September 22, 2013
I normally don’t sign-up (a.k.a. pay) to do 5K races. After all, that distance is the shortest of my regular training days so why pay money to do one? And rarely – at least here in Indiana – do you get a medal for doing a 5K. And just like the Hokey Pokey…that’s what its all about! But I digress.
I first learned about this race from one of those “races in your area” emails from Active.com. It was only $20; $25 if you wanted the shirt. It takes place at Crown Hill Cemetery which is a beautiful area and has some rolling hills and a very challenging one which takes you to the highest elevation in Marion County. Plus, this event benefits the Jason Baker Public Safety Scholarship Fund. Jason Baker was killed in the line of duty in 2001. Just recently we had another officer killed while trying to rescue a woman and her child that were being held against their will. So signing up seemed like it was the right thing to do.
At 8:15 a.m. the Opening Ceremony began and at 9:00 a.m. the 5K Run/Walk Start for Individuals & Teams started. There was also a 1.5 mile Family Stroll that started 5 minutes after the 5K.
Although he didn’t want to run, my husband surprised me and brought one of our dogs (Gipper) to cheer me on.
The race started on time and it was a cool start but not too bad. I felt pretty good and enjoyed looking at all the enormous trees and some of the really old headstones.
There was one water stop around the halfway point and then slightly after that we passed the Heroes of Public Safety area and Jason Baker’s grave. There were officers standing guard there ; it was very moving. They were handing out small American flags that you could place at the grave so I circled back around and put one at Jason’s grave. Some people placed them at the Heroes memorial.
Then…came the hill. Nearly everyone in the pack that I was running with walked up it. I was no different. But I wasn’t doing this race for any particular finishing time. I was doing it for what it represented. I must admit that the run down was fun!
Former Colts owner Robert Irsay is buried here and his headstone is on the way up the hill.
This is the highest point in Marion County (Indianapolis) and where James Whitcomb Riley is buried.
Good view of downtown from the top.
Looking back up after coming down the hill.
I saw my husband and our dog around the 2.7 mile mark. They ran with me for a little bit and then cut across some grass so that I could see them again just before the 3 mile marker. The last .1 runs you up a little bit of a hill. UGH!
At the finish line Jason Baker’s dad is there and tries to shake every finishers hand. Unfortunately I missed him. But after waiting to greet my husband and Gipper as they walked back in, I then went over and gave Mr. Baker a hug.
For a small event, they had good treats after the race. They had the typical bottled water, Powerade drink and bananas. But they also had some delightful chocolate chip cookies and popcorn! Yes please – I’ll take one of each.
This was a good event and I think that I’ll start doing it every year from now on if I don’t have a conflict.
Although I didn’t get a medal, I got a pooch smooch from Gipper and well that meant even more!
About Crown Hill Cemetery - there are numerous famous people buried there. And not just famous to Indiana. Here are just a few:
John Dillinger, 1903-1934,
Notorious bank robber during the depression era, his escapades somehow caught the general public's imagination.
Benjamin Harrison, 1833-1901,
U.S. Senator, 23rd U.S. President 1889-1893.
James Whitcomb Riley, 1849-1916,
Famous Hoosier Poet.
Booth Tarkington, 1869-1946,
Author/playwright, winner of two Pulitzers.