Monday, September 30, 2013

Fort 4 Fitness Challenge

One of the things I have wanted to do for many years is to run the Fort 4 Fitness race held in September every year.  This is a way that Fort Wayne is showing how it stays fit. There are three main races on Saturday, each starting at a different time. The 4-mile run/walk was first at 7:30 a.m.  Then came the mini marathon of 13.1 miles and last was the 10K run.

This year I felt that our 10K race in Atlanta for the Peachtree was one of our best ever, so why not try the Fort 4 Fitness?  Since we had never done this race and had no idea what the route would be like, we decided to do the 4-mile run.  We kept up our running all summer with long Saturday runs. We felt we were ready!
One of the tough things about this race was that it started so early in the morning. We needed to leave home at 6:00 to be sure and be at the starting line on time. It was DARK and cold. We parked the car and walked to the corral area.  We were in starting corral G. The race had over 3,000 runner/walkers in it. There was music playing as the runners gathered in the correct area to begin the run. After a prayer and the national anthem, they shot off a cannon and we were on our way.
With that many runners, I never felt alone. The people were great. So many neighborhoods made signs and wrote on the pavement to encourage the runners. I even saw a couple of my FWCS friends standing at the side. It was wonderful to hear someone yell your name and cheer you on.
We started on Baker Street and turned for a long south run on Calhoun Street. The miles clipped off at amazing speed. I think running in neighborhoods made the time go by faster.
For the end of all three races the runners turned into Parkview Field and finished on Home Plate. There were people there to place a metal around your neck for finishing and then a line to gather up some goodies the sponsors had donated. We walked over to the area where pictures were being taken and stood in line for that, too.
The weather was perfect. The race was very organized. It was a wonderful day in the fort! Can't wait to do it again next year!  Oh, and by the way, I ended up taking 4th place out of 71 women in my age group!

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