Recently, the family and I went on a ten day Hawaiian vacation.
I’m not going to try to sell you on Hawaii (hint: it sells itself). And I’m not going to bore you with what I did, where I went, how amazingly great it was…oops.
What I did want to talk about was serendipity, and it went a little like this:
- Rent a car
- Push the “Scan” button on the car radio
- Land on Lava FM, a classic rock station
- Listen to an ad for Big Island Running Company
- Hear them advertise an upcoming 5k
The Club Rehab ‘Ohana Fun Run 5k, in only it’s second year, was the exact thing I was looking for…okay, maybe not exact. A half marathon trail race through a steamy Hawaiian rainforest would have been the exact thing, but the 5k had a lot going for it. It was short, meaning I wouldn’t need any of the equipment that I had not brought on a vacation to Hawaii and I wouldn’t need to spend a fortune getting said equipment at the last minute. The race was also very close to where we were staying.
It was so close in fact, that I decided I would run to the start and then run back after the race for a total of nine miles of running. I cruised down to the start line, arriving with about 30 minutes to spare, plenty of time to get registered, pay my entry fee, pin on my bib, and make a final pit stop.
My plan was to run conservatively. It was hot, I’d already run three miles, and I would need enough left in the tank to run another three miles after the race. Slow and steady, right?
Yeah. Sure. Nice thought.
When a 5k begins and everyone charges away from the start line, you tend to get caught up in the magic of the moment, adrenalin kicks in, and away you go.
I did my best. I moved to the middle of the pack before the start and ran the first 1/2 mile very conservatively. The next stretch of road was downhill, so I kicked it up a notch, being careful not to blow myself up in the unfamiliar heat and humidity. At the turn around point I counted the runners going by and realized I was in 16th place. I counted two men who looked as though they were probably in my age group.
Obviously at this point, being a competitive runner, and person in general, I hit the gas. Over the last mile and a half I was able to pass five runners, including one of the guys who looked about my age.
I hit the tape in 23:07. Not bad.
I sucked down some water, then a little more water, then a banana and little more water. When the results were posted, I saw that I was indeed 11th overall and 2nd in my age group. The top two finishers in each age group got an “award” and it was the first race I had done where there was an actual award ceremony. They called my name, I went forward, I got my award: a lovely etched mug.
This had turned out to be a wonderful experience that I had not expected during my vacation. I hadn’t run a 5k in probably ten years (other than mostly walking a few with my kids). It was fun, it was fast, and it was incredibly well organized. Kudos to the folks in charge!
After receiving my award, I got on the phone to my wife.
“Do you need a ride home?” she teased. “Too tired to run?”
“Nah,” I said. “I could run, but I won an award and I don’t want to break it!”
Run on, Sisters and Brothers!
#hawaii #5k #run #runner #funrun #ohana #aloha #big island #adventure