By Angel Simmons
What a day! If you missed the Heritage Haul, be sure to put it on your calendar for next year. From the time I arrived, I was impressed with the organization of this race. The streets were blocked off, signs were clearly posted, grounds were emaculate, parking was ample, and the volunteers were incredibly helpful- an absolute necessity for those of us that frowned when the alarm sounded at six this morning. Our team, “Transformers 2014”, were camera ready and in good spirits
The runners were lined up and waiting to start as walking teams gathered on the sidelines dancing to the music. Village Mayor Dan De Graff greeted the people warmly and stopped to chat. The fabulous Val Warner, co-host of “Windy City LIVE”, posed for photos with fans before she gave her welcome and the gun blasted. The weather was perfect for our cool long sleeved race shirts. Police were stationed at 159th street to block traffic and allow all the walkers and joggers to cross. As we continued up South Park Avenue, there were friendly guides along the route both on foot and in vehicles to direct the crowd and keep drivers away. We even passed a few neighbors camping out in chairs with their morning coffee cheering us on. And Pastor Surrett of Calvary Community Church was posted near the half mark taking photos. So many great people were in place to make sure this event went off without a hitch.
As we approached the finish line, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the racer’s names being called out. I was even more pleased to find out that I had beat my last 5K time by 25 minutes! I was handed a Gatorade and joined my teammates in line, where we received printouts of our official time and ranking. This was my 4th race of the year- and by far my favorite. After visiting the vendors and collecting goodies, we were treated to a performance from the Jesse White Tumblers.
Finally, our team ended this amazing morning with breakfast at Blueberry Fields Pancake House. WHEW! As a first timer, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. And I will definitely be back next year ready to break another personal record. Looking for a great outdoor workout next fall? Come join us in South Holland!
September 20, 2014
Spoken Word Artist, Model, and Author of the forthcoming book Love’s Great Design
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