I participated in the Run for the Fallen 10K event last year and was amazed how the community came together for this event that I wanted to run it again this year.
Every year the Tampa Area Marine Parents Association (T.A.M.P.A) has a goal to exceed the previous years attendance record. This year, the online registration met and broke that goal.
Just as they did last year, prior to the run an opening ceremony commenced with a prayer, a short speech recognizing the “gold star” families and a gun salute. Since they started a bit behind schedule, I felt that the ceremony this year was rather short compared to last years, but it was still rather moving.
To honor the fallen, rather than runner numbers on the bibs, the organization put the names, ranking and a picture of the fallen hero. For the run, I represented SPC. Seteria Brown. Seteria was only 22 years old when she succumbed to injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident in July 2008. She enlisted in the Army shortly after graduating high school and was on her second tour at the time of her death. Seteria sadly left a 7-year old daughter at the time.
The course was the same as last years, taking us out onto U.S. Highway 301 out and back for a 5k, those participating in the 10k (me) had to do the loop again. I was surprised to not see as many participants dress in full uniform with their rucksacks on. However, there were more runners this year with just the rucksack, some wearing their boots and several carrying the U.S. flag.
Since this is a FREE, non-timed event, I do not have any official results. I had hoped to complete the 10K but it was just too hot, with the run not starting till 9:30. Approaching the 5K finish (the turn around for the second loop of the 10K) I opted to end my run. I think the heat combined with the lack of proper rest, really pushed me to my maximum threshold of performance for the run.
My Garmin reported 2.88 miles in 33:23 (average 11:36/mile). While this is not my best time, this event was more than just going out there to do my personal best. This run was dedicated to those who had sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
Has your community ever hosted a run like this? Maybe for a difference cause.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Like The Runner Within on Facebook
Follow The Runner Within on Twitter
Follow The Runner Within on Instagram