It goes without saying that this race was by far the most memorable and worthwhile. We were all there to support Andrew (the guy in the yellow sleeves). We were all there to show colon cancer to the door and to make sure the door hit it on the way out.
Earlier this week, I checked online for our status for top fundraising team. My heart dropped a little when I saw that not only were we second, but the top team had just donated $1,000. How were we going to raise over $1,000 in less than a week? I wanted this recognition for Andrew and for all others fighting. I grabbed my credit card and added my contribution then I grabbed the phone and started contacting anyone willing to help. Luckily, I wasn’t the only one in our team gunning for that top spot. I couldn’t have done it alone. It certainly reads truth to our motto this entire time, “No one fights alone!”
I couldn’t have imagined the outpouring. As I checked hour after hour as the week went by, I was flabbergasted at how quickly we were gaining on the top team. We were doing this for such a good cause and it was such a relief that others were willing to help.
The day of the race arrived and Joe and I were up at 6 a.m. Packet pick-up was at the race site, so it was a quick breakfast and we were out the door. I nearly had a tiny panic attack when we ran into two traffic accidents on the way there with one being a serious parking lot backup.
We arrived about 30 minutes before race time. I put my Team Andrew shirt on and grabbed my Undy 5000 underwear. We were looking pretty darn good.
After a quick warm up jog, potty break and pictures, we were ready to run this thing. But before we could run, we had to be sure we were still top fundraising team. We ended up taking the lead late Friday afternoon. Woohoo! The other teams noticed and tried to overtake us to no avail. We raised more than I had thought we could. It was so awesome to hear the MC say that Team Andrew had taken 1st place. Such a perfect way to start the race.
To give you an idea, on Monday, we had raised about $2,100. By Tuesday, Nothing BUTT fun! had raised the additional $1,000 ($3,200 was their total) that took us to serious fundraising mode. By Friday afternoon, we had overtaken them by about $20. Considering they could easily take us, we kept at it and by Saturday morning, we crossed over the $3,500 mark. I’m so proud of all the efforts this team has done to make this happen. Couldn’t have been more happier about the results. These other teams did a seriously awesome job, too!
On to the race.
It’s more fun to run with someone so I grabbed my running buddy, Sarah, and we were off.
Remember how I was having a 34 minute 5K slump. The entire race, I kept thinking about the number 33. I had my new Garmin running watch (post about this coming soon) and I knew what pace I needed to keep. I made sure to not go out of the starting line too fast. This trips up a lot of eager runners. It’s easy to do with all the adrenaline and excitement.
It was a beautiful run. We ran right by White Rock Lake for most of the race. Most of the trail was nice and flat. I checked my watch occasionally and at mile 2 we were sitting at about 22 minutes. Perfect. I know I can do a 10 ish minute/mile. As we came around the final curve, I realized we had to head up a decent size hill to cross the finish line. I was glad that I didn’t waste all my energy, but I wasn’t looking forward to that trek. I nearly slowed to a fast walk, but when I saw the time right at 33 minutes I knew I was going to push myself to the finish. It wasn’t beautiful and I’m pretty sure I lost my entire form getting up it, but I crossed the finish line at 33:11. Bam! The 34 minute curse is OVER!
And just for proof…
After a quick swig of water, I walked over to the sidelines to cheer on the rest of the racers. Andrew seriously impressed us with a time of 41 minutes. This man just started his second (and hopefully last) round of chemo. He is one seriously amazing inspiration.
One of my favorite parts of the day is when the race organizers asked any survivors present to step forward and be recognized. Andrew got up on stage and received a medal with the rest of the colon cancer survivors. I can’t say I had dry eyes at the moment. Andrew and his family have been through so much this year. I’m so glad the outcome has been positive, but not everyone gets so lucky. It was a very emotional moment.