Sunday, September 29, 2013

Run for The Lighthouse

As part of my training for the upcoming Savannah Marathon in November I was signed up for three races to test me along the way.  The first was early on and it was a 15K at AT&T BoMF Baltimore Sneaks Come Out at Night 15K, 3x5K Relay & Corp Challenge sponsored by Thomas.  


Today was my second event the Run for the Lighthouse ½ Marathon in Annapolis, Md.  I did not research either of these races and somehow they both were charitable races that deal with helping those who are homeless to get back on their feet.  

The Light House, a homeless prevention and support center is located at 10 Hudson Street in Annapolis. Their mission is to help rebuild lives with compassion by providing shelter and services to prevent homelessness and empower people as they transition toward self-sufficiency. They strive to break the cycle of homelessness by providing a place of belonging, life changing programs and a broad continuum of support to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

With your support, and that of others like you, the Friends of the Light House Shelter will continue to be able to provide support to the Light House and enable its staff to provide much-needed services to the citizens of Anne Arundel County. Because the Friends of the Light House consists of volunteer board members and only one staff person, a full 90% of what we raise goes directly to support the operating expenses of the Light House.

The race director and the staff on hand were very hospitable.  I wrote to her a week before the race with some questions and she immediately answered me.  I knew this would be something special at that point.  I had the option of driving down on Saturday for packet pick-up, then driving again on Sunday to race or just do it all on Sunday.  I chose to go with all Sunday.  I arrived at the venue Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis.

When I arrived at packet pick-up I was surprised to be greeted by the very race director I was writing to.  She was very happy and excited for the race.  This made me even more pumped for the race than I needed to be.  My goal was just to run as a training event.  

After pinning my number on (horribly) I went to the starting area.  The MC was on the mike and talking about the Lighthouse and their mission.  He thanked everyone for being there.  He told all the runners that their time does not start until you pass the mat.  He said this a couple times to ensure that people did not trample through the starting shoot.  There were only about 160 runners in the half and about 240 in the Jogging Joe Shafran Memorial Run, a 5K fun run in Joe's honor.  This is the sad state of races where if you are not giving some sort of bling, those who chase it will not run in your event.  

The course was rolling to say the least.  You took off and did a loop around Quiet Waters Park which was about 4 plus miles.  Then you headed out in to the Subdivision of Hillsmere.  This took you out along the water and through a peaceful neighborhood.  Volunteers were all through here and strangely through the 4.7 miles (guess) out there I only had two vehicles come by me.  You then re-enter the park and make another complete loop passing by the trail to the start finish line (psychological knock-out for some).  Since there were not many runners traffic on the trail and roads was never bad.  I even saw my first dog beach.  

At the finish there were cheering crowds and smoothies.  They also had bagels and Dunkin Donuts coffee.  I was at a limp though.  I pushed too hard early and something in my hammy popped.  Hopefully it heals in a couple weeks.  

Most of the runners on the course and in the race were friendly as were the spectators.  I recommend this race to those in the area or passing through next year. 

Honestly would you sign up for a race over 10K without a Medal at the end?

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