“Breathe, Believe and Battle” that mantra has most recently been attributed to Olympic volleyball star Kerri Walsh via her former coach Terry Tanner. I think I have the Believe part down. The Battle part I’m working on, you see I have no sprint in me. And the breathe part is pretty good. Unless it’s 103 very sticky degrees outside, even at night which it was this weekend for the Soaring Wings Ranch Run 5K.
Our friend, pace per mile commentator and contributing writer Nicholas Norfolk was planning to be there to volunteer for his second race of the day. He’d already been at the White River 4 mile Classic in the morning and was set to help hand out water or whatever else was needed at the Soaring Wings race too.
I decided (rather last minute) that instead of taking photos, I would give that job up to Joe and I would run. Did I mention it was 103? It’s not as if I didn’t know it was going to be that hot, it’s been that hot for what seems like weeks now. But I’ve been running in the heat occasionally, and cycling in it as well. Outdoor recreation doesn’t have to stop just because it’s hot, it just means a little more preparation.
We arrived at the Soaring Wings Ranch a little early and had time to wander around a bit. It’s a beautiful plot of land and I’m sure that when we aren’t under severe drought conditions, it’s even more beautiful. The Ranch provides a home for children aged 6-17 who need help due to special emotional or family needs. The Ranch holds several events during the year as fundraisers and many of them involve outdoor sports like running, cycling and fishing. Hearing Andrew the Executive Director of the Ranch speak about what they are able to provide for the kids now and what they’d like to be able to do for them, made me certain my entry fee was well spent and then some. I’m certain that they have to Breathe, Believe and Battle every single day.
The race course followed a packed gravel road loop around a lake that sits on the 198 acre property. The road winds amidst the trees, peeking in and out of what daylight was left at 7 p.m. The loop was 1.5 miles so we did 2 laps. At about three quarters of a mile in, there was an aid station with water, gatorade and bless them, ice cold wet washcloths. I didn’t take one on the first lap but I had my hand stretched out on the second lap, I did not want to miss out on that cold towel. And at the halfway point (and finish line) who should be there to lend an encouraging word and a water handup? Nicholas. It’s always nice to see a friendly face at the finish.
The car temperature gauge still read 103 when we were leaving the Ranch after the race. I hope the heat breaks long before the Soaring Wings Half Marathon on October 27th. If you haven’t signed up yet, do it now.
We’ll have free photos to download and purchase up in a few days once we get them sorted out a bit.