We woke up one day this week and said to ourselves, “Our 5K is this Saturday. Wait a second . . . 5K? We’ve never run a 5K. We don’t have any idea what a 5K is supposed to be like. What in the world have we gotten ourselves into?”
We got ourselves into what was a practically perfect event. We spent the week thinking up worst case scenarios: nobody shows up, BYU-Hawaii tells us we can’t have the run go around the campus, we can’t get any volunteers, people hate the run and spit in our faces. Deep down inside we knew, of course, that everything would be okay. People weren’t going to care if we didn’t have their favorite kind of bagel at the finish line or if they had to wait a second for a car to pass before crossing the road. Somehow they would find the finish line, even if they had to run all over town before they got there. Still, we stayed up until 1:00 on Friday night making final preparations, setting everything out so it would be ready to go at 4:00 the next morning. The race didn’t start until 7:00, but we had to chalk the course, set up cones, make sure all of the gates around the PCC were open, set up the aid station and registration table, and organize volunteers. By 6:30 people were showing up and we couldn’t really think of anything else that needed to be done. Except draw the start line, of course. Which Micah did with gusto, even adding a smiley face (at the request of one of the participants). At 7:00 the BYU-Hawaii Cross Country coach said a few words about the town of Laie–this was the Laie Days Fun Run, after all–and they had a prayer. Then Micah, being the race director, got to “fire the gun” so to speak (only there was no gun, so he just said, “On your mark, get set, GO!” And they were off. I was at the aid station just before mile two and it was less than 10 minutes before the first runner came by. He and his wife are cross country stars and finished first for the men and women–despite the fact that the wife was quite obviously pregnant (I’d say at least 4 months along). And although we were half expecting something to go wrong, nothing did. It went off without a hitch. There were runners and walkers, families with strollers, and competitive racers. They all seemed to have a good time. The first runner finished at 7:15:32, and the last walker–a little five year old boy–came in at about 8:05. We had bagels and water at the finish line, pies for the winners, and a prize drawing for all participants. We sold a bunch more of the t-shirts (which are totally sweet, as you can see), and all in all made about $2,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Although we still have a few hundred more dollars to raise, we were very happy with our haul. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.