Sea of Faces (a blog in two parts)

Hospice of Mary’s 5K/10K/Fun Walk

13 April 2019

I was going to work the race before the run, so I got up at the usual 0430 reveille. Because I didn’t put my extra stuff (camera with batteries and SD card,FlipBelt) at the ready the night before, I left 0650 instead of 0630. When I finally got outside at 10 minutes to seven, I saw pouring rain.

I drove twenty minutes through a light rain and arrived at 0710 at the Leonard Hall Recreation Center in Leonardtown, MD. Instead of helping park cars this year, I milled about smartly in the Drill Hall. I registered for the 5K, secured my non-essential running gear in the car, then spent the hour and a half taking publicity pictures for the Marine Corps League. At 0830, with the rain stopped and leaving gray clouds, I started stretching and warming up.

The opening mile of the course is mostly flat, from Leonard Hall Drive around the Record Center parking lot, across Hollywood Road, then up Doctors’ Crossing behind the MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital through Miss Bessie Drive. Mile 2 goes north then south through most of Moakley Street, which is a good set of rolling hills. After turning around at the south end of Moakley St, it’s back on Miss Bessie Drive and back to Leonard Hall, taking the back end back to the parking lot and the finish.

The rain did stop and the course was fairly dry. I remembered not to go out too fast and start chasing the sizable crowd of runners; by the time I hit the first mile marker on Miss Bessie Drive, I had established a comfortable pace and set myself near the back of the pack. With nothing to chase but my pace, I finished in an official time of 32:38.37 with a 10:30 pace. Not bad considering I had the physique of Watto from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and I had just started running a week prior.

The nest part of the Hospice 5k is the post-race spread. Aside from pulled pork sliders from Mission BBQ, there is always the three crock pots full of tomato bisque and Nathan’s beef hot dogs to go with the bounty of fruits, yogurts, bagels, and other traditional after-run snacks and treats. I think this is the best menu of any 5K that I have been to.


Leatherneck 5K

4 May 2019

The weather was much better today, a bright sunshine that sort of dimmed by race time. Much warmer morning. I got breakfast at McDonald’s and made it onto NAS Pax River and hit the old Pax River Golf Course Clubhouse at 0630…only to find the Marine Corps League had the site about 90% set up. I dutifully registered for the race and took a few photos with some of the Det members.

NAS Patuxent River has a ten-mile loop course on the outer perimeter of the base, the mile and a half loop for our course was on Cedar Point Road, with the Chesapeake Bay off to the left as you head down the first half of the race.

The sun had taken a break by the race started, but it was still comfortably warm. Once again I opted to fall back behind the pack at the start, preferring to set my own pace instead of chasing everyone else. Some of the parents running the race has children on little scooters, but they were smart/courteous enough to ride to the middle of the course so others could pass them.

When i run public 5Ks, I like to take “selfies’ of em at Mile 1, Mile 2 , and the finish line. Got my selfies at the halfway point and the finish, but I also got one of the eventual overall race winner. One picture I wish I had taken was one of Tony Rust. He’s a friend of mine who had a heart attack last August, and he has been getting back into shape. Considering how close he came to dying, it was really good to see him not only alive, but out and running. I didn’t get my official time yet, but when I checked the race clock as I finished, it was damn near identical to my time at Hospice 5K.

Three Marines from our MCL Det ran today, myself, an active duty Marine Sergeant, and Tony.

Tony finished ahead of both of us. Wouldn’t have had it any other way.


And, so…after two months of conditioning and another two back on the road, I believe I am at a good place in my running. I made it through two 5K races at roughly the same place. I’m tired and sore, but my knees and joints seem to holding up. No plantar issues either. Shoes feel pretty good.


SOTD: Will be in a separate blog post later. Sorry.



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