This was the 10th annual CityKids VBS (Vacation Bible School) 5k sponsored by First Baptist Church in Hickory. For Linda and I, it was our second race in 12 hours and a 50-mile drive after getting home at almost midnight after last night’s China Grove race, but I always look forward to running in Hickory, the place where I grew up and still consider my hometown even though I’ve been gone for 30 years. From the parking lot where we registered for the race I could look across the block at the corner of 3rd Avenue, where my family lived when we came from New Jersey in 1964. It’s now just an empty field, but I always re-live those Wonder Years memories anytime I pass by that spot.
At the start of the race we ran down a couple of blocks, hung a right just before the railroad tracks, and were met by the deafening rumble of a freight train heading through town. It was strange to hear nothing but footsteps a couple minutes later after the train had passed. The race course twisted and turned through some of the beautiful old neighborhoods in Northwest Hickory. There were some moderate hills but nothing too formidable. I thought about my race on the previous night and how I took two 20-second walk breaks in the last 2 miles. Then I thought about an article I read in the latest edition of Running Journal. It was called “What Is Mental Toughness,” written by Richard Ferguson. One thing he said in the article really hit me: “If you’re really dedicated to what you do then you will tend not to give up when times get tough, like late in a race.” I tried to remember that throughout the race, and those times when I might ordinarily take a walk break I was able to stick with it instead and keep running, even up some pretty big hills. I’m sure it won’t be the last time I ever take a walk break (I’m running in Asheville next week), but it’s something I want to remember when I find myself not giving it a hundred percent. So I didn’t walk, but I also didn’t set any records — personal or otherwise — but was happy to finish in 22:10 on a pretty tough course.
After the race the food was scrumptious and plentiful, some of the best we’ve seen, especially for a small race (117 finishers).
I was able to take quite a few good photos and have posted 77 in the slideshow. As always, they’re free and the large original photos can be downloaded by clicking on the slideshow and going to Picasa and choosing the pics you want (no registration is necessary).
6 – 1-10 Website (Informaton, results, registration, photo links, etc.) 7 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10) 7 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10) 9 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10) 6 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 4 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No) 0 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No) 4 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No) 7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No) 7 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 8 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 8 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 7 – 3/7 Age Groups (7 if 5-year groups; 3 if 10-year groups) 5 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided) 4 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities 0 – 0-10 Other