On Saturday, June 10, 2017, I ran the Zero Prostate Cancer 5K in Hartford, CT. I hadn't been feeling up to running races for a while now. It's been more of a motivational thing with me than a physical thing. All last year I didn't run a single race until the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgivings Day and I never got really going until the 2 mile mile mark without a seeding card. That's my fault because I didn't really care if I ran a race before then. To get a seeding card, you have to run at least one other race in a qualifying time, which I felt I could have with a little effort.
Anyway, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer back in 2007. After cancer treatment that same year, I have been doing well from that standpoint. My wife started asking me if I wanted to do this Prostate Cancer run three weeks prior, but I didn't get the hint. Much of the money raised from the event goes towards prostate cancer research and outreach. After some encouragement from her, I agreed to do it and she even signed me up using her smartphone. She wasn't about to leave that up to me.
So with some hesitation on my part, we drove into Hartford and parked near the new Dunkin Donuts Park, which is where the race started and finished. When I went inside to get my race number, it was a real family environment in there. There were mothers, fathers, grandmas, grandpas, brothers, sisters, and of course, a number of children. They even announced the survivors that were running/walking in the race beforehand.
Many people had on the light blue running shirts or braclets that were given to participants.
The weather wasn't exactly ideal for running though. It was in the 80's and fairly humid. But I didn't let that bother me too much. Perhaps 32 years of running in Hartford in all types of weather conditions from my office at CTDEEP helped me. I started out conservatively even though I had to run only 3.1 miles because of the weather. I was in about the top 50 out of around 120 runners at the 2 mile mark, but picked up the pace. I started picking runners off and entered the stadium in right field (the warning track) at a good pace. The race course followed the warning track into left field and then finished adjacent to third base.
I ended up running 26:28 and finished third in my division (55-59), the third survivor, and 31th overall.
Not too bad considering all things. I was given two nice glass mugs for my third places finishes. This was the slowest 5K race I have ever done by over 2 minutes, but that was okay. It was for a good cause with real significance for me and my family. After all, I'm still trying to get that motivation back to compete. Perhaps this will be the catalyst to get me going again.