Shirley Mae Run for Breast Cancer 2013

The below was something I wrote shortly after I did this 5k in May of 2013.

Let me start by saying that I am not a runner. I am 50 years old, but don’t consider myself old. Not by along shot. Even though I say is not a runner I have done a few races. But more for the sake of trying it and finishing than to win. In 2010 I ran a half marathon at Disney World, and that should have taught me not to do them anymore. It was 30 degrees or so, and it rained, snowed,and sleeted… Yes, the worst weather Orlando had seen in 30 years. The next time was better and I did a relay half marathon in Disney World. That time the weather just perfect for running a race. A couple of years later I ran what was a little short of a 5k in Pitman,NJ on July 4th. Of course, that day it was about 100 degrees but again… I finished and that was the idea.

Today was different, it was my second running in the Shirley Mae Foundation run for breast cancer awareness. It is a 5k which is run in Atlantic City. Last year was beautiful with a warm sun shinning brightly, lots of crowds and music. Today was a little different. Today it rained, a lot. But it was a beautiful day. There were lots of people and everyone was there for the same reason, to help raise money. I was there with family and friends and that made the day even more special. Some of us walked the mile or so, but I chose to run the 5k this year.

So, I picked up my bib and T-shirt and we all gathered getting our music and watches ready. As we stood waiting for the start we hoped the rain would hold off. It drizzled… Ok, that was not bad. So we moved under a building overhang and waited for the start. Still hoping the rain would not start. Then the announcer told the runners to start, and at that moment what had been a drizzle turned into a downpour. In moments we were all wet, and that quickly changed to drenched. But we all kept running… It was a beautiful day!

As I ran I had to stop once to switch the music track I was on, I needed something with a little more punch. I jogged and I power walked, and I got wet… very wet. But, it was a beautiful day so I ran on. I passed the end of the first building and with the open space came a howling wind that seemed to push the rain sideways through the thinning crowd. After a few more yards there was another building to block the wind, but the rain continued to fall. It didn’t matter, since I was already drenched so I kept running. It was a beautiful day!

I passed the first mile in about 13 and a half minutes which didn’t feel bad. So I kept running. The rain kept coming so I focused on the boardwalk and even looked at some of the houses around me. As I entered Ventnor they became more like beach houses and a little nicer than Atlantic City’s high rises and worn out motels. One such house had a dozen or more garden statues around the patio and balconies. Statues of small children playing all around, it was curious but very nice. And it was a nice distraction from the squishing of my soggy socks and shoes against the boardwalk. It was a beautiful day!

I saw the flashing light ahead signaling the turn around, the half way mark and so I jogged on and around the turn keeping up my pace. I continued to switch between jogging and walking, keeping pace with an older couple and another woman. The rain continued, but we all ran on. It didn’t matter since we were all drenched. As I ran I watched the rain, thick drops falling straight down and then bouncing back up off the boardwalk. Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference between the rain falling, the rain bouncing back up, and the rain falling from my soaked hat that I wore.

On the way back I could look out over the dunes and see the crashing waves, see the dark gray sky growing darker and blending seamlessly with the angry dark waves. It was another good distraction so I ran on. I noticed the September 11th memorial, and that seemed to add to the day – the weather and the reason for running. I kept up the pace with the other people around me and soon we saw the Tropicana ahead in the mist and rain. I crossed the finish line in a time I was quite pleased with, but it didn’t matter. I had finished and that was my goal. I was drenched but it didn’t matter – it was a beautiful day!

The foundation raised almost $135,000 for breast cancer awareness and research. It rained, people got drenched, but it didn’t matter. It was a beautiful day!


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