educator, writer, speaker, devoted family man, amateur philosopher, chess enthusiast, basketball junkie, connoisseur of fine hip hop, and purveyor of wit and wisdom
Another 40-by-40 item has been knocked off the list!!!
Today was the Ontario Mills 5K/10K sponsored by The Okoye Foundation. I woke up around 5:30 to the sound of rain and wondered what would happen with the race. I never ran a 5K before, and I didn’t know what they would do if it rains. I got there an hour before the race began just to see if folks would be around. Lots of people were there and I found out that people actually run in the rain. It makes sense…there’s no way a charitable organization will refund that large amount of money due to something as trivial as rain (last year there were over 1200 people in the Ontario Mills race…that’s a lot of money in registration fees.)
The Okoye Foundation was created by Christian Okoye, former all-pro running back for the Kansas City Chiefs. He was there to start the race (see the pic below).
It was incredible to see that many people show up in the rain. (I was told that there were approximately 700 runners this morning.) Most of the folks there looked like experienced runners of all ages, and there were even a few kids there (and one guy who ran with his dog.)
Tara and the kids didn’t go…she didn’t think it was a good idea for them to be out in the rain. She didn’t think it was a good idea for me to be out in the rain coming off of my fight with pneumonia. But I was feeling good, and I was jazzed about doing this race. I planned to train a bit for the two weeks prior, but trying to recover from being sick took me away from all that.
I didn’t know exactly how to dress for a run in the rain. I had my t-shirt and shorts underneath some breakaway sweats and my APU jacket with my Lakers beanie (see the pic).
So I’m ready, the pistol fires, and everyone starts. I was going to listen to a comedy podcast, but decided to go with music instead, and it was a smart decision. I got a whole bunch of second winds from Talib Kweli (“Back Again”), Lupe Fiasco (“Chicapow”), Sho Baraka (“Kobe Bryant”), Mos Def (“Casa Bey”), and The Roots (especially Black Thought’s verse on “Web 20/20”).
I was doing fine to start the race. I had a pretty good pace for a long while…not too fast, not too slow, and not tired at all. Then right near the exact halfway point, my right knee started to feel tender and it slowed me down quite a bit. By the time I hit the 4K mark, it was feeling bad. There was a table with volunteers handing out cups of water at the 4K mark. I grabbed a cup, drank it, then felt bad about throwing it on the ground, so I ran back to the table to toss it in their trash can. The good thing was that I wasn’t tired, and I didn’t walk. No matter what I kept moving at least at the speed of a light jog.
I rounded a curve and saw the finish line. The word FINISH never looked so beautiful. There were a whole lot of people cheering on all the runners with a half dozen girls giving high fives at the finish line. I couldn’t see the clock so I had no idea what my final time was. There were tables set up with water bottles and all kinds of baskets of fruit…and a truck giving away free ice cream cones (go figure).
It took a while, but they finally posted the results. I thought I would have made 45 minutes or something like that because of my slow jog for the last half of the race. But I was pleasantly surprised. Here’s a shot of the results for my group (Males 30 to 39):
I’m not sure you can see my name but it’s there. I was in 31st place for Males 30 to 39 with a time of 40 minutes 32.5 seconds. Here’s a close up pic:
Overall, it was a good morning and I feel pretty good. I want to run again.
After the race, I was soaking wet. I changed my clothes and met up with Christian Okoye. I told him that I just graduated from Azusa Pacific University a few weeks ago (he got drafted to the NFL in the ’80s from Azusa Pacific). We talked a bit about that, and he let me take a picture with him.
I want to do another race and beat my time. There’s a 5K here in Rancho Cucamonga the first weekend in April, so I may hit that one. My son said he wants to go also…who else wants to run with us?