More than one way to run a race

In addition to running in 5K races, this spring there will be a new 5K Race here in Memphis that all started with simple question about why nobody had done a 5K for the Ronald McDonald House in conjunction with a local radio station’s annual radiothon that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for The House.  Not only is it for The Kids at The House, it is in memory and honor of one of Memphis’ finest sons.  Ever.  

John “Bad Dog” McCormack was part of the “Wake-Up Crew” on Rock103 (WEGR) and they were the ones who started the Radiothon in February 1991 and his devotion to The Kids at The House was second only to his devotion to his own two sons.  In March of this year John lost his battle with Cancer – a battle he saw as a blessing because it made him better able to understand what The Kids at RMH went through every day.  They were his heroes.  And he was everybody else’s.

There are about two months’ worth of Divinely Providential occurrences, not the least of which is the tremendous team of three other people who came together in the first few weeks of this who are working with me in getting this event pulled together in less than six months!

But the first hurdle was getting a date and then approval of our event for that date on the calendar of Memphis Runners Track Club (MRTC from here out).  They are the biggest running club in this area, and someone recently said one of the biggest ones in the country but I haven’t verified that, and if you want to have a successful race around here you really need to have MRTC involved in it.  Not only that, but they are simply the best resource for race related services.

This was really the start of the Moments of Divine Providence (MoDP – I love initial based abbreviations!).  Between the Club’s own events and a plethora of cause-based races MRTC’s calendar fills up with a quickness.  As “luck” would have it, the very day I contacted their Admin they had an event cancel and I asked what we had to do to get that date for our race.  She told me (provide them with the requested date, time, event name, purpose, and location) and following my committee’s third meeting I sent a fairly well-written email with our request.  That was November 15th.

Our next Committee Meeting (we really need a snazzier name than “Race Committee”) was fast approaching and I hadn’t heard anything back from Terri (the Admin) so yesterday afternoon I fired off a little ‘gentle reminder’ email asking if she’d heard back from their Board of Directors who have to approve all race requests.  She had one of those “Oh my gosh!” moments because with all the rush of the holidays – perfectly understandable – she’d forgot to send our request.  (She had actually held off on sending it immediately after I’d sent it because she didn’t want to get it confused with another event that had also come in.  I appreciated that!)  She sent it off sometime yesterday afternoon and tonight at 6:11 pm I got her reply: GIRL!  All yes votes!!  You’re on the calendar!  My husband and I were in the car on our way to the gym for our last run before Saturday’s 5K and he swears he temporarily lost hearing in his right ear from the scream I let loose.  And then I got all puddled up.  (That’s ‘Southern’ for “I had tears in my eyes”  I use it a lot.  Add it to your Southernisms Lexicon.)

There are details to work out and there is a LOT of work to be done between now and then.  

For tonight I am simply overwhelmed: A) that this is going to happen; and B) (and this feels pretty braggadocious to actually put into words) that I am actually turning my little idea into a reality.

The greatest irony of this whole thing: I likely won’t actually get to RUN IN my own 5K!  I’ll be too busy runNING the 5K.

And can I just point out that this time six months ago I couldn’t even run a single mile.  With or without stopping.  And now . . . Well now one mile is a warm-up for me, I’m going to start training for a half-marathon in a month, and I am planning and coordinating a 5K to benefit a wonderful organization.

Who am I and what have I done with my sedentary self?!

On Another Note Altogether:

Tonight was my last practice run before the St. Jude 5K on Saturday.  I wasn’t going for speed, I was going for endurance. I did 3.5 miles in 48:26 with only about three walking intervals for less than a minute each.

I had really begun to waver and falter a little on that whole “I’m gonna run a half marathon!” thing again, so I needed a good, long-ish run that I didn’t feel like ten miles of bad road at the end of to reassure me that I do, in fact, have it in me to do that very thing,


Okay, I have GOT to get some sleep tonight!

A sleep-deprived Julianne isn’t exactly an at-her-best, race coordinating, race running Julianne!

Nite y’all!

5 thoughts on “More than one way to run a race

  1. I love your southernisms. I love your lettered abbreviations. I love divine provisions. I hope you slept a deep peaceful sleep. And later on when you begin to wonder and doubt you can do this, tell yourself you’re right, you can’t and you haven’t. Someone way bigger wants this uo ha0pen and He’s decided to work thru you to accomplish it. Then let him. (sorry for the typos, my phone won’t let me correct them)

    • Tina, as always your gentle, loving way of reframing things shines like a diamond!
      You are absolutely correct, it is not me doing the work, but God doing the work through me. This whole experience has been one moment of Divine Order falling into place perfectly after another. It has truly been amazing to sit back and watch unfold. All we have to do is be open to hearing that ‘still small voice’ and willing to act on it. That was one of the hallmarks of the life of John McCormack – he was a man of faith No Matter What.
      Thank you again for this comment. I may well print it out and hang it in every room of my house as a reminder! 🙂

  2. Bad Dog is smiling down on you and all those helping you pull this together.

    “I thank each and every one of you for your support and prayers. I love all of you and that will never go away. When you are having a bad day, think of my laugh or a Twilight Phone or the time we met. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, make every day great, be the spritual leader of your family. May peace be with you. Your friend, Bad Dog.” March 2011

    • Ken,
      You know this means more to me than anything in the world. Like I told you last night, I can’t wait to finally meet you live and in person in February and hug your neck! Something tells me John will be right there in the middle of that hug! 🙂

Thanks for your encouragement!

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