I drove an hour to Hempstead this morning for the Watermelon 5K for the Fallen. Hempstead is the watermelon capital of Texas and I think that every race they have there includes "watermelon" in the name. The race this morning was to honor the servicemen from Texas killed in the mideast wars. There was a large military and law enforcement presence at the race. The pre-race ceremonies included a 4-plane flyover, swearing-in ceremony for new military recruits and parachutists landing on the football field. There were around 600 runners and walkers and everyone had to walk around the track twice before exiting for the race. We started running after leaving the gate to the football stadium. About a half mile into the race, we running on very rough asphalt. I tripped and fell and cut my knee. Before anyone had a chance to help me up, I was able to get up and continue running. Embarassing! The race was not timed and I have no idea if the course was accurate. The approach to the finish line, which was at a downtown park, was lined with about 100 motorcyclists holding American flags. Can't beat that. There was no race timing or competition. My watch said 34:10 at the finish line. After the race, there was a live band and more ceremonies to honor the fallen. I was really impressed with what this small town put together to honor fallen servicemen. Being a Vietnam veteran and retired from the Army, I really enjoyed visiting with some of the active duty and fomer military members there. I'll be back next year.
Retired from the Army in 1984 and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in 2005. Began running in 1961 and racing in 1983. Completed over 990 races, to include 101 marathons or ultra-marathons. I am a STREAKER, meaning that I run every day. Member of the U.S. Running Streak Association, Seven Hills Running Club in Huntsville, Texas, Lufkin Area Pace Setters (LAPS) and Team RWB. Author of the book, How to Put on a Road Race.