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|Just Do It|
A couple of weeks ago, Nike sponsored a 5K race on their campus. It was called the "Bowerman AC 5K" in honor of Bill Bowerman, the legendary U of O track coach, who along with Phil Knight, co-founded this shoe giant. Not a speedy runner, I usually avoid short distance races. But this race attracted my attention because 1. it was close to home, 2. the price was right, and 3. they had a good t-shirt (Nike dri-fit of course!). But also $5 of every race entry went to a good cause - the Achon Uganda Children's Fund.
|The Tiger Woods Center|
|Goofy starting line photo|
|Pre-race pep talk by Julius Achon (in red next to the start sign)|
I shoved my big DSLR camera in my poor hubby's hands and gave him quick directions on how to use it. Then I ran a couple of warm-up laps around the parking lot, trying to coax my legs, stiff from this morning's run, into carrying me a couple more miles. After that I ambled over to the starting line. Time to get this thing going!
|Annndddd.... they're off!|
|Runners head down the campus road|
Our race course followed the road circling the Nike campus. We were to travel 1 3/4 times around this road, then turn off towards the finish line, located in a mid-campus plaza. From the very start, the muggy weather enveloped me, sucking what little energy I had. The first mile was a struggle. I felt as if I was running through quicksand. But as I sped by the mile marker, a man reading our splits called out 8:18. Really? That's pretty fast for little ol' me.
The second mile, I struggled to keep that fast (for me anyway) pace. But judging by the number of times I got passed, I must've slowed down. I amused myself by taking in the sights along the ring road. Instead of the usual pedestrian crosswalk sign of a stick figure walking, Nike had signs showing stick men running. The speed limit signs dictated a "14.5 mph" max speed. Huh? And, most interesting of all, on the guide signs pointing the way to the different campus buildings, one name was covered with black tape. I later figured out it was the soon-to-be-renamed Joe Paterno Child Development Center.
|A strong finish|
I hit my second mile still averaging an 8:30 pace. So in the final mile, I tried my best to hold on and finish under 30 minutes. I put out a good kick, and crossed the line in 26:13. I found out later this time was a PR for me (at least a post-age-40 PR). Not too bad for a muggy July night!
Roger caught my finish and got one good photo of me motoring in. After drinking tons of water and walking around a bit, we headed over to the large courtyard between the campus buildings to enjoy a live band and watch the awards.
At the time, I was too busy enjoying all the festivities, but later I realized I should've taken a bunch more photos of the Nike Campus. It's not everyday we commoners are allowed into the Nike Kingdom. Since I've no more photos to share with you here, I guess it just means I'll either have to sneak back onto the campus during one of my runs, or sign up to run this race again next year!