Yesterday I did something for the first time. I participated in a 5K race.
The cause was fighting the stigma of addiction. (Look! I finally learned how to link!) The location was scenic New Castle, Delaware, a town even more hysterical than Snobville.
I believe in holding my own opinion and not mandating it for others, so I've never quite gotten the whole 5K thing. You're paying to run or walk five kilometers. On any given day I can do that for free. But in this case the cause was laudable, and an old friend I hadn't seen in a long time was going to be there. Plus, when I woke up in the morning, it was a smashing gorgeous day, not a cloud, and not below zero.
This particular 5K had never been run before. It was an inaugural event. Expectations were that about 200 people would come. Eight hundred people came. And of course I got there late, because even if I have been to a place three or four times before, that doesn't mean I can find it again.
So, with all the crush of people, and a tardy arrival, I had a great deal of trouble locating my friend, even with a phone in hand. I lingered in the gymnasium until all the other runners had gone out to the starting line. Seeing that I had pinned a number to my jacket, one of the racing organizers said to me, "You need to go outside now. The race is about to start."
To which I replied, "Why do I need to go outside? Someone has to finish last."
But that someone wasn't me, after all. I found my friend and his wife, and we strolled the course through charming New Castle at a brisk but not taxing pace. Lo and behold, when I crossed the finish line 59 minutes and 58 seconds later (not kidding ... really), it was a personal best time for me!
I was glad to see such a fine turnout for this race, because AtTACK Addiction is a relatively new charity, founded by a family who lost a young and handsome son to heroin addiction. Once again offering my opinion here: Addiction is an illness, and a deadly one. As someone who has gone a year and a half without a drink, I can speak to how difficult it is to live with. My family members would tell you the same.
Long story short, I kind of liked the 5K thing. I had forgotten how cool it is to walk through streets that ordinarily would be full of traffic, chatting with friends and ogling the quaint colonial era architecture.
I think I'll add 5K races to my list of fun things to do. Nothing beats the Mummers Parade, but hey ... it's one way to keep in shape for New Year's Day.