More miles and smiles.

So today was another 5K event for me.   This was the 4th Annual “Rails Rally” which registration fees support the Lincoln Park Schools Education Foundation. 

This is the third year I registered for this event, but only the second time I participated.  The first time, in 2017, it was my first 5K.  Last year I was ready to leave the house and it began to rain, so I went back inside and did not attend.   I later discovered that the rain stopped, it dried up and the event proceeded as scheduled.  Grrrr.  I was still in my I-don’t-wanna-walk-in-the-rain–ever-mode and have since taken steps to abandon that mindset as you all know.

This course began at my favorite stomping grounds, went through a residential area and the last portion was on the Park perimeter path.

Just as I do every day, I walked to Council Point Park from home, thus adding another two miles for that round trip to my steps tally.  I got my packet and had 15 minutes to spare.

The Superintendent of Lincoln Park Schools, Terry Dangerfield, announced when it was almost race time, so everyone began migrating over to the starting point.

He told us there were 233 registered runners/walkers for this event, but there might have been additional last-minute people who signed up today as well.  Everyone assembled, runners up front and I took a quick photo, then scurried to the back of the queue.

I spotted a little chalk art on the path where we were awaiting the horn that kicked off the event.  As you probably guessed, “LP” signifies “Lincoln Park”.

You sure couldn’t miss the enthusiasm of these local elementary school students.  Their tee-shirts designate them as belonging to the “Carr School Running Club” and they all took off at lightning speed when the event began.

And then we were off

… running and walking along the perimeter of the parking lot, the Superintendent and Mayor Tom Karnes sprinting to the front of the pack (behind those speed demon Carr School kids of course!)

We next headed into the residential neighborhood and dogs barked noisily and homeowners along the way greeted us with a wave or shouted out “good job!”

As usual, in order to capture some photos of the ambiance of the event for this blog post, I soon lagged behind and found myself at the tail end … well, not quite THE tail end, as bringing up the rear was one of Lincoln Park’s finest.

When the race began, there were high clouds so it was not too warmish.  But the sun came out and walking on the concrete in the streets and through the neighborhoods, with my race shirt over another shirt, I did begin to get a little warm.  I was looking forward to hopping onto loop #1 of the perimeter path at Council Point Park and enjoying a little shade from all the trees.

But first, we had to pass the first water station and endure the second loop, which has very few trees.

The perimeter path sure was different with 200+ folks on it.

People probably stopped to check out the new graffiti.

I brought along peanuts, intending to feed my pals along the way.  The last time I walked this event, Parker and pals stopped me in my tracks, so why would this time be any different?  Well, first of all, we did not get back to the Park until around 9:30, so the regular walkers who feed the squirrels would have already treated them.

So, instead of begging for peanuts from me, the squirrels were just content to nosh nuts and watch the parade of people rushing past them.

Other squirrels climbed to the best viewing point they could find to check out the action. They were mesmerized, like this little guy.

I didn’t see any geese or goslings but I understand that one family was present and accounted for – the majority of them likely headed to the water with their offspring when the first runners showed up on their turf.

This Starling, high up on the chain link fence decided he could fly as fast as the first fleet-foot runner, so off he went.

Since my aim was not to win any record in this event, there was plenty of time to stop and smell the roses, er,  … at least look at the little dabs of purple around the Park.

Or one of many mushrooms …

… or inhale deeply as I passed the pine trees, where ripening pine cones were dripping with resin and new pine needles were emitting a smell in the moist morning air that reminded me of Christmas trees.

The air was filled with cottonwood seeds floating around.  This phenomenon always happens in early June, and lasts a couple of weeks here in SE Michigan.  Everywhere you look are white, fuzzy fibers that drift around lazily until they land somewhere.  It was quite windy at the Park yesterday and I came home with white fuzzies in my hair.

Look how the seed fibers have collected along the sides of the path, outlining the edge in white.

The cottonwood fuzzies are even embedded in last year’s dead leaves.

And, in the Creek, at a glance it appears like cotton balls are dotting the surface of the water.

The Hare and the Tortoise.

Now it is time to introduce some fine folks I met at today’s event – Stuart and Laura.  Stuart and I were at the tail end of this run/walk from the very beginning and we were joking about being so far behind.  You know I love chattin’ it up with people, so Stuart and I made our introductions, then we meandered amicably along.  Stuart told me this was his first 5K and that his daughter-in-law, Laura, was running in this event, and would catch up with him and walk the two Park loops as he finished off the race.

After traveling through the ‘hood on the first leg of our journey, once we reached the Park entrance, Laura, true to her word, was standing there and ready to walk the remaining portion with her father-in-law.  She had already finished the 5K in 32 minutes.  The three of us visited as we walked along,  crossed the parking lot once again, then strolled along the two loops (the remaining 1.9 miles).

With the finish line in sight, it’s always fun for the walkers to break into a little run as you near the end of the race.  Stuart crossed and got his finisher medal, a little bling to celebrate his very first 5K and this picture will help memorialize it as well.

I crossed a few seconds later and just captured my time in this image directly above.

I got my medal and wanted to get a few more steps in so I went back onto the path to feed the squirrels as I knew they’d be out foraging once the crowd dispersed to the pavilion for snacks, water and kudos from friends and family.

This was the first bunny I’ve seen in the Park or the neighborhood in months, but there he was, this tiny soul nibbling on the tall grass, his pale pink ears translucent in the morning sun. 

What a cutie pie he was and I took quite a few photos of him before he hopped away.

At the cement landing, the turtles were once again basking in the sun … you can see the cottonwood fuzz on the water. 

You can also see how high the water level is … this is a storm drain, covered with a cement ledge.  I have often stood on the ledge to take pictures downstream.  It is now almost submerged and it’s easy for the turtles to just slide right into the Creek.  The big turtle did just that and the smaller one remained.

As I left to head home, I caught up with Stuart, his wife and Laura, so I paused to take a picture of Stuart and Laura with their medals.

It was nice meeting you both and I hope you will visit this blog post tonight.  While walking home, it was not lost on me that the last two critters I photographed were a turtle and a bunny.  My mind wandered as I thought of the old fable about the tortoise and the hare.  Laura sure was as fast as a hare and Stuart and I were the tortoises … but we all finished and helped fund a worthy endeavor.

[Map of event course courtesy of Lincoln Park Schools Education Foundation]

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
This entry was posted in 5K events, nature, walk and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to More miles and smiles.

  1. AnnMarie R stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………….congratulations for going over the finish line at 1:01:30……………………did that mean 1 hour and 1 minute??…………..I love the picture of Mr Parker eating the peanut and of the rabbits……………………….cute

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ann Marie… I could do better if I wasn’t taking any pictures and make better time during the work week but I slow down taking pictures and am usually in the back for these events. Yes, one hour and one minute to cross the finish line. I love that picture of Parker too … it is as cute as the cardinal trying to maneuver a big peanut in its beak to carry it away. Made me smile. The first bunny of the year and a fellow blogger found five baby bunnies on her farm and took pictures of one of them and I just had said I’d not seen a single bunny yet. This was very small and I was up close to it. It was not scared in the least; it was too busy eating grass I guess. On the way home I saw three big Cooper’s Hawks circling down by River Drive and Pagel … I worry about my squirrels and now the bunnies and that was why I thought I hadn’t seen any bunnies.

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  2. susieshy45 says:

    Linda,
    This was a great post, I felt I was following all the activity that went on in Lincoln park, glad you got all your steps. Parker is so thin now. He has folds of skin from the winter fat going away I think. The bunny is the cutest- he even has a ruff. The turtles and their antics are fun to read especially about sliding off the storm drain straight into the water. The cotton wool fizz- are they the cotton seeds getting dispersed in the wind and through water?
    Glad you met Stuart and Laura and completed the 5 K.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Susie – glad you liked it. It was great weather … I worried about rain as we’ve had so much of it lately. I am glad you felt like you were along with me. Parker has lost all his Winter fat and “rolls” but I think he looks skinnier because he is standing up. The squirrel coming down the tree looked like he was sticking his tongue out. I just missed a shot of that big turtle sliding in the water – it must be their new place to sunbathe. You see how high the water is there … I think you remember me taking pictures of the cement landing and the water level was way below the storm drain and the ducks would glide under the drain and stay there sometimes in the Winter as it doesn’t freeze under there … not this last Winter though as it way too cold. I saw a muskrat and a groundhog on Friday … just saw the muskrat’s head when he popped out of the water and his tail streaming behind him and the groundhog was in a tree.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done so is it feet up today. When I 1st saw the cotton white seeds I thought you had had some snow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Andy – the white cotton seeds are everywhere and you have to wash off the A/C grille every few days if you are running it a lot. In some places where there are lots of cottonwood trees, the fuzz covers entire lawns and it appears it has snowed!

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  4. Well done on doing the 5k again. Amazing ❤. I love all of the little friends and features you cane across on the way x

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I did one more today Zena … I had two in May and two in June. And I’ve never done two back-to-back before. Now I’m done for this year, although there is a corporate- sponsored 5K in the Fall that I may like to go to – same venue as today. You just buy a teeshirt, but not necessary. The squirrels look so endearing with the nut in their mouth and the bunny was a real surprise – such an expressive face on him (or her).

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  5. Shelley says:

    Congratulations on completing another 5k and extra miles too!! YAY! Wonderful photos of the event, it looks like a nice crowd turned out. I hope Laura and Stewart enjoyed their part in the race as well as your blog post. So nice of you to give them kudos for their efforts too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yes the weather was perfect. I had the last 5K this morning – I don’t know how long I’ll last here tonight – I arrived there at 7:35 a.m.. 🙂 Glad you liked the photos and it ended up longer than I thought … the one today as well. I didn’t hear from either of them and was a little surprised, but maybe they are busy or just peeked at the post but didn’t comment on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Laurie says:

    Linda, I believe this is the first time I have ever read of a race participant taking the time to feed peanuts to the wildlife during the race! 😉 Congratulations! Another 5K under your belt, and in your usual stomping grounds too. I wonder what Parker and your other critter pals thought about the hordes of runners invading their park! Congratulations to Stuart and Laura too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I sure like to be different don’t I Laurie? The squirrels stayed off the ground but were up in the trees looking down. Not only all the runners going fast which would scared them, but all the unusual noises (a horn to start the race, singing the national anthem, the microphone booming and more voices than they usually hear) – they are likely glad it only happens once a year! Stuart and Laura were very nice – they have not visited here yet but I gave them my blog site information so they could get their photos if they wanted to see them or even download them to their site. I did the last 5K today … it was for a food pantry and I was typing this and nodded of … lots of exercise this weekend! And fresh air!

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  7. Another great day for a race! It was windy here but a perfect day. You always take such beautiful pictures Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed the photos Diane.
      It was another race and had one yesterday and that’s it for now (maybe one in the Fall, not sure though) and I’ll concentrate more on walking in the bigger parks if they are not all swampy (or buggy). I’ve got the boots now for in the wet parks, but if they are too buggy, that won’t be a treat either.
      Lake Erie Metropark is still flooded per an article in the local paper this past Friday. We had lakeshore flood warning up all weekend as we had a lot of east wind. The cottonwood was all over the place.

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      • We are expecting another 6″ by Tuesday! We still have a section of grass under water that we haven’t cut yet this year!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s amazing! I’ve not been back to Lake Erie Metropark since there was still ice on the cement walking path. They keep talking about the lakeshore flooding, soggy trails which are closed and the grounds which are saturated as well. Guess your son is not fishing much at Lake Erie these days? I hadn’t heard about the 6 inches – sometimes they mention Ohio. That’s awful. We had an entirely rainy day today, and rain over most of the weekend. At least I might get some things I’ve neglected in the house done.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Joni says:

    I felt like I was walking along with you! It was a beautiful day for a walk yesterday. So funny that Parker would recognize you, his favorite Peanut Lady. I don’t think we have those cottonwood trees here, at least not that I have noticed, as I would find all that fuzz very annoying!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      It was a great day Joni and I had registered for this and Sunday’s 5K way back in late February/early March. The two I did in May (Mutt Strut and Memorial Day Run/Walk) were recent events I signed up for. Then, with all the rain and stormy weather I figured that I would not be going to some of them … I’ll try walking in the rain, but a storm I won’t. But it all worked out. Saturday, I did the loop around afterward and everyone was gone and I fed the critters (no cardinals though) and saw that very cute bunny. I also saw three hawks circling overhead when I had just left the Park and was walking home. I hope this is not why the bunnies have been so scarce. The fuzz is annoying. I was going to take the hose out of the garage yesterday, hook it up and turn the water on downstairs and then go spray the grille, but I checked the A/C and no fuzz clinging yet (I only had it on in the afternoon/evening on Saturday) and so I’ll save that chore for next weekend. We have a cool week ahead which is fine with me. It got into the low 80s but there was very high humidity the tail end of the week.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. has anyone ever asked how far 5 K is……….seeing as how you guys are still using Imperial measurements. You mentioned doing 6 miles which is about 9.6 klicks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      The 5K is equivalent to 3.2 miles – Saturday the race organizer said the whole event course was 3.1 miles but I think people round it off to 3.2 miles. I try to walk 6 miles each weekend day weather permitting, as I have more time, and am walking 5 miles during the work week now that the sun is rising earlier. I am determined to make that 1,242 mile (2,000 K) goal and only the weather will hold me back … I don’t like to leave all my remaining miles to November or December as the last few years we have had snow/ice and bad weather in November. Even with crampons or YakTrax or lug-soled boots on, the perimeter path often gets black ice and there is sometimes ice on the sidwalks. A few years back the month of December we had a bad snow and I walked in the park a few blocks away on the grass to get my miles in … any port in a storm. In October up to the time change in early November, I lose miles in the morning as the sun gets up so late.

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      • If you keep increasing that total each year your going to be pushed sooner or later and that really goes against the whole point…….to have fun.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Well I probably should have just stuck with increasing one mile per year like I usually did, but I went along with the idea because I usually go over my original goal anyway, so I didn’t see any issues. I thought the Spring of 2018 with nine weekends in a row of torrential ran was in the rear view mirror. We were not as bad this Spring, but rainy nevertheless. I think once I am retired, I will find it much easier to do the goal – I don’t have to be depending on the sunrise or sunset times and in the Winter can leave later in the morning, not when it is so icy. I don’t mind the cold … you can always dress for that.

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      • and you better stop increasing it or by the time your 100 you’ll be trying to do a distance equal to the moon and back!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        When I was still working on site and took the bus to work, I’d be standing at the bus stop in the park a few blocks from my home. There was a retired guy who walked past me every morning and he’d stop and we would pass the time of day. You could set your watch to his arrival at that stop. He walked five miles a day, rain or shine, all seasons. The expression “I want to be that guy” was not popular then, but that is how I felt. I wished I was not going to a stuffy office setting but out walking like him. Imagine all those miles! When my boss/I moved away from downtown Detroit, I used to ride with various people in the building, sometimes I drove, and left the house at a later time and I no longer saw this guy. My mom and I were getting our flu shot one time and there was this guy in the waiting room. I saw him and waved – no recognition on his part. I whispered to my mom “that’s the guy I told you about that I saw for years!” He was sitting next to a younger man. I was about to go over and ask if he still did all his walking as he still looked healthy, just older. The younger guy, most likely his son, or a caretaker, started talking to him like talking to a child … no response from the walker. I realized he must have dementia and it made me feel incredibly sad. No wonder he didn’t recognize me – we chitchatted every morning after he retired. All the walking, all the miles to keep his body healthy but the mind was not able to function to enjoy that healthy body.

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  10. ruthsoaper says:

    What a great community event. So glad you took time to take photos so you could share it with us all. Baby bunny is so cute. We just noticed the cottonwood flying this morning. I suspect my allergies will flare up soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Ruth … this one went to education, the next day I walked for a food pantry. Many more participants there and a good cause. Some people mentioned their allergies to the cottonwoods and their seeds/fuzz were bothering them. That baby bunny was so intent on enjoying that grass, he was tuning me out.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Congrats on another 5K walk! 🏆

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Sabine – I think I’m done for this year although there is another walk in the Fall at the same venue that I’ll keep in the back of my mind. It will depend on the weather … that wooded area was so buggy due to all the swampy areas but hopefully by Fall the rain has abated. I fear with all our rain that all of the big parks and trails will be the same way, muddy and mosquito ridden. Such a shame. We also have been warned by the weather centers that ticks are at an all-time high. The primary reason given: climate change. Also mites infesting mice and squirrels now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Same with ticks here, Linda! There seem to be quite a few more ticks and with all the rain also mosquitoes. They are so annoying! I haven’t heard of rodents being infested with mites, but it doesn’t surprise me. Before we went to Bali and South Korea, I bought some really effective mosquito repellent on Amazon. It wasn’t even toxic. I should look it up and order some for at home!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I have some whopper mosquito bites Sabine. There aren’t many mosquitoes where I walk daily, but one walker said she had a tick on her pants when she got home a few weeks ago. I’ve never seen a tick, just images of them. Our Park is not dense and that’s why it is nice to walk through without getting bitten up. I’d have swatted the mosquitoes who gave me those two big bites, but I was swatting furiously to keep up with them and missed these two. I should have worn pants as planned, but it was a warm morning, even that early. My boss used to buy a good product from a company that specialized in deep woods bug protection. If your product is no longer available, let me know and I’ll ask what Robb uses. He goes to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan during the Summer months and the black flies like to target him so he uses this product and it thwarts bug bites.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll keep that in mind! Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        You’re welcome Sabine.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Mackenzie says:

    what a lovely event!!! I had to giggle at the fact that the squirrels didn’t seem phased one bit

    Liked by 1 person

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