Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Sunday Fun Run With 3,365 Close Friends

There are several unique Ann Arbor experiences. We have the Art Fair, Zingerman's Corned Beef, Paddle Boating in Gallup Park, breakfast at the Fleetwood, dinner at the Chop House, and several others. There is, however, a (relatively) new experience that has quickly gone to the top of my list as a must-do Ann Arbor experience.

I believe this is the second year for the Big House/ Big Heart 5K and 1K fun run and walk to benefit Mott Childrens Hospital and ALS. Tragically, one of the race organizers was just diagnosed with ALS 60 days ago. It can really make problems seem small when viewed through that lens.

The weather was perfect, there was music in the air, and the obvious highlight of the race, as a participant, was the opportunity to run through the tunnel of the Big House, and finish the race on the field at the 50 yard line as your image is shown on the Jumbo-tron.

I am not a runner by any stretch of the imagination. As a matter of fact, I have never participated in a 5K before, but I made the commitment to do this back in January. Going in, my goal was to not finish last, and to just go as fast as I could for as long as I could. I was not able to run the entire time, but I ran more of the course than I thought I could (thanks to Rolling Stones on the MP3), and finished the race with what I feel was a quite respectable 40:50 time.

Anyway, it is a pretty indescribable experience to run down the tunnel of the Big House, with folks at the entryway high-fiving you, and then running to the south end zone, and sprinting up the middle of the field to the finish line, with your fellow runners cheering you on. I cannot wait until next year!

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