Monday, April 14, 2014

Polar Vortex 5k

     I knew that I wanted to do a spring 5k.  I did not know when or for what.  Then a tragic accident happened near McKeesport High School.  I just knew this was what I need to do a run for.  My sister works at the high school and helped get the word out about the race.
     The night before the race, I could not sleep.  I was nervous.  When I did finally shut my eyes I was awoken by fire truck, and then another.  There was, as you may have guessed, a fire up the street.  It was 2 am.  I was now wide awake.
      In the middle of race planning my dad died.  It was awful.  But it is a part of life.  The race must go on, right?  It was good that I had the race to focus my thoughts on.  It kept me busy.  Dad always told me when something was bothering me, "You need to stay busy, keeps your mind off it".  Okay, so really he was yelling it...  But you can not hear it the way I remember it.
      At 4:30 am I was loading the trucks, alone, with the food, Gatorade, and a few other just in case items.  All the other stuff was loaded the day before by volunteers.  At 5 am I was down by the river, it was 24 degrees.  I put on my head lamp and started unloading.  It is amazing how much stuff we were able to get into two trucks. 
       I was setting up tables when people started showing up.  Runners? nope.  Volunteers? nope.  Navy soldiers there to drill?  yes.  Argh.  What amounted to two companies of Navy soldiers showed up and filled the parking lots.  They would at least be gone from the parking lots before the race.  One of my volunteers came at 6:30am with bananas, coffee, and donuts.  We loaded the water stop in his vehicle and he left to set it up.  I had the registration finished by the time the rest of the volunteers came.  All they needed to do was go to their spot and wait for the runners.  Most of them had volunteered at other Team Brunazzi Events. 
      The music and then the timing company showed up and so did the runners.  It was starting to get busy fast.  I stood off to the side and waiting for any problems to come up.  None did.  All the planning was coming together.  I talked with a few people and got my photo taken.  I thought about running in the race, but without sleep it would not have been good.
      I said a few words and then started the race.  140 runners and walkers.  That is better then 35-50, right??  After handing out kid's medals for a while, I moved up and ripped off bib numbers, so the timers could get started typing in the results.  Everything was going fine and the weather was warming up quickly.
      In the end we raised $2,975 for the family of the tragic accident.  Which was pretty awesome in only a month.