NHL All-Star 5K Race

This morning, I joined 1,998 of my closest friends and fellow Caniacs in a really cool event that is part of the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend, a 5K road race held at the RBC Center (home of the Carolina Hurricanes) this morning. I competed in the race with my good friend (and fellow Triathlon training partner) Brett Ciancanelli. We got to the arena at about 8

Jon_NHL_All_Star_5K

Me (left) and my friend and fellow runner, Brett Ciancanelli

a.m. this morning and it was a frosty 30 degrees. Now, that’s not too bad as it is January, after all, but when you step out of the car and into the cold air only wearing a long-sleeve dry-fit shirt and shorts, it is a little overwhelming! But, after a little warm-up run, it started to feel a little better.

All runners gathered together in the chute at the starting line in front of the arena and as the sounds of the Hurricanes theme song were blasting over the speakers, we started on our journey. Now, I’ve only been running for the past 3 weeks as I was out of commission during our trip to Ukraine, Christmas and the various snow storms we’ve had. So, I was a little nervous about how well I might do. But, I felt great during the entire race, even the long uphill climb on Trinity Road!

A new thing for me today is that I raced as part of a team– Team 413. This is a group of runners that, drawing from Phillipians 4:13, which says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It is special to know that you are running to glorify God and to be connected with other Christians in this special way.

As for the race, I was very excited to see the clock as I approached the last turn. It read 29:30! I picked up the pace and sprinted across the finish line to wrap up the race in 29:45, one of my best times yet.

We had a lot of fun today in the race and as I reflected on it throughout the day, I realized that this was an easy way for the common, ordinary fan (read: don’t have a ticket to the game on Sunday) to be involved in a special way with the NHL All-Star Weekend. I sincerely hope that the league will make this a regular event in every city that hosts the All-Star Weekend in the future. In fact, perhaps they should consider hosting a 5K on Saturday of the All-Star Weekend in each city that has a team and do a simultaneous run, just to see how many people they could get running at the same time! Talk about a commitment to physical fitness and supporting the sport of hockey!

So, this was just one more step on the road to completing a Triathlon. Now, back to the training schedule. Got to work on those BRIC training sessions!

Author: Jon Parks

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