52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 33: An amazing cause and an almost-triumph

We’ve done our fair share of races over the past six months – some tiny, some huge, some with purpose and others that felt soulless and corporate. The ones that stand out for me are usually the small events that have a great charity attached (like the Brian K. Betts 5K). They are more about the cause and less about the running. Which is good, because I am generally pretty crap at the running.

This past weekend we did the 1st Annual “Be Like Brit” 5K in Rutland, MA. There’s a tragic story behind this race. In 2010, 19-year-old Lynn University student Britney Gengel traveled to Haiti to work at an orphanage there. The day after she arrived, Britney, three of her fellow students, and two professors were killed in the massive earthquake that struck the country.

In Britney’s memory, her family established Be Like Brit to build a “safe, nurturing and sustainable orphanage” in Haiti. We saw Britney’s mother at the run. It’s truly amazing what that family has been through and what they’re doing now. We were more than happy to jump in the car in the very early morning to participate in this small but fantastic event. Hopefully it’s the first of many.

Be Like Brit 5K

Cop car marks the start.

It was a lovely, cool, cloudy day (finally!). The rain threatened to show up but never did. The run was point-to-point, so there were some logistics to overcome (car at start or finish? We chose finish), but other than that it was perfect. Did I mention it was mostly downhill?

Be Like Brit 5K

Rural running.

I felt pretty strong from the start. Sneaking glances at my pace, I was excited to see I was consistently in the nines. Hmmmm, could this be the day I go under 30? I tried to pick things up when I saw the timing clock in the distance, and when I realized the first number was 29 I really started to motor (as much as I can motor). But alas, I was just over 30. No PR – I did that in Lake George in April, although I have my suspicions about the accuracy of that result – but I was thrilled to be heading in the right direction again (forward, that is). That heat really is a momentum killer.

Be Like Brit 5K

It’s gotten more purple since this photo was taken. Who needs nail polish …?

Oh, and did I mention the big toe? I have been running with an injured nail ever since the Mad Half Marathon walk a few weeks back. It oscillates between a mild throb and an excruciating stab (who knew something so small could be so painful). I’m in denial about it possibly falling off.

I do feel like it’s boosted my hard-core score by a number of points. If I can run close to 30 with this bum nail, surely I can kick 30’s butt if it ever goes back to normal? Sadly, I don’t think the going-back-to-normal part of that equation is going to happen before the half-marathon I am supposedly running in Vancouver in two weeks’ time. Eeeek.

A radio host from WXLO (one of the sponsors) did the post-run announcing for this event and he was fabulous. Race directors do amazing jobs, but sometimes the mic best belongs in the hands of a pro.

The event: Be Like Brit 5K
The location:
Rutland, MA
The date: July 29, 2012
My time: 30.04 (pace: 9.40)
Hubby’s time:
19.43 (pace 6.20; 5th overall!)
The cause:
Be Like Brit
The T-shirt:
White cotton
The aftermath: Bananas, apples, DIY bagels with cream cheese and peanut butter


8 responses to “52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 33: An amazing cause and an almost-triumph

  1. Saving My Belly Button Ring

    What a great cause! Excellent timing! 🙂 Sorry about the toe. 😦

  2. 4 seconds! So close!!
    You are so going to break that barrier soon 😉

  3. Great job – you are getting closer to the 30 minute barrier!

  4. You will definitely break 30 this fall when it cools off for real! Nice run with that toe — it looks so painful!

  5. Pingback: 52 Weeks, 52 Runs. No. 34: Blistering! (And I don’t mean my pace) | Stride and Joy