Find Willie's sweater (behind the camera)....
Judy and Debbie give a few instructions on how it works. Balloons mark the start and we should just follow the leader. There will be people at a couple of places where the walking path forks to direct us to the way we should go, and some yard signs are placed along the path as well. They mention places where one can turn around and go back if they want to walk only one mile, or two miles.
We are excited to begin and see how far we get.
The bridge is the turn around spot which will get you one mile when you arrive back at the registration desk. I don't see anyone turning around. What I do see is many people are ahead of me and only a few behind. I greatly admire the lady who has a wrapped knee and walks without bending her leg. (No photo)
I walk with my sister-in-law Jenny and her grandsons Austin and Andrew, and strain my eyes to see a white dot between the trees ahead to identify Herb and brother-in-law Lloyd from Louisiana. Far, far ahead.
Will I be the last one returning?
There are still enough of us hanging together to be able to find the way and know we need to cross the street, but I suspect the job of Ed on the bicycle (center of photo) is to herd us when needed. Just ahead of me is Team Allegro. Leading us across the street are Austin and Andrew.
Well, Herb and Lloyd are 'picking 'em up and puttin' 'em down.' They have already crossed the street and started back down the other side of the lake. I hear them calling to Jenny and me. One must really strain the eyes to see them. Again, Herb's white hat is a clue. I think they are getting close to the re-fueling station.
This cropped photo makes it easier to see them --
|Lloyd and Herb|
Yay! I make it to the halfway point, where Fr. Jim has set up ice chests with bottled water or Gatorade, and a table of healthful snacks -- granola, juicy oranges and crisp red apples. We refuel and rest for a few minutes before starting back. My feet thank me.
Time: Willie - 1.85 miles in 30 minutes.
On the way back I stop long enough to take a photo of the guides who keep us on the right course.
Connor stands at the starting gate to get a photo finish of everyone as we return.
Time: Willie - 1.85 miles in 40 minutes. No sprinting on this leg....
It's playtime! In the background is Wilder Elementary, the headquarters of the Walk. I see some young people are already climbing the rock wall after their 5K. What energy they have!
I hurry to get closer in order to catch some of this young man's action. He carefully chooses his footing as he ascends.
Down he comes!
And now for a safe landing. He has his eye on the spot where he wants to touch down. I can just hear the adrenaline flowing as he enjoys the cheering of the crowd.
Willie of Willie's Tug,
and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
November, 13, 2016