40. We Heart Maurice Run, 2009

This was a pretty special race. You can get the details at the official site, which I designed for the event. The short explanation is that a local athlete had a stroke in December, and has no medical insurance through his job. He’s a really nice guy, and nobody likes to see people like that knocked down by the World, so the local Running Community put together a race to help him. More accurately, Two of his closest friends put it together.

Camera Trouble

My good camera is still out for repair, and my old backup camera has decided to stop working. More accurately, it stopped working just after I took the above photo of myself. There are a few pics from my crummy cell phone camera, but for the most part I was pretty much in the soup. Fortunately, Megan was nice enough to send me her photos. I’ve given her photo credit in the footers.

Before the Race

Jennifer Smock and David Cross had originally planned for a normal starting time of 8am, but the folks in charge of Hampton Park had other ideas. They wouldn’t let anyone in until after 9am. Below you can see an exasperated Jennifer and an amused Maurice, both waiting to gain entry to the park.

Where was I, you ask? Well, I was the worst kind of lost. I was at the park, but I couldn’t find the gate where everyone else was. I was actually worried for a few minutes about whether I had the time right. Eventually I decided to just park the car and walk through the park.

Once inside, I immediately saw the registration table. So basically, I was within an easy walk from my goal the entire time. Everyone was gathered, so apparently nobody else had any trouble finding things. I’m the only one around who couldn’t find his ass with both hands.

Even though I was stuck with my crummy cell phone for photos, I still took a few shots of some of the local regulars. They’re the smaller images on the left. Below, you’ll see a new face on the left. That’s Sara. She helped Maurice through some of his physical therapy. It must be kind of nice for her to see somebody recover as quickly as he does.

We Heart Maurice Run, 2009
Left to Right: Sara, Maurice, Jennifer and Brian.
We Heart Maurice Run, 2009
Megan and Maurice with Jennifer

All that Attention

This is kind of funny, actually. Maurice is humble, and kind of shy. One day he’s out there training, and then on Valentine’s Day he’s got an industrial video camera aimed at his face. Not only was Maurice on the tv news, but there were articles in the Post & Courier. David Quick even came out to run with us. (He’s the guy who wrote the stories on Maurice in the newspaper.)

This entire event was just about him. He was placed in a rough position, facing lost work and scary medical bills, and suddenly the whole town is talking about him and looking for ways to help. It’s a bit much for one guy, I suppose.

We Heart Maurice Run, 2009

A few words were said to introduce the event, as well as Maurice himself. When the Man of the Hour stood before us, the results were comfortably predictable. He said that it was an emotional time for him, and he wished that he could run with. Then he thanked us and wished us a great run.

The Race Itself

Hampton Park has a one-mile loop around it. We ran it three times, adding up to a three-mile run rather than the usual 5K. We all just ran around three times, while Eric called out the minutes from a stop-watch.

It was pretty informal, since there was no money to close down roads and things. Some folks went an additional lap or two after they finished. I was invited to do a little more, but I passed on it so I could socialize a bit. Half the reason I do these races is to see the people. Of course, it’s also pretty cool to have somebody to run with… it was too bad. I wanted to do both. Maybe next time. My final time was 22:01, according to Eric. That’s not bad. With another tenth of a mile, maybe it could have been a Personal Record.

From 12seconds to YouTube

I had originally posted two videos on 12seconds.tv, but that site went out of business. I’ve combined them and put them on YouTube so folks can still see them.

Final Thoughts

What can I really say about this one? It was an honor to be involved in it, even if it was just to a minor degree. This event brought out the best in everyone. All those people focusing their love upon one good man. That’s power.