I’m a tad behind writing about the Fish & Loaves Virtual 5K which I completed on May 29th. This is the fourth 5K I’ve done for this local food pantry; the prior 5K posts can be found here here and here.
The 2020 event was virtual as well, but this year, it took a radical twist.
First, all participants were issued a challenge to collectively surpass (in miles) the number of households that Fish & Loaves served in 2020, i.e. 12,118 families, so 12,118 miles (19,502 km).
Second, our personal 5K event could take place any date of our choosing, from May 1st through June 13th, BUT this was not just a one-day event, as participants were encouraged to count their miles throughout the entire six-week period. Also, we were not restricted to just running or walking, but bicycling, swimming, rowing, even walking around the house were additional alternative ways to garner miles throughout the six-week challenge period.
Third, there was an added incentive for all participants to submit a tagline to be used for event swag/tee-shirts. The winning entry also would have their registration fee waived for the 2022 Happy Soles 5K event.
So, how did I fare?
I did those challenges. I entered my tagline “Feed the hungry and feel the burn!” when I registered back in January. The winning entry was “Miles for Meals”. I did walk the 5K (3.2 miles) on May 29th and my total accumulated walking miles for the six-week period totaled 184.2 miles (296 km).
The final tally for the 99 participants unfortunately fell short of the hoped-for goal (12,118 miles); the last tally on June 13th yielded 7,888.8 miles (12,695.7 km). I met the event organizer, Ellen Pfafflin, when I went to the food pantry to pick up my swag on June 13th. Ellen and fellow race coordinator Deb are hopeful for an in-person event for 2022.
This picture-laden post will be fairly long as I’m also doing a recap of my personal 5K event.
My 5K on May 29th.
I returned to historical Heritage Park to complete my 5K, as that was the site I chose for the 2020 virtual 5K and it is also the same venue for the organization’s annual on-site events.
The weather conditions were kind of weird for the first day of the Memorial Day holiday, i.e. it was 44F (6C) with 18 mph (30 kph) winds, sometimes gusting to 23 mph (37 kph). Brr! My fingers were cold and belatedly I realized I should have worn gloves. Unbelievably the day before, the official high temp was only 50F (10C) and broke the previous May 28th record for lowest high temp set in 1930. Yikes! And, just a few days before that, I had the A/C on and it was so humid, I left on my a.m. walks in a sleeveless shirt!
Heritage Park was the second of three Park stops I made that day. I’d already bopped down to the Riverfront in search of Mute Swan cygnets with no luck. Heritage Park’s picturesque, man-made Coan Lake does not have swans, but it has plenty of Canada geese, Mallards, Ring-billed Gulls and occasionally you’ll see a Cormorant or a Great Blue Heron dropping by.
I was hopeful to see some ducklings and luckily I found three sets of Mamas with their ducklings in tow. There was one problem though – the gusty winds and grassy slope near the seawall did not bode well for sure footing. I didn’t feel like ending up in the drink due to a sudden gust of wind. The camera’s shutter clicks spooked two Mallard families and both Mamas took off in a heartbeat, eager to evade the tall “menacing” stranger.
In addition to my duckling quest, I wandered around the historical village looking for photos to memorialize this 5K event. I’m sure you’ll recognize some of these buildings from prior posts, but for newer followers of this blog, I’ll include a few of them.
The sideways spray and wayward droplets from the Coan Lake fountains give you an indication of the wind velocity.
At the gazebo, everything was in order for an event and my second time around the historical village, I saw a pair of photographers were setting up for a wedding. Woe was them as the incessant gusts of wind kept knocking over the chairs and unraveling the décor, even threatening to topple some of their camera equipment which already was wobbling on unsteady tripod legs.
Near the gazebo I met two friendly walkers, Nanette and Nancy and, like with most fellow walkers, the subject of the weather was an immediate topic, rather than a more-traditional greeting of “good morning” as you might guess. The ladies huddled under their hoodies, hands thrust into their pockets, while I bemoaned not having toted a pair of gloves.
I passed the cute Little Red Schoolhouse …
… then stopped at the old log cabin, a fully restored structure which dates back to the 1850s and is still used for civic functions and school class groups.
The historical village’s Town Hall flag was flapping briskly in the wind. The flag was at half-mast in remembrance of the nine victims of the mass killing on May 26th in San Jose, California.
I meandered along and stopped by the water-powered mill.
Tucked away behind the seawall, near an iron fence by the path to the entrance and also paddling around in Coan Lake is where I discovered ducklings galore!
Shh! A dozing Mama Mallard with her equally sleepy ducklings did not see me looming large nearby.
I stood behind the fence to avoid startling her as I knew she and her offspring would awaken, then instantly plop into the water. She had eyes at the back of her head (like my mom) and was instantly alert and watching over all her babies.
Just a few feet over, three ducklings played in the water, all the time emitting squeaky quacks of joy as they practiced climbing up on the rocks, then plunging back into the water. I watched the “Three Musketeers” with their bravado, but they soon tired and one by one toddled off to be with Mama and their siblings.
Suffice it to say I was in my glory – you will see more of these darling ducklings in my next Wordless Wednesday post which I’ll entitle “Mallard Munchkins”.
I didn’t stop at the Botanical Gardens as they had a “Plantapalooza” event with volunteers planting flowers and also selling plants.
It was a breezy, but blissful walk and before the car pulled into my driveway, I made a pit stop at Council Point Park to walk a quick, one-mile loop and feed my furry and feathered pals, which added more steps and gave me over six miles to add to my total. Thank you if you hung in to the end of this very long post, but I wanted to touch on not only the highlights, but some background on the 5K as well.