Marshmallow Mondays


Medals All Around

railrunnerOn Saturday morning, I participated in the RJ Corman RailRunner 10 Mile Race at RJ Corman Railroad Group in Nicholasville, KY.

With over 500 runners, this was the first year without R.J. “Rick” Corman, who established the company in 1973, and ran it until his death on August 23, 2013.  Upon high school graduation, Mr. Corman borrowed money from his uncle for a backhoe and dump truck and went to work rebuilding/repairing railroad crossings.  At the end of four years he had a dozen backhoes, a few dump trucks,  and no debt.  Sadly, Mr. Corman passed away last year from multiple myeloma, at the young age of 58.  Today, RJ Corman Railroad Group serves all seven North American major railroads, many regional and shortline railroads and dozens of industries having rail.

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It was a beautiful morning with the kind of weather every runner hopes for when signing up for a race… slightly brisk air with a nice warm sun shining down and not a single cloud for it to hide behind.  I couldn’t help but wonder if Mr. Corman had something to do with such perfect race morning weather.

Even though I had never run this race before or had the privilege of meeting this remarkable, successful, well-respected man, it felt really special to be in the presence of people who did.  From what I’ve read, Mr. Corman was a man of great integrity, had a generous heart, strong determination, and was truly admired by so many people.

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Rick Corman. 1955-2013.

I am a Pennsylvania girl at heart and have always loved being surrounded by the serene mountains that Pennsylvania offers, but I have to say that Kentucky sure does have some beautiful scenery too.  The grounds of RJ Corman Railroad Group are lovely.  Having the opportunity to run on this private course, which included running on an airstrip, was a really cool, memorable experience.  The airstrip was a particular highlight for me.  As soon as I stepped onto it, the true beauty of the day hit me like a wave of fresh air.  All of a sudden my fellow runners seemed miniature against the open blue sky that seemed to go on for miles.  I felt a strong momentum being on that airstrip and truly enjoyed every second of that part of the course.

Race Start.

Race Start.

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Last leg of the 10th mile.

Last leg of the 10th mile.

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Crossing the finish line of a race has yet to get old for me.  I don’t think it ever will.  After being greeted by my supportive husband and very patient little girl, we enjoyed Zaxby’s chicken sandwiches and homemade banana ice cream, made right in front of us by My Old Kentucky Dinner Train.

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Done!

Lily enjoying her homemade banana ice cream.  I think this was bowl number one of two.

Lily enjoying her homemade banana ice cream. I think this was bowl number one of two.

I finished with a time of 1:16:19 (7:38 pace), and was the first finishing female in my age group, and 6th female overall.  My award was a shiny red rail spike. This is by far the most unique medal I’ve ever received, and I definitely won’t forget where it came from.

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I have to give a big shout out to Bob Baney of 3 Way Racing for hosting the RailRunner.  Bob has just recently become a wonderful friend of mine, but I have run quite of few of 3 Way’s races over the past two years, and I have never been disappointed.  I saw Bob quite a few times on the race course, and he always had a smile on his face and cheered me on.  On a 10-mile course, I definitely needed that.  3 Way Racing is not only professional, but they truly care about their runners, as well as the organizations supported by their races.  This one benefited The Chrysalis House in Lexington, which is Kentucky’s oldest and largest licensed substance abuse treatment program for women.

Meanwhile that day, in Westerville, Ohio…

Rydan was competing in the Midwest Regional Taekwondo Tournament.  As a new red belt, Rydan wasn’t a little unsure of his abilities to come home with a medal from the tournament.  Ryan and I reassured him that he shouldn’t focus on getting a medal but instead on doing his best and simply enjoying the experience of the tournament.  Around 9pm Saturday evening, Rydan came home with not one, but two medals around his neck.  He had won a copper (4th place) in his forms and a silver (2nd place) in sparring.  We were so proud of him!  First, because he believed in himself and proved that he could overcome his apprehension.  And second, because he is usually weaker when it comes to sparring, and he managed to get himself a 2nd place medal.  “I just went for it” he said, with a big smile on his face.  It was really cool to show off our medals to one another, and talk about our accomplishments for the day.

A HUGE thank you goes out to Rydan’s friend Tristan and Tristan’s mom for taking Rydan along to the tournament.  It was a three and a half hour drive to Westerville, OH, which I can’t imagine was an easy task with three Taekwondo boys AND her one-year-old daughter.  We sure do have amazing friends here in Kentucky, and are so appreciative that Rydan has this experience to remember, and two shiny medals to display.  Thank you, Toni, for extending such an act of kindness to us, and to Rydan!  She even managed to take a few pictures for us to have.  What a super mom, and a wonderful friend!

Sparring.  (Rydan on the right).

Sparring. (Rydan on the right).

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Red belt sparring medal winners.

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Red belt forms medal winners.

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Back of each medal.

Clearly, they had a fun time.  Medals for all three too!

Clearly, they had a fun time. Medals for all three too!

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