First race a challenge and a tribute

Published 12:14 am Monday, November 1, 2004

By Staff
Rob Griffin
As a child growing up with Muscular Dystrophy, one does not get many chances to participate in normal athletics, but on Oct. 23, the opportunity of a lifetime arose.
I entered myself into the Williams Station Day 5K run in memory of Dylan Adams.
Being the only person to compete in a wheelchair, I put some good use to the therapy that my family physician put me on.
Armed with baseball gloves, a cap and a pair of shades, I was ready to go 3.2 miles just to prove to myself that I could do it.
At just a little past 8:30 a.m. the race was underway. As the distance between the racers widened, only one thought flowed through my mind – finish the race! Racers young and old reached for impressive times while I raced to completion and self-gratification.
A good portion of the race was comprised of some of my normal routes of travel, so that made the run more bearable. As I passed the first mile-marker, I realized that this race was going to be longer than my initial projection.
I was forced to tweak my strategy just a little. My biggest challenge would be the huge hill on Laurel Avenue, just past Atmore's Garden Apartment. Once that part was over, it was smooth sailing all the way to the finish line.
As I passed the second mile marker, I could rest easier. The race was almost over, or was it? Having figured that five kilometers was just under three miles but not knowing for sure, I became frustrated. The feeling of frustration subsided, however, as I neared the finish line. As I turned onto Pensacola, Avenue, some of the spectators were running down the street to cheer me on to the finish line. Seventy-seven minutes and nine tenths of a second later, my trek was over.
I did not race to win; I raced to finish. As Dylan Adams lived his life to finish the race, let us all strive to do the same.

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