Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ben's Run

Ben's Run is a local 5k race with a 1 mile option as well.  It is held in a friend's neighborhood and she asked me to do it with her.  Initially, I was going to decline just because I had the Piece of Cake 5k the weekend before.  But once I read the website, I had to do it.

Ben passed away at Children's National Medical Center after 6 years of battling Leukemia. The website has a very touching write up about Ben and his battle and the funds raised through the run go to benefit the Children's National Medical Center. The write up ends with the following paragraph:

"This race honors Ben’s amazing spirit, and the many other children who battle life-threatening illnesses every day.  Run or walk this race for Ben, and for the other heroic children out there.  Do it because they can’t."

All photos from Ben's Run website.

Well, after reading that I had to do the race.  And I am glad that I did.  This was a wonderful event with a great community feel and it was so well organized.  I was truly impressed. There were lots of families, kids, and dogs everywhere. This was the neighborhood where Ben grew up and the race started in the parking lot of the school where he attended elementary school.  I got the feeling that there were a lot of people who had actually know Ben and know his family.

I can't speak to the parking because I parked at my friend's house and we walked to the start as it was only a 5 minute walk. There was a lot of energy in the air. There was a clown, a bouncy castle for the kids, a silent auction, food trucks, and various other bits of entertainment.

The race itself ran through the streets of a hilly neighborhood.  It was a little congested at the beginning but cleared out quickly.  According to the website, there were more than 1100 participants and $65,000 raised.

There were people from the neighborhood out cheering, as well as students from local schools.  We saw cheerleaders, lacrosse players  and basketball players encouraging runners along the course. And there were plenty of volunteers with one water stop at the halfway point.

I was running with friends and we were doing 6/1 run walk intervals. My time was 1 minute slower than the Piece of Cake, but I was mostly just trying to enjoy myself at this one.  And Runkeeper seemed to think the course was a little long.

According to the race results, my time was 45:07 with an average pace of 14:32.

The finish line was also well organized.  There seemed to be plenty of water, juice, bananas, oranges and bagels. There was live music and the party continued on.  I would absolutely do this race again in the future.  I've already talked to friends about making this one a yearly tradition.