Freedom Park

Are you “Gumping” it up? THEY DID.

300. Hard to imagine, BUT today marked the 300th day of this journey! After our first 5K Run/Walk, the response was clear: people want in. The overwhelming number of emails, contributions and words of encouragement have been unbelievable. Since the official launch 5 short days ago, we have raised over $2K toward our goal of $5K. And as promised, we will keep running/walking a 5K every other day until the remaining $5K is raised.

Like the first 5K, I arrived early and walked a loop around the park holding my sign. I stopped to speak to several dog-walkers, was flagged down by a couple tossing a frisbee, and had a brief conversation with some women clearly wanting a break from their boot-camp workout (looked brutal). Most surprisingly, a child no more than 5-years-old was walking side-by-side his mother began to run toward me and started touching my sign, specifically the “Papa” portion. I laughed with undoubtedly a perplexed look on my face. Maybe the kid was just being curious. Maybe he liked the color. Or maybe he was just being a kid. His mom walked to grab her child and said, “we call my dad ‘Papa’.”

As 6:30 was drawing closer, runners/walkers alike came together in Freedom Park to participate in the 5K. After brief introductions, I explained the 5K route to the group. The atmosphere was pleasantly calm and running/walking in such a beautiful location with ideal conditions-clear skies, 70-degrees and a swirling breeze-was beyond stimulating to the mind and senses.

The runners took off as the walkers causally made their way around the body of water surrounding the park. After 1 3/4 laps, we crossed a bridge leading to a path in the woods which wrapped around the park. As any runner will tell you, it’s not challenging to run when nature is surrounding you on all sides. Exiting the woods, we passed a handful of bikers as well as a group of kids playing soccer. My favorite part of the run was, of course, THE STEPS (not often part of a normal 5K). We climbed the steps and looped our way around the park back to the original starting bridge; thus, finishing the 5K run.

Since the walking group was still a decent distance behind us, I sprinted back to their group and we all completed the last leg of the 5K together. I wanted to show my appreciation for their willingness to raise awareness for PPA as well as capture some images of their walk on camera. With another 5K for $5K Challenge successfully completed, what better way to reap the rewards of 3.1 miles covered on foot? We ALL went out for dinner and drinks…after all, it is the weekend:)

When is the next 5K race?

Sunday, May 6th at 2PM. Location: Southpark Mall in front of the Amphitheater. This is an open invite and ALL are welcome. The more the merrier!

2 down, 3 more to run/walk!

If you have any questions, please email: [email protected]

To make a donation go to: PPA Research and Education Fund (Run4Papa)

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