Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Jones County - The Knights Run 5k - April 20, 2013

Jones County was another location on my "worry list" as we reached the middle stages of the countdown; it is a small county with low population, so could it support a race?  Months went by as I monitored some race lists looking for something new within Jones' borders.  Fortunately for us, the issue of getting children (and their parents) to exercise has become a bigger deal, with some schools having races as a goal for kids to work towards and to get excited about.  Jones Middle School (home of the Knights) got on the bandwagon for getting kids to exercise, so we finally had an opportunity to race in Jones County!

Jones Middle School in Trenton was the safest place to be in the county on race morning, as no fewer than 15 sheriff and deputy cars lined up to provide traffic control along the race course in this city with a population of 201.  The turnout for the race seemed to be very positive, with lots of runners and volunteers milling around the school, taking care of registration and setup and loosening up before the 5k started.  There were lots of participants from the school, but also a good contingent of runners from around the area, parents, and supporters.

Once we were underway, it shaped up to be a flat, fast run.  From the middle school, we followed the direction of the sheriffs onto state highway 41 and then a right turn through a pleasant neighborhood of residential homes dressed in their spring colors.  Lots of flowers and trees were blooming, which made for a very pretty panorama.  Then we made a left turn back onto 41, the main drag through all of Trenton, and made the "turnaround" with a loop around the Jones County municipal building.  Then we returned down the full length of state highway 41, turned back towards the elementary school, but then did a full big loop around the neighborhood, taking the "long way" back to the school.  The last little bit of the course was an unpaved access to the school property, but with no real elevation change the whole way around the course, we didn't get slowed down very much.

I was very pleased with my 26:45 time and with the good spread of snacks and drinks they had for us post-race.  The finishers, whether they ran the whole way or were just out for a walk that would support the school, were in a good mood and all the good spirits contributed to a nice post-race atmosphere.  Another great surprise was when they began giving out medals for the top age-group finishers, and yours truly took home 1st place in his age group!  (Yep, there weren't many 40-year olds at the middle school.)

I really had a great time at the Knights Run 5k.  The school and its administrators showed that programs to get kids out and running can really have a fun atmosphere to them, and a special congratulations to the Jones County kids who took part in their first race today!  Thanks for showing me a good time!

No comments: