How Anthony Parloto and My Friend Erika Inspired Me to Run a 5K

A few months ago, my friend Erika asked me to run an upcoming 5K with her.  It brought me back to about three years ago, when I decided it was my dream to run a 5K someday.  I had practiced by myself and gotten to the point where I could technically run a 5K so I did on my own and called it good.  I never entered a real race, but had always wanted to.

So, you can imagine my delight at actually having a reason to enter my first 5K, The Anthony Parloto Memorial 5K in Center Moriches.  And you can imagine even more so, the excitement at running it with a friend.  And the icing on the cake for this 5K was that it coordinated with the Center Moriches street fair where they always have a Strawberry Shortcake fundraiser at the firehouse.  Running a race where you know there is Strawberry Shortcake waiting for you, is always solid motivation.  With all of those combined, I could hardly contain my excitement.  I went to bed last night with butterflies in my stomach and woke up an hour early just full of sheer anticipation.

Our day started bright and early at 8:00am down by Neville Park.  With a little encouragement, Ellee entered the Kids Fun Run with her friends Sofia and Matty.


They all kicked off the race and did a wonderful job.


Ellee and Sofia finished strong.


Ellee was pretty tired afterwards.  As you can imagine.


The Fun Run was awesome.  Each child got a medal and a bag of goodies.


After a little bit of nervous waiting right after the Fun Run, it was finally time for our big 5K.  Erika and her awesome husband Matt had their game faces on and were ready to go.


Oh, and I totally forgot to mention, but when I signed up for the 5K, Christian decided that he wanted to as well.  I was absolutely delighted to share this opportunity with our amazing son.  He joined track this Spring and has really been enjoying it.  And, I may be biased as his mom, but he’s a pretty fast runner and I knew he would be amazing.  We took this picture just before we headed out.  And I was so nervous, but so excited to finally be running a 5K.


I have to say, it was pretty much everything I thought it would be.  It was running.  Lots of it.  And it was hard.  But it was also so, so good.  I spent most of the race listening to my running Jesus music and it totally pumped me up.  I also spent most of the race with a solid view of our amazing son.  Thankfully he was wearing neon green, so that helped.  He kept a steady pace all throughout the race until the very end where he pushed it and I lost him completely.  He finished the 5K with a time of 27:37 which I thought was amazing for a ten year old.


And me?  I finished at 29:34.  And I couldn’t have been happier.  Running this 5K was a life dream and I was thrilled to have finished it.  The best parts of the race were the man who was standing in his yard with the hose spraying the runners and then seeing the finish line and getting that last final sprint in.


It was also so fun to be able to cheer on our friends.  My friend Erika?  Look how amazing she was finishing up.  With a huge smile and a high five for her daughter.  She’s so awesome.


The unexpected surprise of the day?  The fact that this handsome guy won a medal for third place in his age group.


He was thrilled and we were equally thrilled with him.  I think it solidifies the fact that he will love running these races and I can’t wait to see the great things he does with running.


All in all, it was the perfect morning for my first 5K.  A huge thanks to the Anthony Parloto Memorial 5K and to my friend Erika, for making it all happen.  Also thanks to my awesome husband who was there to cheer us all on and to our son, who apparently shares my acquired love for running.  Here’s to many, many more 5Ks!


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I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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