The Keep Pounding 5K.
Not gonna' lie...we signed up for this one because it finished by crossing the 50 yard line at Bank of America Stadium where the Carolina Panthers play.
But once we got to the starting line, it became so much more. I will explain in a moment.
This was a point-to-point race, so we had to park at the parking deck that is closest to the stadium and take a shuttle to the starting line, down near CMC-Main. It was super easy, which is good because I get nervous about logistics like that before a race...especially races that involve shuttles.
It was a perfect morning. Perfect temperature. Carolina blue sky. An absolutely perfect day for a race.
And Brian with...well...I'm not really sure what...or who...
While we were waiting for more runners to arrive and for the start of the race, I began to notice groups of people wearing shirts that clearly indicated they were part of a team. This race benefitted Levine Children's Hospital and Levine Cancer Institute. There were teams from different departments at the hospital. And, there were teams that were clearly supporting families and cancer patients. And there were teams running in memory of loved ones. The enormity of all of that struck me. I have lost two teaching friends to cancer. And another friend has recently been diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly, the 3.1 miles of mostly uphill running meant more to me than a slow, steady pace. Because I HATE hills. But I HATE cancer even more. Suddenly, this was about them...about Nikki, and Michelle, and now Kristine. And while I couldn't and can't fight the battle for them, I could carry me with them on this course...UP "Mount Morehead," around the stadium to the North Entrance, all the way around the lower concourse, UP the ramps to the 500 level and down again, out through the players' entrance onto the field.
The view as we came out of the tunnel..
And then I hit the wrong button on my phone and didn't get any more approaching the finish line or of us on the big screen! Typical Momma-style! I will admit that it was really cool to run out of the tunnel and all the way to the 50 years line of the football field.
A better view of the big cat (whose tail is visible in the tunnel picture)...
The 50 yard line represented the end of my race yesterday. It was an uphill fight to get there. I know our friend, Kristine, has an uphill fight ahead of her, but I also know that she absolutely has it in her to "Keep Pounding" her way to health and healing. So y'all say a prayer for her, send some good mojo, positive juju, healing thoughts...whatever it is you believe in and find your strength in.