Hello everyone! I’m Rebekah, Adam’s wife, and I’m here for a guest post about the Everyday Heroes 5k Run.
This race benefited Hope Haven of the Lowcountry, which is a non-profit child advocacy and rape crisis center in the Beaufort area of South Carolina. My brother CJ, who works at Hope Haven, asked Adam and me to participate in the race. We of course said yes. And then he told us that the race, which was originally going to be in April, would be in June… at 6:00 PM… on a Friday. I tried to get CJ to convince his co-workers in charge of planning the event to move it to a Saturday, preferably in the morning, but no such luck!
Friday June 10th rolled around, and Adam and I left work early to make it down for the race. We arrived around 5 PM in Bluffton at Southern Barrel Brewing, the location of the race’s start, finish, and after party. Adam got in a warm up by previewing the course while I met my brother’s coworkers and mentally prepared myself for the run.
As six o’clock approached and athletes starting lining up for the race, a group of young kids lined up at the front of the pack, with Adam and a few other quicker runners close by. Knowing that there were many people planning to walk the race, I picked a spot in the middle, slightly closer to the front of the pack. After a few brief comments from 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone (one of the race’s sponsors) and Hope Haven Executive Director Shauw-Chin Capps, we were off. The little kids took off with that energy that only kids have, and we all headed for the trail.
The course had to be changed right before the race as some of the trails were not in good condition after some pretty bad storms over the past week, but the new course was clearly marked with volunteers or police officers at every turn and intersection. The course ended up being an out and back on mostly an asphalt sidewalk with some well-maintained, although muddy, trail at the start/finish with an aid station at the turn around.
My training for this race was not up to snuff, as I have been trying to fight off a cold for last two weeks or so and focusing more on my cycling recently. And that meant that running in ~90° heat was going to be tough. I went into this race expecting to have to walk a little bit, but I think I probably ended up walking almost half of it, alternating between running and walking pretty frequently. Adam passed by me heading back toward the finish before I had even hit the first mile marker. He was in the lead – but still had a few runners fairly close to him. I kept running/walking throughout the race, despite some pretty serious cramping, and I finally crossed the finish line after almost 41 minutes. Adam jogged in toward the finish with me, letting me know that he had won the race with a time of just over eighteen minutes.
While this 5k is by far my worst time in a 5k to date (and hopefully ever), I’m so happy that I did this race. Because for me, racing in the Everyday Heroes 5k was never about how fast I could go. It was about raising money and awareness for an amazing organization. Hope Haven of the Lowcountry addresses a need in the community that many of us would rather not think about. In 2015, Hope Haven served 588 victims of child abuse and sexual assault. As a society, we must not be complacent in these issues; we must not allow this to continue or be thought of as “normal.” Everyone is able to make a difference in this issue. Hope Haven says, “Sexual assault thrives in a culture of violence. We protect ourselves, our children and community when we become intolerant of that culture and give back the power and control so many victims have lost.” If you’re interested in finding out how you can help, check out Hope Haven’s website or Facebook or search for your local child advocacy and rape crisis center. These organizations often rely on the generosity of volunteers and donors to do the difficult and important work of helping and standing with survivors/victims of abuse, assault, and neglect. Be an Everyday Hero and help us put an end to violence in our communities.