Thursday, April 21, 2016

Heart Run/Walk 5K Recap

Saturday, April 16th I ran the first annual Heart Run 5K here in Rochester. In years past they've always done the Heart Walk to benefit the American Heart Association, but this year they decided to add a 5K run. At first I wasn't going to do the run because the price was a little steep, however, my friend Natalie was running the 5K, so I decided to jump in and run/walk with her.

This year, only a few of us from the Cardiology department actually registered for the race/walk. Our team included myself, Natalie, our coworker Linda, and then one of our Attendings and his wife. The run/walk was also at a different location this year. This year it was at Frontier Field, where as in years past it has been at Blue Cross Arena. Or you could be like me last year, and be laying in a hospital bed 1 day S/P open heart surgery. But, I digress.

I woke up Saturday morning and got myself around to leave. It was a beautiful sunny day (surprising for April in Rochester), but it was still pretty chilly. I arrived at Frontier field around 8:30, and text my coworkers to see if any where there yet. The race was set to start at 9:00 AM with the walk to immediately follow. My coworkers and I set a meeting place and waited in the sun until it was time to walk over to the race start.

(Standing in the sun waiting for the race to stsrt)

We decided to wander over to where the race was going to start. On our way over, there was a big billboard for all the participants to sign. I thought that was cool, and Natalie told me they also had one last year for everyone to sign.

While we were stretching we noticed there were some characters/mascots (if you will), so of course we had to grab a quick picture before the race started.

Finally it was time for the race the start. For the inaugural race, there were about 400 registrants, which I thought was a decent number. We made our way to the starting line, and then they counted us down. Once they blew the horn for us to start, they released about 25 red balloons into the sky which I thought was a neat idea. Since there wasn't a huge crowd, I told my friend Natalie to let me know when we wanted to walk. I was game for whatever she wanted to do.

The course for the 5K (and the walk) was an out and back on the Inner Loop. It certainly wasn't flat, but the small hills provided a little challenge and made us work a little harder.

(Course map: Source)

Natalie, Linda and I made it to about the one mile marker, and we were all dying. We had definitely overdressed. My thermometer when I left my house said 38 degrees, but the sun was warm. Linda and I stripped our top layers and tied our shirts around our waists. Poor Natalie had worn a black Under Armour shirt under the black Heart Run shirts we were given at packet pickup. As we were making our way out to the turning point, we watched the other side as runners started to make their way back to the finish. Then we saw Ryan and Carrie! We all waved at each other and kept trudging along.

We had finally made it to the halfway point, and looped around and started back towards the finish. As we made our way back toward the finish, we were able to run past all the Heart Walk participants that were making their way to just about the 1 mile marker. It was great to see how many participants there were doing the walk. There were also little activities and snacks along the course for the walkers to partake in. The 3 of us chatted as we made our way back over the hills and turned the corner towards Frontier Field. The last 1/10 of a mile we kicked it in and finished strong. I finished in 41:40, not my fastest, but that's my fault for not running consistently this winter/spring. A huge shoutout to Natalie who ran her FIRST timed 5K, and she rocked it!

Once we finished we met up with Ryan and Carrie and chatted for a few minutes. Ryan had mentioned that Scott Hetsko had run the race, and just finished a few minutes before us. I went up to him to say hello, and introduce myself, and asked if I could get a picture with him.

(Chatting about our heart surgeries)

Scott was extremely nice. We chatted for a few minutes, and I told him that I had open heart surgery about a year ago too, and we compared scars. His looks awesome by the way, hardly noticeable. I commented on his Penn State shirt, and was excited to learn he is also a Penn State Alum!

After that we decided to check out the sponsor tents to see what goodies we could pick up. We stopped at the Kodak booth where they were taking pictures of participants, then printing them off so we could take them home. Not only that, they were offering a service where you could print pictures from your phone to take home with you, so we definitely took advantage of that.

We grabbed a small snack at the refreshment tent and decided that we would go for a bite to eat together when we left. We quickly walked around the tents and picked up some goodies and decided to head out. Linda, Natalie and I decided to head to Village Bakery for breakfast. It was such a beautiful day and we were lucky to snag a table outside in the sun. We ate our breakfast and stayed and chatted for quite a while, then we all headed out to enjoy the rest of our weekends.

(With Natalie and Linda at Village Bakery)

QOTD: Running is always more fun with friends. Do you have a BRF (best running friend?)

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