A few months back, I came across some information regarding the Cedar Point 5k Challenge and my gut told me that I was meant to be part of it.
As luck would have it, I already had plans to be in Sandusky the day of the race for our family vacation. The high-light of the race is that the route actually meandered through Cedar Point! And since it was the “first-annual” race, I would belong to a select group of people who got to experience Cedar Point in a whole different way for the first time.
But the best part of the race is that it was on Father’s Day. I have struggled with determining the best way to celebrate my Dad on Father’s Day for many years (he passed away in my early teen years), but The Cedar Point 5k Challenge seemed like the perfect way to embrace his memory. My dad was very athletic (I would like to believe that I am too) and he was definitely a thrill seeker (me, not so much). So this race, for me, was not about time or finishing in the top percentage of runners. Instead, it was about honoring my dad.
The weather on race day was perfect. It was warm enough that I was able to wear a pair of running shorts and tank top but cool enough to remain comfortable throughout the duration of the run. Once the race began and I crossed into Cedar Point itself, I was struck by how quiet it was (turns out it was a blessing in disguise that I had forgotten my Ipod at home). All of the rides were in hibernation mode, the games were silent and the crowds were absent. The only sounds I heard was the music on the loud speakers and the determined footsteps of my fellow runners. I found the atmosphere to be very soothing. I settled into a comfortable pace, knowing that I had removed the pressure I typically place on myself to finish at a particular time. It was a refreshing change of pace to just relax and enjoy my surroundings. I marveled at the man-made rollercoasters and felt baffled by those who dared to ride them. I enjoyed the breeze coming off of the water and breathed in the fresh air. As I neared the end of the race, my internal Ipod played the most appropriate song, “The Dance” by Garth Brooks.
“Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain. But I’d of had to miss the dance.”
Thanks for the dance, Dad. I love you.