To begin the 34th Worldwide SketchCrawl, I invited local artists to the starting line of the Seasons 5.2K in Winter Park's Central Park. I rushed out of bed with the sky just starting to turn a dark pink to get to the park by 7am. Traffic started to back up on Fairbanks, so I turned down side streets and eventually parked in the City Hall parking lot. Walking towards the park, I heard an announces say that the race would be starting in fifteen minutes. "Shoot, how am I going to catch this crowd in 15 minutes?" I thought. I decided to draw the table where the runners picked up their numbers.
Before I could add color, the starting horn blared and the runners moved on mass up Park Avenue. The theme from Rocky filled the speakers in the park. The tables I had been drawing were quickly broken down and the boxes carried away. Before I could finish the sketch, the first runners were returning, picking up bananas and drinks. Tommy Woodman was announced as having the overall fastest time. There were awards for every age bracket and every 52nd runner got a coupon for dinner at Seasons 52. Track Shack trained runners certainly won many of the awards.
A woman stood behind me and asked if she could peek. She was Jackie Nelson. Jackie is 72 years old and a survivor of Breast Cancer. She had just finished the run and was glowing. She said that when she found out the cancer had been forced into remission, she wanted to run out of the doctor's office. When she ran her first 5k, she was annoyed that people were rushing past her. That year she ran 20 5ks and the next year 26. This was her second 5k this year. I must say, she inspired me. Nothing is going to slow her down. She knew how to seize the day. One runner got on the stage to announce that this was his 700th 5K. I felt a little lazy since only my wrist was getting any exercise.