Sunday, May 20, 2007

Paradise 5k

Yes, there is an organized race in Paradise, Pennsylvania.
I drove my cousins to Paradise Saturday morning to take park in the 3rd Annual Paradise Park - Joe Heyer 5K Run/ 2 Mile Walk. I was deep in Amish Country by the time I found Paradise. This version of paradise didn't have shirtless muscled men dancing to Madonna. This Paradise had endless farms, horse and buggy rides, Wal-Mart fashion, and people in desperate need of dermatology and dental work.
The filed of 79 runners featured some diamonds in the rough. Even during the warm-up, I noticed some serious runners. I spotted a guy who ended up winning the 5k race in 16 minutes. There was a 13 year-old boy who passed me after a mile and kicked by butt. There was Hutch Strees, an accomplished local triathlete whom I conversed with at the end of the race. Hutch ran an even 6 minute mile so he finished 3 minutes before I did.
I came in around 21:30, good for 22nd place out of 79th runners. I would have won third place in M30-39 division if I could hold my Clean Air 5k pace.

5K Run at Paradise Park
Originally uploaded by bengoc

And there were Santa Claus, who finished dead last, 79th out of 79th. He got the most cheers from a handful of people still hung around well after the elite athletes did another 5k lap. I shouted "Merry Chirstmas!" and my cousins followed suit. Santa posed for photos with my family.

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