Major League Baseball All-Star Game 5K Charity Run on June 11, 2010. Here’s the e-mail message I sent to family and friends a day later.
Yesterday I ran in the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Charity 5K Race at Angel Stadium and was able to achieve some goals along the way. I felt like a male Annie Oakley at a carnival shooting gallery. Ping, ping, ping are sounds I heard as goals were hit dead-on.
First, I finally got to return the favor to baseball players Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Paul Molitor, Bobby Grich, Tim Salmon and MC Harold Reynolds. Those men entertained me with their athletic prowess through the years. Well, yesterday I got to make them laugh while I performed athletically (so to speak). I waved at each and every one of them as I passed the viewing stand where they stood. It took me about 30 seconds to get to the starting line in the crowd of 10 thousand runners after Bobby Grich twice tooted an air horn as the signal to begin moving. As a bonus, Michael Milken, Jillian Michael and Gabrielle Union were also recipients of my waves. All spoke words about how all the race proceeds would go to fund cancer research.
Second, I finally got to perform athletically on the field at Angel Stadium. That is if you count running around the stadium on the warning track. Runners weren’t allowed on the grass, much like sailors in Norfolk in the 1940’s. Some competitors stopped to mug for cameras while on the field but not this runner. That might have prevented me from achieving my final goal.
Third, I achieved my pace goal for the third time in four races. It would be four for four but when I ran on the 66th D-Day Anniversary 10K race in Westlake, I failed to achieve my goal. I wanted to finish at a pace under 10 minutes a mile and might have except for the Westlake Police Department. I got isolated between packs at around the five-mile marker and was shocked when a police officer ordered me to stop so that cars could cross my path to take people home. It was as if the four o’clock factory whistle blew because my heart, lungs, muscles and joints decided it was quitting time. I looked at my GPS watch and saw the pace go from 9:58 to 10:02 while I stood idle, and I couldn’t talk all the team members to break into a run for the next quarter mile. I finished with a pace of 10:14 and was pretty bummed out until I discovered that it was good for a bronze medal in the Men’s 60-64 Age Group. I was beaten by two young whippersnappers: a 60- and a 61-year old. On the bright side, that means I’ll be big man on campus next year when I race the old geezers in the Men’s 65-69 Age Group. Anyway, when I ran out of the tunnel of Angel Stadium and turned right to hit the finish line, my pace of 8:49 minutes per mile beat my goal of under 9:00 per mile. Hallelujah.
At the finish line, the people from the viewing stand and other volunteers were there to give everyone a nice survival medal. I first called Dee Dee to arrange a time and pick-up point for me before our celebratory breakfast. Then I sent Angela, the other member of Team D&D (Dad and Daughter), a text message to tell her my pace. She responded, “Great job, Dad. I can’t keep up with you anymore.” She can still run circles around me. But, one of her responsibilities on our team is to bolster the morale of team members over 60. Ping. Next I met Yankees fan Jason Kao and Angels fan Kurt Oshiro while we stood in a long line for worthless free stuff. Photos of the three of us are attached.
Look for Tim Chambers and me at the All-Star Game tomorrow night. I’ll be under a “Ballparks Across America” cap and doing what I do better than running in races: drinking beer.