Joggin 4 the Noggin Race Report

Meditations in Motion

On Saturday my hubby Bill and I traveled to New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania where the very pretty Little Buffalo State Park is located to run the second annual Joggin 4 the Noggin 5K. It was our third race in three weekends, and my favorite of the three.

I selected this race for two reasons: it supported a great cause, brain tumor research, and it is run on a variety of surfaces – dirt, grass, stone, and pavement, which I enjoy.

We parked in the parking lot adjacent to the pavilion where registration was being held and walked across a small bridge where children were splashing in the stream to get our race bibs. I was surprised at the number of people who were already present at registration since we arrived almost an hour before the race start.

I soon realized there were many teams of runners present, each representing an individual battling brain cancer. The support for this fundraiser was incredible.

Meditations in MotionBecause we registered late, we were not guaranteed a race shirt, but there were plenty of shirts available for late registrants. Bill and I each got our preferred size. The shirts are the nice, soft, but cottony kind that I will wear rather than donate.

We spent a little time walking around exploring, did a very brief warm-up jog, then headed back to the pavilion to hear the pre-race instructions.

As the woman in charge of the race spoke about the pediatric brain cancer and glioblastoma research this fundraiser supported, her voice began to catch. You could tell this cause was important to her. I could feel a lump forming in my throat and tears pooling in my eyes in response.

She managed to keep her emotions in check (and so did I) and delivered the rest of the pre-race talk, then we lined up in the parking lot for the beginning of the race.

Joggin 4 the Noggin Race Report

The race director and several children counted down from five and we were off. The course began by crossing the parking lot, traveling up a small gravel road that circled a swimming pool, then onto a dirt trail which ran parallel to the lake, the centerpiece of the state park.

The dirt trail through the woods next to the lake was my favorite part of the race. It lasted for about 3/4 of a mile, was slightly downhill, and was totally shaded. It was also wet in some places.

You could tell whom the trail runners in the race were – they splashed right through the puddles with total disregard for their shoes and shins. Road runners tended to tiptoe around the water.

Running on the trail was slightly congested at first. I was content to allow a woman pushing a youngster in a jogging stroller run interference for me. Incredibly, the mud and water didn’t seem to faze her at all. She would shout “Coming through! Make way!” and pass people on the trail. I was happy to follow in her wake.

Meditations in Motion

We exited the woods and ran across the dam breast at the first mile marker, ran for a while on a gravel road, then entered a grassy trail that was mostly uphill for about half a mile. Even though I took two brief walk breaks on the grass, I lost the woman with the stroller on this part of the course. Pushing a five-year-old in a jogging stroller uphill on grass is not for the faint of heart.

At the second mile marker, we exited the grass trail onto a road that ran along the other side of the lake. Normally, I do not like to run races on roads which are not closed to traffic, but in this case, traffic was not an issue at all. The road shoulder was very wide to accommodate parking for fishermen (and women) and I honestly don’t remember seeing even one car during the time I ran on the road.

The road portion of the race was by far the easiest. There was initially a very slight uphill, followed by a very slight downhill, and the remaining half mile was completely flat.

Meditations in Motion

At mile three, we turned off the road, onto a gravel park road and saw the finish line. I crossed the finish line and walked for a while to catch my breath.

My time was slower than last week, but the course was harder, and I felt much better than I had in either of the previous two races.

Meditations in Motion

The post-race food consisted of water, clementines, and bananas. Not great, but delivered directly to the racers by some very enthusiastic children. Other food was available for purchase from a food truck set up near the registration pavilion.

I wound up winning my age group and Bill was second in his.

Meditations in Motion

The race director asked us for feedback on the race. She wants to make this race grow in order to raise more funds for brain tumor research. The positive aspects of this race far outweigh the negative.

  • The organization was fantastic.
  • The volunteers were very helpful.
  • The course was perfect – beautiful and interesting.
  • Chip timing was an unexpected bonus.
  • T-shirts were very nice.

The only suggested improvement I have is maybe to search out more post-race food donations from sponsors and discontinue the use of the food truck. I didn’t see anyone buy anything from the food truck, so I am not sure it was worth his while to set up a generator and prepare to serve food in a state park.

I will definitely put this race on my calendar for next year. If you plan to be in Pennsylvania the third weekend in May, the trip to Little Buffalo State Park to support this important cause and this fine race is worth the drive.

 

I am linking up with Running on the Fly and Confessions of a Mother Runner for their Weekly Rundown, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, Coach Debbie Runs  for the Coaches’ Corner, and Kooky Runner for Tuesday Topics.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

76 comments

  1. what an amazing cause Laurie! and congrats on your age group award! I agree with you that the food truck likely isn’t really needed – maybe just creating a little more awareness with local businesses and more food/drink could be sponsored for the runners.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats to both of you! The course sounds difficult with all the terrain changes but lovely as well. What a wonderful cause. I hope it will grow in popularity in the coming years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not a huge fan of 5K’s, but when they support a cause such as this I”m all about them! It’s nice that this one had such a variety of terrain …I’m all about t hat, too! Congrats on the AG win (and kudos to the hubby). Thanks for joining us on the WRD, Laurie 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I started with 5Ks, then couldn’t stand them for a while. Now I like them again. Loved the variety of surfaces that we ran on. Thanks for allowing us to share!

      Like

  4. I absolutely love that this race was for such a great cause. We have a local 5k/10k race here in Stamford every June to raise money for the cancer center at our local hospital. It’s always so inspiring because cancer survivors and family members of people that have lost their battle with cancer, share personal stories. It’s a tearjerker for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That is a clever name for such a worthwhile organization. It is very sad and we have the the Chad Tough Foundation which was named for Chad Carr who suffered a type of brain tumor called DIPG. Recently author Mitch Albom brought an orphan from Haiti to Michigan to receive the best care from U of M Hospital in Ann Arbor, but she had the same fate as Chad Carr and succumbed to the disease. He wrote a book about Chika which will be published this November. If only a cure could be found for glioblastoma … I wish Jeff Bezos would take his $$$ and put it into cancer research instead of worrying about space adventures. This is Chad … sweet little boy.
    https://www.chadtough.org/about/chad-carr/

    Liked by 1 person

      • I had a coworker from the diner who also succumbed to brain cancer. He was our Sunday cook for most of the time I worked there and had just graduated high school – a wonderful young man – it was disturbing for all of who worked with Dennis. I may contact Mitch Albom and mention this “Joggin’ 4 the Noggin” idea … they are always looking for fundraisers to help in research for this type of pediatric brain cancer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The story about Dennis is so sad! Poor guy – just graduated from HIgh school. I didn’t realize Mitch Albom was associated with the cause of pediatric brain cancer. I believe there are other races with this name at other places across the country.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dennis was such a nice guy Laurie. And I will always remember him with a smile on his face. We worked Sundays together, the 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. shift. He was studying Spanish at high school and Freddie Fender’s song “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” was the big hit at the time and it was on our jukebox at the diner. People played it a lot and Dennis would be singing at the grill, even the parts in Spanish and he’d be pretending the spatula was a microphone. The customers got a kick out of it and wanted to see Carter’s Singing Cook, so they’d play the song even more. I told his parents that story when I went to the funeral home for visitation and they smiled. Might have been the only time they smiled through the whole funeral process. He was coaching young hockey players …he had a chronic cough all of a sudden, and thought it was being around the ice … they had “ice time” in the early a.m. before he went to work. He graduated high school and across the street from the diner was a carpet store. Dennis had made no plans to go to college and the owner of the carpet store was a regular customer and offered him a job to be an installer. So, he was not sure if the cough was due to working so close to the carpet fibers, and the smell of the iron/seamer (or whatever they use to seal the carpeting … it has a smell … I remember it from when we had carpeting installed) … anyway, he felt sick and dizzy and bad headaches as well so he finally went to a doctor and got a physical. His complaint of headaches caused them to do an MRI. He died within a short time. So sad. The hockey league sent an arrangement which was a hockey stick with carnations dotted all the way down the stick and they all signed the bottom portion which hits the puck.
        I am going to send an e-mail to MItch Albom – I read all his columns, listen to his show. I am waiting until Friday. Tomorrow is his birthday and he makes a big deal of it – kind of strange what he does Laurie. He takes the day off work and from early morning until late at night, he and his family go to different restaurants and have meals and treats. He follows a very strict diet the rest of the year, but he literally goes “hog wild” on his birthday. So, I figure the e-mail may be overlooked so will wait … I’m going to send him your blog post. He is active in many charities, not just pediatric brain cancer, but raising money for local charities plus owns/manages a Haitian orphanage for refugees from their big earthquake and beyond. Chika was at that orphage and was adopted by him/wife (they have no children) and he took her to Germany trying a radical type of treatment to combat the tumor. I will mention there are other races by this name to him. .

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for sharing Dennis’ story with me, Linda. I am sure your recollection of his humor was welcome to his parents. You have a great memory!

        I hope Mitch replies to your email. You will have to keep me posted.

        Liked by 1 person

      • He was a great kid Laurie and maybe three years younger than me, but very mature for his age. He was a little on the pudgy side and we could eat whatever we wanted while on our shift, so when it was his break time, he’d strive to create some extraordinary meal for himself. One time he made a bacon and egg sandwich … but instead of cooking a few strips of bacon and smashing the yolk and making a fried egg separately, he made enough bacon to look like he was playing “X”s and “O”s and plopped the egg in the middle … so the diner had about six seats that were up close to the grill area and naturally the customers would say “we want what Dennis is making” … he was a character. I recall the oddest things sometimes. We worked every Sunday so spent eight hours together for our shift. I will keep you posted on what Mitch says. I’ll try writing at his “Free Press” e-mail address. He is a sportswriter, but has done a weekly column for years, mostly human interest stories or his commentary on current events.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As a waitress, I always made good friends with the cooks. they kept me well fed during my shifts at the restaurant. Once one of the cooks made a cake for my birthday and gave everyone at the restaurant a slice. He was not a baker, though, and the cake was as heavy as lead! It was a very kind gesture, though.
        I have read some of Mitch’s books. He’s a good writer!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that’s a smart idea! We just had two of us on Sundays – the cook and me and I worked the two horseshoes and the space behind the grill (over the dishwashing area) – it was a small diner. I’ve never read any of his books yet. He does a lot of giveways. The book about Chika will publish in November. So today was his birthday and he was there at the show. He said it was the first time in 20 years he worked on his birthday. He is going to Philly tomorrow for the long weekend and will celebrate there. He was asking for recommendations for restaurants in Philly and Toledo where they will be having breakfast … I’ll hold off on the e-mail a few days longer.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, too bad I wasn’t listening to Mitch’s show. I could have given him some great recommendations for restaurants in Philly! I read “The First Phone Call from Heaven”, which I wasn’t crazy about and “Tuesdays With Morrie”, which I liked a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just hopped on Twitter – I remembered I wanted to see his birthday cake the staff gave him – he was asking for recommendations as of 4 hours ago – you could still try, the first Tweet under the pinned Tweet about the Chika book. Many people say his books are far fetched as they involved Heaven and deceased but I think the “Tuesdays With Morris” was a different type of book. I saw the movie with Jack Lemmon as Morrie. Here you go – he’ll be there all day Saturday Laurie:
        link is below, he is @MitchAlbom
        https://twitter.com/MitchAlbom?lang=en

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think I will have to buy that book, Linda. I tweeted at Mitch. He is in Pittsburgh. For some reason I was thinking Philly. I also have some great ideas of good places to splurge for a birthday treat in P-burgh!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe I wrote Philly? Sorry for the bum steer Laurie. Mitch writes this weekly column in “The Free Press” and it is mostly human interest stories. I don’t think he does many sports stories anymore unless they have a human interest angle. Like Steve Yzerman coming back to the Red Wings as their General Manager – he spent his whole career as a Red Wing during their Stanley Cup heyday and returned to Detroit last month. This was one of the columns on Chika. He goes back and forth between the current time and her life at the orphanage in Haiti.
        https://www.freep.com/story/sports/columnists/mitch-albom/2017/06/11/chika-story-daughter-cancer-mitch-albom/322589001/

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow! That is a powerful, moving story. Thank you for sending me the link. It made me cry, but in a good way. What an amazing story of love, devotion, and hope and what an amazing little girl. Mitch and Jeanine were so lucky to have had her in their lives.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome Laurie and I probably should have prefaced it by saying you should grab a Kleenex. He used to bring her into the studio sometimes. He said that even though she had only been there a couple of years that they loved her like it was their own child – they never had any children of their own. His Sunday column is often full of human interest stories.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. When you know you are running for a good cause, it just gives the race a whole other special meaning doesn’t it? Congratulations to you and the hubs on your wins. Thanks for linking up!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great race and definitely an incredible cause! Good for you and congratulations to you and your husband on your AG wins!! I don’t do many trail races but, when I do, I always wonder why I don’t do more because they are always so much fun!! And kudos to the woman pushing the 5 year old -wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Allie. This race was more trail-ish than an actual trail race. I love trail races, but don’t do many in the summer. They are fun and low stress.

      Like

  8. What a great race and definitely an incredible cause! Good for you and congratulations to you and your husband on your AG wins!! I don’t do many trail races but, when I do, I always wonder why I don’t do more because they are always so much fun!! And kudos to the woman pushing the 5 year old -wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “I wound up winning my age group and Bill was second in his.”

    When I commented last night I believe I failed to congratulate you Laurie and Bill – you did well on the last 5K you gave your stats on. I think it was last Saturday, the day I did the Mutt Strut.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This sounds like a great race, Laurie. and I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. I can definitely see the appeal of different sorts of terrain to run on. I had no idea there were so many races for fundraising for various causes. How wonderful that you and your husband can help support them!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I just had to add a comment – congrats on your race, what a wonderful cause. I agree on Food Trucks – what a waste! Glad you’re feeling up to running them again – it’s been a while since I stopped by here to see what you’re up to.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That sounds like my kind of race. I love the mix of surfaces. I also love that it benefits brain cancer. I have a friend who was diagnosed with stage 4 gioblastoma about five years ago. He’s still fighting it and doing very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your descriptions of the race and course make it sound like a fun race to run. I agree with food trucks at the end of a race – I just don’t think most runners are in the mindset of having money on them to purchase food. Congrats to both you and Bill on your AG win and 2nd place. You two are on fire!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Laurie,
    I am so thankful that you and your husband participated in this event! I am the woman you followed while I was pushing my daughter along the course. I appreciate your kind words and was encouraged by you and several other runners along the way when I felt like I just wanted to walk. It has been some time since I ran last and my little one has grown which made it harder. I kept going thanks to so many kind words and in the memory of a special little man who earned his wings too soon due to DIPG. His spirit carried me because what he battled was far tougher than any run and his courage was far greater. Thank you again for running and for the wonderful review. I look forward to seeing you next year!
    Krista

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Krista, thank you for your comment. You are an amazing runner! I can’t even imagine pushing a stroller on THAT course! I have just been reading up on DIPG due to my involvement in the race. Bless that little guy for fighting such a monster of an illness. Next year, I will be back and I will do more fundraising for this important cause.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s