It’s three days before the second annual Run for Their Lives 5k to benefit the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and I receive an email with the question, “I know your race is rain or shine, but what about tropical storm?”  I reply with a cheerful, “The weather is going to be just fine!”  All the while I’m thinking, “Hmm, I hope so.”  We’ve prepared for months for this event and I’m tracking the tropical storm as it makes its way up the east coast.  Not an ideal situation, but the race must go on.  However, God has mercy on us and the storm blows through the Lebanon, PA valley by late Friday, leaving Saturday morning pleasant and cool.

A nice mix of participants show up for race day:  male and female, children and adults, runners from last year and some new faces, some speedsters and some walkers and all speeds in between.  After some brief announcements and the National Anthem, they’re off!  As the runners and walkers disappear from view, we scurry to convert the starting line into the finish chute.  Before we know it, the first pack of runners is rounding the bend.  Two young men are neck and neck, pushing each other to quicken their already fast pace.  The first two finishers cross the finish line one second apart from each other.  It doesn’t get much more exciting than that!

Although, we have one runner experience a different type of excitement.  We have two volunteers man the turnaround point of our race.  One woman is in charge of offering cups of water to the runners, the other is calling out the elapsed race time so runners can keep track of their pace.  One man reached this point and called out, “Pace?”  However, our water lady thought he yelled, “Face!” so she proceeded to douse his face with a refreshing cup of water.  We’re all thankful that the gentleman had a sense of humor about his unexpected bath.

Thank you to all participants and volunteers who helped to make this event a success.  Please know that 100% of your registration fees go to help the children in Africa who are affected and/or infected with AIDS.  Together, we saved lives today at the 5K.

Special thanks to Five Stone Bookstore, Ahnu, Ashar Management and Consulting, MedExpress, APR, Northwest Bank,Clouser Environmental, Major League Printing, Alps Mountaineering, Stanley, Mountain Khakis, True Reuseable Bags, Yurbuds,Stone Barn, Tri-Valley Contractors and all the volunteers who made this event possible.  Thanks to you, hundreds of children will receive the food, medicine, supplies, and education they need.