Friday was a long day, and I was so worn down that I did not want to run in the fifth annual Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank Selfless Elf 5K, a fundraiser to feed the hungry. I put in a full day at The Daily Record newspaper before heading out for a magic show deep into Amish Country, which required travel over snow-covered, narrow, winding and hilly township roads. It took me about 55 minutes to make a 33-minute trip. And, then I had to drive home after the magic show. I was tired and hungry when I finally arrived back home, about 13 hours after I left in the morning. I wanted to put the Selfless Elf 5K on the shelf and not run. But, I am glad I had a change of heart.
The Selfless Elf 5K marked the fourth 5K Wendi and I have run since Oct. 28 of this year. The first one came about after my doctor suggested I lose weight and run a 5K (you can read about my experience here). And, the fourth one almost never happened. As I mentioned, I was tired the night before, and I really just wanted to sleep in on Saturday morning and get some rest. In order to make the 8 a.m. start, we would need to leave Wooster around 6:30 a.m. As Wendi was getting ready, I got out of bed and said I was going to run. She told me I better hurry up because she was leaving for our friend Jan’s house in five minutes.
So, we headed out to Jan’s, and she drove us to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank where we would run another 5K. There were a lot of people when we arrived. Because Wendi picked up our packets on Friday, we didn’t have to worry about fighting the crowd to check in on Saturday morning.
When we were heading home after the race, Wendi said, “I know why we ran the first race, but why did we run the others?” That was an easy question. We ran the second race, the Dalessandro 5K, because of Jan. Wendi wrote about that race, and you can read about it here. The third race, the Hinckley Turkey Burner, was because of her sister and brother-in-law, Randi and Shaun Vahl. The four of us recorded a podcast after that one, you can listen to it here. But, how did we end up in Akron for the Selfless Elf 5K? It was Greg Long. Greg is a good friend of ours. Not only is he the managing partner of Long, Cook & Samsa accounting firm, but he serves on the board of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank. When Wendi and I visited Greg’s open house (read about it here), we discovered he ran the Selfless Elf 5K last year. So, that is how we ended up running this one. Lynette Mattson, Greg’s daughter-in-law, also encouraged us to run it. She and Greg waited at the finish line for me.
For personal reasons, I am am glad I ran the 5K, but Greg reminded everyone on Facebook the event raised a lot of money to feed the hungry. Dan Flowers, the CEO and president of the food bank since 2003, did the same on Twitter. Flowers’ tweet demonstrated the power and the importance of the Selfless Elf 5K.
With the support of our generous sponsors and 1,800+ runners, we raised enough to provide over 300,000 meals today. Thanks to all for making it a great success! pic.twitter.com/Rgbt7NhnOj
— Dan Flowers (@daniel_flowers) December 16, 2017
Why I am glad I ran the race is because I didn’t quit before I got started. I am trying to improve my health and lose weight. I can’t do that on the couch. But, my running had more to do with Wendi and Jan than me. They simply would not give in and stay home. Because of their perseverance, there was a car going to Akron in which I could ride. Had they made different decisions, then I would have remained at home and in bed.
But, I didn’t stay in bed. Instead, I ran the best race of my life. I have never run a 5K in under an hour, and I did so in 59:31. I am a slow runner, but I am running. Jan said, “Just think, Bobby, you wouldn’t have your PR (personal record) if you stayed in bed.”
Saturday turned out to be a very good day. It was a wonderful feeling finishing the 5K. I felt good the entire way. I really loved the course, which included running downtown. Later that night, I performed a magic show at Barberton Church of God. I had a great time with the folks there. When it came time for me to receive my fee, Pastor Chuck Erbe said he believed there was a little more than my standard fee. With the extra money, Wendi and I went out to eat at this restaurant we have been wanting to visit for close to two year, Digsby’s. I first learned about Digsby’s when Brock Yoder ate there and posted about it. Wendi and I were impressed with our meal, and when people from the Wooster area read her upcoming blog post, they will understand why the restaurant in Seville is so good.
Be sure to check out this blog later this week to read about Digsby’s.