The big day was finally here! The Fighting Fentanyl 5k was upon us! We had the race organizer Libby join the podcast a few weeks back and share her story about the tragic loss of her son and how this race came about. I was so glad to be able to help support her and this great cause by running this race in Cooper Davis’s honor!
I want to first thank all the good Back of the Pack fans who came out to the race! Joe, Alexsis, my daughter Caitlin, Katy, and Ethan. It was great to have some folks there and my buddy Joe was even rocking a Back of the Pack shirt! That made me happy!
There was something different this morning that I really can’t put my finger on. It was clear that the race itself was secondary to just the outpouring of love that was present throughout this event. While this was the inaugural race, the turnout would make you think that this was a long-tenured run. I would guess that they were somewhere between 350-400 runners. For a first-time event, that is pretty great!
The opening ceremonies were touching. The Davis family spoke about their son who was lost to fentanyl poisoning. It was a very emotional speech that had quite a few people rubbing tears from their faces. There was a balloon release before the race started. There were eighty-six balloons released for the eighty-six people lost to fentanyl poisoning in our area in just 2021. That is just a crazy number and in this one guy's opinion, is unacceptable.
The horn sounded and the runners were off! This was an out-and-back course weaving through some wooded area. The path was a bike/walking path. Not the widest thing ever, but once everyone spaced out from the start, there was plenty of room. I was most thankful for any part of that path that was tree-lined. Did I mention it was crazy hot out there? The shade was always welcome. When the race kicked off, the heat index was already above ninety degrees. That is spicy my friends! The course offered very small little bumps. No big up hills or downs. The course was all parking lot and park path, so there was no need for a police presence and/or road closures.
With about three-quarters of a mile left, I had reached my limit with the heat. I had to dial things back in order to make it to the finish line upright and not on a stretcher. It was just too darn hot. Once we got out of the park, there was no shade to speak of for the last bit. We all just cooked to the parking lot surface trying to get to the finish line.
I finished my 5k. My daughter was about four minutes in front of me. She really struggled as well with the temps for this race. She is usually a speed demon, but dang it was hot. We chugged some water and hit the road. Overall, I really hope we are back at this race next year. I hope this race just gets bigger and badder. The cause is just, the people involved are wonderful, and I think we need more and more light pointed at this cause. I want the Back of the Pack Podcast involved in whatever capacity it can be in helping this race have a very bright future.
Next year, I was you ALL there! We will have Libby back on the show again soon I hope. I would love to hear how well this race did. Our next race is the Father’s Day Super Hero 5k. Going to be another scorcher! We’ll just see what we can do with this heat wave until it breaks. Either it breaks or we do! We got this though. Until next time, stay hydrated my friends!