trying to set any records here, just enjoying the walk and I had my camera handy to capture some of the sights along the way for this blog post.
The runners were already way ahead of the contingent of walkers as we first trekked along a busy street, then the route took us through a few nice neighborhoods, where several dogs were going just a little crazy at the large crowd that passed by their turf. Much barking ensued as owners, still in bathrobes, came out to retrieve their pooches and shoo them back into the house until the hubbub died down.
In one neighborhood, we were alerted that we had just crossed the mile #1 mark.
Soon we were out of the residential area and headed toward the walking trail at Heritage Park, a path I’ve been on several times before. This was our mile #2 marker.
But, instead of following the tried-and-true pathway, orange cones steered us off the beaten trail and into a wooded area.
I’ve seen the trail leading into this woodsy portion of Heritage Park before, but never ventured there myself, and I doubt I would go alone when I return next time due to its dense wooded area. Here are some photos from this delightful part of the route. I was intrigued by the huge trees that had fallen in this forest or were damaged somehow, and, combined with the tall trees, they gave a nice ambiance to this woodsy setting.
We hiked quite a piece along this trail, still a little muddy in places from Saturday’s rainfall, but enjoying occasional glimpses of sunshine, when suddenly we heard loud music as we approached our first refreshment station. One walker exclaimed “civilization!” after hearing the music.
We had volunteers cheering us on as we were now ready to head down the home stretch, having passed the railroad car and walked the perimeter of beautiful Coan Lake.
Here we would find ourselves at mile marker #3.
For the last leg of our journey, we ended up where we began, at the Sheridan Open Air Pavilion where we would cross the finish line.
Our time was registered here from the computer chip in our bib number. I snapped a photo of the time as I approached the finish line, meaning I did my 5K in exactly one hour. The first 300 people to finish the race received a medal which I featured at the top of this blog post.
As I mentioned above, I was at the 5K more for the enjoyment and picture-taking, as well as adding some more miles to my yearly tally, and the food pantry is a very good cause. So my stats were not stellar at all. I had some errands and my pedometer was right around the five-mile mark by the time I got home today.
All in all, a good day despite that pesky rain, and I’m a happy soul from the Happy Soles 5K Run/Walk.