You can find out about why they do the fundraiser walk here:
Their main website that talks about Mercy Ministries is here:
So, Steven and I got there about 7:15am for check in before the race began at 8am. It was a little cooler in Salem than it was in Botetourt (where we live) so we grabbed jackets from the car. After signing in, I got a small goody sponsor bag along with my Tshirt and race number. We waited in the car for awhile to stay warm, then did some warm up exercises and then it was time to race!
Before the race, I had looked at the race map online and noticed that there was some zigzags in a particular area but didn't really think anything of it. I'm not much of a runner or a racer, but I signed up for this race because I felt like it was a good cause and I wanted to be able to complete a race. I've been training outside for the last month or so with walking/jogging intervals, as well as doing some kind of cardio almost every day.
We started off down a grassy slope for a few minutes and then proceeded to go into the woods. The trail in the woods was marked by an orange string. I would describe it as a side of a mountain instead of a trail-steep with lose dirt and acorns. As you can see with the picture below, this is where the zigzags came in! We would trudge up the mountain and then back down, and up again and back down. over and over again! I spoke with a guy after the race who put the trail together and they did this obviously so we could get the necessary mileage in for it to be a 5k race. And the best part was that after all this, we would do it over again (2 loops around)!! I was really hoping that I could practice my Galloway training method of walking/jogging intervals but because of the severe steepness of the up and downs, my son and I basically had to walk the race, along with many many others. Going up and down was very hard on the knees, but we pushed on!
After the first round thru the woods, several people stopped because it was so exhausting-I would say about 1/3 of the people. I wasn't excited about it, but my son and I pushed on! I really wanted to be able to finish this race! My motivation was that last June 2011 I tried to do a 5k race and after 10 minutes I had to stop because of shin splits and wasn't able to complete it! Since that time, I have lost alot of weight and gotten more active. (more about that in another post)
We started the second round thru the woods and it was more tough than the first round because we were so fatigued. It was really nice that they had a couple people through out the course handing out water and cheering us on. They also had posters through out the course showing statistics of how Mercy Ministries helps girls. I kept cheering my son on who stayed ahead of me-he was doing awesome!! I did my inhaler at the beginning of the race and then in the middle which helped me alot. I was really hoping to be done with the race within 60 minutes but the last 10 minutes was super hard for me. My stomach was churning so bad and I felt so over heated that I felt like I was going to throw up. For the last 10 minutes I just keep telling myself that I could do it and not to throw up. I encouraged my son at the last stretch of the race when it got flat before the finish line, to hurry ahead and finish strong.
He finished about a minute ahead of me and I finished in 1 hour, 3 mins 48 seconds. Several people where cheering and so encouraging to those of us still racing.
Here we are a few minutes after we finished and then caught our breath. I was so sweaty!
This is a cell phone picture of my race results from Mountain Junkies LLC (who timed the participants) that they posted online. As you can see, I wasn't the last person in the race and I wasn't the last person in my category!! WHOHOO!! AND I FINISHED!!
I was so happy (at the end of the race when I could breath again) that I had completed the race successfully with my son! It was such a pretty fall day and although the race was very tough, it was nice to be in the woods and enjoy nature.
This is a picture of all the fun things I got yesterday. I got a grey shirt (size MEDIUM-I just recently started wearing a size M which is super exciting) for signing up for the race, a water bottle and drawstring bag because I raised over $100 for Mercy, and a book because my name was drawn for a door prize.
They had lots of water and snacks and several people walking around checking on people and organizing the event. I was really impressed with several of the racers who went around congratulating others on finishing the race and telling them good job. What a great example of sportsmanship and event!! If we do this next year, I will have to definitely train more because this was a tough trail race for sure!! Now off to stretch and drink some more water!!