Gate to Gate

At a time when most people were still in bed this holiday morning, more than 1,800 of my closest friends and I were lined up ready to walk, run, and stroll 4.4 miles in the 27th annual Gate to Gate Memorial Day event at Eglin Air Force Base.

My friend Pia and I have been walking the last two months prepping for the event, and hoped to finished in under one hour:20 minutes. Runners left the gate first, and once we reached the main road, the pack was almost stretched out the entire length of the route.

Less than a mile from the start was the Fallen Warrior memorial. Participants laid red and white carnations at the helmet and boots shrine.

Stations were set up at 1-mile intervals, offering ice water. Cups were dropped along the route. Volunteers followed behind clearing up our debris.

At the 3-mile marker, base firetrucks cooled down everyone with fire hoses.

On the final half mile, we saw a young mother about 50 yards ahead of us, pushing a stroller. She was our inspiration to work harder. We couldn’t come in behind a stroller! We crossed the finish at 1:01, nearly 20 minutes under our goal. The clock time was pacing the runners.

Pia and I are taking tomorrow off, to nurse sore muscles and blisters. But, we are already planning for the 2013 Gate to Gate. Next year, we’ll break that one hour mark.

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I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

5 thoughts on “Gate to Gate

  1. Good for you! Great job beating your goal.

    If you had blisters, get yourself some Wright socks (link below). They are double layer and truly do prevent blisters. I wore them for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer a few years ago, and my daughter walks it every year wearing them. Not one blister.

    Can’t do much about the sore muscles, though. Sorry.


  2. Congrats on finishing under your goal time! I’m not a runner nor much of a walker but I did do the Vancouver Sun Run (5km race) in 2008 when I was 6 months pregnant and finished so I guess that is something 😉


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