Over the last couple of years the Sacramento 5k/10k race has been a staple for my family to start the Thanksgiving day. Since my friends and family have participated in the race at one capacity or another I decided to do something different this year. This year I organized a formal team through the race organization that helps support the Sacramento Food Bank. I sent out a number of emails, tweeted and posted on Facebook about joining the team “RUN 4 WILL”. After all was said and done 19 friends and family members joined the team to support my goal of creating awareness about Hydrocephalus through our team. The team name is inspired and honors my godson William who is 8 years old and was born with Hydrocephalus. This race was even more special as my cousin, Joe and his family drove up to join in the event to allow me to push William in the 10k portion of the race. On the 10k route, 8 of the team members joined me as we pushed William in the BOB stroller through the course.
The race morning started pretty early as many of the team members arrived around 7:00 am to the team tent area at CSU Sacramento, where the race has started all 19 years of it running. With the fantastic weather, this year’s race drew nearly 30,000 runners, joggers and walkers. As we gathered many of the team members were able to meet one another, socialize, take photos and take in some of the complimentary pre race food and beverages (I saw a couple cups of coffee and donuts in the hands of RUN4WILL team members). With all the festivities going on, the time passed fairly quickly and it was time to start making our way to the 10k which had a start time of 8:35 am while the 5k group started at 9:05 am.
The 10k group made our way to the starting area. William lead Vincent, Romeo, Mike, Alex, Joe, Leojo, Edd and myself to the finish. For me this was the first race I had opted to start in the back and not to “race”. As you could imagine the start was fairly congested as 1000s of people started the 6.2 mile trek. The race made it’s way west bound onto H Street and headed towards McKinley Park. The route is very flat and if your racing at the front of the pack have a lot of room to move and adjust to. For me today, it wasn’t about moving up in standings for the Buzz Oats Run Sac Race, it was about running with William and watching a couple members run their furthest distance they have ran or run in their first official race.
Along the course we saw plenty of familiar faces, waving and cheering. There were even some folks getting an early start to their holiday party as they enjoyed some beverages on their front lawns through the East Sacramento neighborhood. The energy of the event and those along the course made the 6.2 miles move pretty fast and made it enjoyable for all.
The group was able to stay together for most of the race and finish crossing the line with hands on the stroller that William sat in. As the 10k group members finished we gathered back to a meeting spot where we continued to socialize and take more photos while waiting for the 5k group to finish.
The 5k group team members included Bethany, Donovan, Greg, Jennifer, Chanel, Jennifer, Matthew, Hope, Branden, Miki, Pilo, Miguel, Sam, and Carrie. This group had a lot of strollers as well and had a blast as most of them were able to cover the 3.1 miles together wearing their blue pull overs that read the words “RUN 4 WILL” boldly on the back.
There was plenty to be thankful for on the Thanksgiving. This event was a special moment not just for creating awareness but also bringing family and friends together at a exercise based event. Thank you to all that joined and supported the RUN4WILL team. Below is a video recap of the event. I hope to see more of you join us in the future at other team “RUN4WILL” runs.