✓ Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps
✓ Mental Health and First Aid Cert. Exp. 6/22
✓First Aid/CPR/AED Certification Exp. 5/21
✓ (2x) AmeriCorps Alum
Montgomery County, MD
Community Use of Public Facilities (C.U.P.F.)
- County Resident Representative 

Derek L. Ross

✓ (C.E.R.T) *Certification


Co-1st Place Overall Male Finish

Posted on May 23, 2018 at 10:05 AM

The more running I do regardless if it is an obstacle course race, or a typical road race such as a 5K. It is quite obvious a lot of runners are focused on time, which is okay. With that being said, I don't expect a runner to do a lot of sacrificing. It's rare to see a competitive runner, stop to help someone, slow down to wait for a friend, or in my recent experience, stay behind at a turn around spot to notify runners of an improper course marking. While at the Kingsbury Innovation 5K on 5/19/18, I witnessed by far one of the kindest gestures in running. An elite level runner named Henry, who also works with ParkRun Fletcher's Cove of Washington, D.C. showed me how to take one for the team. While running the 5K on the C&O Canal Path, I noticed Henry slowing down and looking behind at me and another runner. He basically yelled saying we have gone pass a 1.5 mile turn around for a 5K. I was thinking to myself how does he know? Then, I was like yeah it feels longer. The other runner a young lady replied, "lets keep going." So, we all followed for another 20 feet and that's when Henry said, "We have to turn around, this is going to turn into a 4-Miler." So, we all turned around and proceeded back. That's when Henry made one of the nicest gestures I have seen thus far. He stopped and yelled I will stay behind to notify runners of the proper 1.5 mile turn around. I slowed up and asked, "Are you sure?" his response was like "It's okay, I know this path."

 If all of this random interaction during a 5K seems normal to you, then I would have to ask, where the heck are you running? Racers just don't stop and say keep going. Most runner's who keep track of their miles wear pedometer like devices like Garmin's that can actively track their miles. So, if they know the turn around, they may not say anything. That's just the way competitive running goes. Same scenario goes with getting lost, losing an item during a race, having to pee. Some issues are your issues and your issues may not truly affect another runner. So, for Henry to stay behind and notify runner's as they reach the 1.5 mile turn around point to turn around, well that just doesn't happen. Based on Henry's speed, especially since he was in the front, or cruising at 1st Place Overall for the race, he would have finished extremely high, or 1st anyway's. So, for me to finish the race in 2nd Place Overall/1st Place Male Overall. I'm just not happy with that. I don't think I deserve a 1st Place Male Award. It was Henry's award. 

In conclusion, I offered to give hime the award he so rightfully deserved, but he declined. So, I asked can we share the award? His response was "Sure." That made me smile. I won't blame the race for improperly marking the course. The young lady who came in first and kept on running did her thing and represented. That folk's is the life of a competitive runner. Things happen and you got to keep on moving. Now, the bigger question would be, "Would I stop and the same thing Henry did?" I don't know. It was such a wonderful gesture, I would absolutely considerate it because I'm sure I would sleep better at night afterwards. Thanks Henry for showing me the proper way to make a positive statement.

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