Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lima FoxTrot 5k

Running in the City of Gardendale, Al.
     A couple of weeks ago, I had the unexpected pleasure of running a 5k in Gardendale, Al. A little backstory.... I was originally supposed to run the Country Music Marathon in Nashville that Weekend but it didn't work out with my schedule so I was looking for a local race when a good friend of mine told me that he (Scott Wood) and another friend of ours, (Ronnie Blakney) were on the planning committee for an inaugural 5k in Gardendale, Al. The Lima FoxTrot 5K.  It didn't sound like there were a ton of people registered for the race and I really didn't have the highest expectations but I didn't have anything else going on so I thought I would give it a go. WOW was I ever surprised!!  This 5k was packed full of things that I expect from 5k races that have been in existence for years.
     The race had lots of sponsors and all proceeds were to benefit The Lakeshore Foundation.  I have never ran a race before right next to someone in a wheel chair, until today. Talk about inspiring. There were several paralympic athletes actually racing the same race that I was. Big Congrats to those guys...they smoked me!!
More on the LakeShore Foundation:
     "Lakeshore is home to one of the nation’s leading centers for the advancement of athletics for people with physical disabilities- one of the only centers of its kind. Our reputation extends beyond the United States, making it a popular training site for international athletes with disabilities. Lakeshore’s coaches, many of whom have stellar athletic careers of their own, have come to Birmingham from around the country. They are drawn here by the Foundation’s barrier-free athletic complex, experienced staff, and by our long-standing commitment to expand opportunities for those who have experienced a physical disability.
Competitive athletics available at Lakeshore can fulfill a personal need for strenuous activity, provide an outlet for competitive drive, enhance independence, and contribute to the athlete’s overall health and well being. The program offers a myriad of opportunities to build strength, confidence and physical skills valuable in everyday life. With all of these benefits come lifelong friendships, shared victories and exciting opportunities for national and international competition.
Competitive athletics opportunities for youth and adults with physical disabilities are available in the sports of wheelchair rugby, wheelchair basketball, goalball, track and field, swimming, power soccer, wheelchair tennis and marksmanship."

     Because this was an impromptu 5k for me, I had to arrive a few minutes early to get registered and pick up my 5k packet. Plenty of race shirts left and pins! (Running out of shirts I can handle but running out of safety pins is a major pet peeve of mine!). And tech shirts at that!! That's huge in the race world to receive a tech shirt and not just a cotton tee shirt. The tech shirt is worth the registration fee alone!
      The line moved quickly and I ran my packet out to my car, attached my bib and I was back to the Start line area. There were a few gals there pumping up the crowd with some warm up exercises, the Coca Cola truck playing some awesome "get up and move music" and we were ready to get lined up.  As we moved over to the Start Line, we were given directions concerning the course, said a quick prayer and off we went! The course wound 3.1 miles through the Gardendale city streets, some neighborhoods and then we finished back at the Gardendale Civic (the same place where we started). I thought the course was perfect!  Not too hilly but just enough to give me a great workout!
     Mother Nature even cooperated! The race this year took place on April 27th. It was warm enough for shorts and a tank but after I ran, I did throw my long sleeves back on. I got really cool after I cooled down. Perfect 5k Weather!

This Princess always ready to run!
     With 175 Runners, I could look around and tell that there was a wide variety of runners.  Some of these runners were really experienced and some looked like they were running their very first 5k. I love these types of races where the atmosphere doesn't feel too "intense" and we are just doing what we love and raising money for a good cause along the way!
Finish Line Action!

 Stopped for a Finish Line Photo with my friends Heather Wood, Scott Wood and Ronnie Blakeney
Big Thanks to all of the great sponsors...
What a cute tech shirt!
 www.MagnoliaFestival.org....Check it out!
    **There is a rumor that the race may be pushed forward a weekend in 2014 to tie in with The Magnolia Festival in Gardendale. Make sure to stay tuned to the website for official details on that!

Lots of Post Race Bananas!
 Love this Gator filled with ICE COLD POWERADE!!
   So as I was waiting for the lots and lots of door prizes to be called out, I realized that I had even won my age group division! Bonus!! I get a medal and get to run a great race?!?! LOVE days like these! I was hoping to win one of the door prizes. They gave away lots of giftcards, a six month gym membership and even a voucher for a brand new pair of Nike running shoes...WOW!! I was not lucky enough to win a door prize but that's okay. I'll definitely try again next year. :)
My awesome first place age division medal!
 My friend Scott also won his age group!
I absolutely love running with these guys...even Walker The WonderDog Blakney! 
My Top 5 things I love about the Lima FoxTrot 5k:
1.  Benefits a Great Cause
2.  Tech Shirts...Can't go wrong!
3.  Fabulous Door Prizes
4.  Perfect Weather and great course
5.  Plenty of Start/Finish Line activity...lots of drinks, food, entertainment
Will DEFINITELY add this race to my calendar again for 2014 and will hopefully get to hang around for the Magnolia Festival as well!

**What does Lima FoxTrot mean??
"LIMA FOXTROT" describes what has become one of this country's premier, comprehensive, year round, sport, fitness, and recreation programs for severely injured military personnel.
Initiated in 2006 in response to the significant numbers of injuries from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, LIMA FOXTROT has served more than 1,000 injured servicemen and women and their families, from 35 states and territories.
Through LIMA FOXTROT these young men and women use lessons from sport and recreation to learn how to pursue life after injury.

**For questions or if you would like to volunteer,
contact Jeanne VonHagel at 205-542-0467, email: jeannevon1@aol.com

**If you would like to sponsor or support the Lima Foxtrot 5K/Fun Run
contact Kathleen Phillips at gdalemagfest@gmail.com

**For questions about getting your child involved in the Fun Run at your school
contact Sandi Henley at sandi64@yahoo.com
**Visit the Lakeshore Foundation website for more information about Operation Lima Foxtrot and other Lakeshore Foundation Programs.

Visit the Magnolia Festival Website to see race results and more photos from the race.