Sugar Badger 50K

So much of this year in Ohio has been darkness. Not only the darkness of pandemic and racial tension, but dark skies and rain.

Today was a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky. But maybe I could’ve used some.

I set out this morning to run the Sugar Badger 50K. This run was supposed to take place this past weekend in Wisconsin. It would’ve been the inaugural run. But COVID happened.

Initially, I was going to run the virtual race in my favorite place to run,  Delaware State Park. But as the theologian John Lennon said, life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. So I got up early (too early) this morning and ran around the city of Columbus.

It has been a tough week for Columbus. Just as coronavirus restrictions have begun to img_0435ease, the undercurrent of racial tension has emerged. Protesters have filled the streets calling for a new and better way to live in relationships, the dismantling of broken systems, and the end to police brutality.

Early this morning, when I started, Columbus was quiet. It was a cool and beautiful morning as I ran down tree lined trails. For the first half of the run, I stayed well on track to reach my goal of finishing under six hours. In fact, I ran the first few miles faster than needed and was able to use and build that cushion.

About 15 miles in I stopped at a gas station to rehydrate. The time waiting in line evaporated my cushion and after this stop my calves began to cramp. Nonetheless, for the next seven or eight miles I still stayed right around the necessary pace to break six hours.

img_0436The final eight miles were physically difficult. It was hard to run as my calves tightened. Walking became more regular. The cloudless day took its toll on me.

I finished in 6:11:26. I didn’t finish in the time I hoped, but still set a PR by 18 minutes. Not a bad day.

The theme for this week in the Un-cancelled series is community.

After today’s run, our church held an outdoor worship service to bless the staff and volunteers of the United Methodist Free Store, which will re-open tomorrow after being closed for the coronavirus.

For 21 years, the Free Store has brought diverse people together in a environment of acceptance and radical hospitality. In these challenging times of pandemic and systemic racism, we know that work is more important than ever before. We believe there has never been a better time to be the Church, and we remain committed to a South Side that is welcoming and supportive of ALL people.

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