Thursday, November 24, 2011

Not Your Average 5K (A Mama Kat Writing Prompt)

This week, handed me Mama Kat prompt number three: A favorite Thanksgiving memory.

Every Thanksgiving, thousands of my fellow Tallahasseeans (along with visiting friends/family) and I gather to run 5, 10, or 15 kilometers (or the 1 mile "gobbler") to kick off the day.

I had no illusions of running a "fast" (for me) Turkey Trot last year; I had been injured for several months and had barely been running at all. When the race started, I began a slow jog. Within a few hundred feet, I ended up falling into conversation with Charlie Yates (who was 85 at the time!) and my friend Judy Alexander (our Gulf Winds Track Club president).

Charlie is a true institution in Gulf Winds. Back in the mid-90's when I started running races in Tallahassee, I thought of him as "one of those older runners." I don't know what that means now that almost 20 more years have elapsed, but he's still out there - maybe a little slower but still putting in the miles.

As we traversed the course it was Charlie who made us feel like rock stars (I think the exact words were "two beautiful women"). Our pace allowed me to enjoy the surroundings, such as this autumnal vista that turned into the following week's Wordless Wednesday: 

More importantly than the scenery, I had an opportunity to spend time with someone who has done so much for our sport locally*.

Judy Alexander, Charlie Yates, Me
November 26, 2009
Photo Credit: Samantha Corbin

A sixty-eight minute 5K may sound incredibly slow compared to the average runner.

But this was no average day.

And for that I am thankful.


*And lo and behold I was having a good hair day. A double bonus!


N Florida/S Georgia said...

You were right, Paula...I DO love this post! Thank you for joining us last year (how can a year have already passed!) & for perfectly stating EXACTLY how I felt while I was with Charlie that day. Like a ROCK STAR!
Happy Thanksgiving, Paula...I'm thankful for you.

Michael Selmer said...

A nice memory for certain! And I'm glad you had the link to Mama Kat's. I've been adding DM bloggers to my Running Links list on my website. Would you like me to add yours? My blog is, if you'd like to add mine to yours. My e-mail is

Carrie said...

Congrats on completing the run, even though you might be a tad slower than usual :) I think your 68 min would have far surpassed any attempt I might have made!

Visiting from mama kats

Happy Thanksgiving

gretchen said...

Man, I bet you feel a little less guilty about eating a huge turkey dinner after running a 5k! I'd even go for an extra helping of stuffing!

Anonymous said...

Good for you. The only turkey I trot after, is basted, stuffed and splayed on a platter. :)

Graceful Lady said...

One of my all time favorite posts. How incredibly sweet and I'm not talkin about the potatoes. Thank you for sharing and your hair looks gorgeous.