Shalom 5k

Shalom 5k

Shalom 5k

( 2 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Carroll,
    United States
  • December
  • 3 miles/5K
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Craig Simpson

Delaware, Ohio, United States
11 47
"Nobody Wants To Play With a Charlie in the Box!"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Craig Simpson's thoughts:

"...or a water pistol that shoots jelly!"

I like board games, though I haven't played all that many in recent years. As a kid we played a variety of them on regular basis and as we grew older they sat and collected dust before finding a new home or met their demise.

In recent years board game popularity has come back to life, though L's family will tell you their popularity never waned. They are a family of gaming masters (board games, card games, etc.) and every once in a long while, I can win one of them. Most of the time I'm just another victim simply taking part for fun. Many of their favorite games are quite entertaining, while others require more critical thinking than I would like to conduct.

Why all the thinking? They are a family of brainiacs and competitive brainiacs to boot. So you don't have to be super smart (though it helps), but you also have to be on your game because you will be cut down to size immediately. On the Saturday of the Ohio State-Michigan football game, L and I spent the day at her parent's to visit, watch some football and eventually play a game or two. Recently, her brother Chris has asked a few times to play Diplomacy. The family has politely declined and selected another game each time. This instance the family followed up with his request and lassoed me in after watching the Buckeyes thoroughly make a mockery of what was supposed to be a "great" Michigan Defense.

Having never played Diplomacy, I was told it was similar to Risk and/or Axis & Allies - both of which I have played numerous times (including long games during holiday extended family gatherings with my brother, cousins and Uncle John years ago). Throwing caution into the wind, I thought, "Hey, I'm game!" Looking back on it, I should have held on to that caution or wished it had been blown back into my possession. This game is NOT like Risk or Axis & Allies, there is no winning or losing a battle by a chance roll of the dice, this game is the physical form of an election year television ad mixed with partisan politics and sprinkled with the at-home version of being forced to sit in on a congressional session.

This game is one of Chris' favorites and one most of L's family enjoys, so I'm not making fun of them or their preferences. Chris, his friend Billy, L's dad, L and I would play, but L's mom refrained and didn't look all that pleased when asked if she would join us. She instead left to watch something on TV in another room, I now know why. She knew better, leaving me all alone on the Island of Misfit Toys.

The definition of diplomacy is: the profession, activity, or skill of managing international relations, typically by a country's representatives abroad. This is exactly what the game is - discussion, back room dealings, I scratch your back if you scratch mine and deceit. Yes, this is the tabletop version of government. No action, just talk and dealings to suit your needs. I had flashbacks of having to cover politics as as reporter way back when, a large reason why I no longer have an interest in that profession.

It was a roller coaster of explanation, followed by details and explanation of those details which proceeded arguments and copious amounts of cursing causing folks to leave the room in frustration. There was strategy involved, but the strategy was overshadowed by non-stop discussion to work your way toward the ultimate goal of garnering the most supply centers on the map to be declared the victor. Players spend much of their time forming and betraying alliances with other players and forming beneficial strategies. The absence of dice and other gaming elements that produce the random effects that I love did not exist here and I was left craving the wonderful world of chance. In this scenario, I had no chance...I was screwed.

We played until we were tired and everyone was ready to quit, which was about three hours later. Despite causing L's dad to throw out the f-word in frustration because I, too, was frustrated at the lack of "game" involved, we all left in good spirits and with harmony restored. As we were leaving, L's mom appears and with a sly I-told-you-so smile says, "That is exactly why I refuse to play." It isn't a horrible game and for those who love it, more power to you. For me, it was like being sentenced to solitary confinement with non-stop C-SPAN audio piped-in to further the punishment.

This, though, is the season of giving, of comfort and joy - not pain and suffering. To assist in this effort we would again be taking part in Traffic Panther Gary's event: the 5th Annual Shalom 5K - an effort to collect food and funds for the Shalom Pantry Mission and Shalom U.M.C. General Fund. Last year, this is where I was beaten by Jailen, the 13-year-old dynamo. Maybe this year, I could have his number since he took my mine...chewed it up...and promptly spit it out somewhere in Fairfield County.

Just like the year before, the route would start at about Bloom-Carroll High School and follow Plum Rd NW for about a mile and half before a return trip along the same path. And just like the last two events, L would also be taking part. This year's event had a raffle for a variety of prizes, including a prize for the largest team - the winning team garnered a gift card to BrewDog USA (a mere 20 miles away). As a result, nearly every member of the Traffic Panthers would join in the fun.

This day was about 40 degrees and overcast and just as we left to make our way there, the sky opened up. It danced between a drizzle and a downpour the entire trip. The rest of the day would be filled with showers of some sort. As we were getting our race packets, Traffic Panther/Race Director Gary says, "There's going to be some fast guys here today." Apparently a few of his Columbus Running Company friends and running mates would be joining in on the wet day.

Before too long the vast majority of the Traffic Panthers (and a few honorary TP'ers) gathered for a group picture. With fourteen of us on hand, we did end up winning the $25 gift card to BrewDog USA. I had to laugh as the Columbus Running Company members arrived. I have competed with all of them for over 2 1/2 years and follow most of them on Strava. I don't know any of them personally, but we know each other well through race results. This day did have a missing piece, Jailen was not at this year's race. It was a rainy day, but I suspect he was wiping the floor with opponents at a basketball game somewhere - instead of using me to street sweep our race route.

For L, she wanted to see if she could match her Thanksgiving Day 5k to this slightly more elevated one. With the added treat of rain, it would be a great test for her. At the gun, it was a familiar sight as I'm among all the Columbus Running Company members. Three drift in front and I follow close behind as a steady incline begins. Slowly those three drift further in front and at the mile marker I'm at 5:57 - not all that slow, but also not all that fast.

The route flattens out a bit with slight downhill, but then another incline begins. At this point the three in front are far enough that catching them probably will not happen, but using them to fuel what feels like a lackluster pace for me is working. Finally reaching the turn around, it was nice to see a decent decline ahead. Here I'm well ahead of those behind me and not all that close to those in front. Here I'm hoping I can use my momentum to my advantage.

Passing L and the Traffic Panthers on the return trip added some highlights to the wet December run. My second mile comes in at 6:22, a good bit slower than the first mile but also much more up hill than the first 5,280 feet. I don't lose any ground, though I'm not gaining either. I'm content with pumping my arms and pushing leg turnover to see how much of the rain I can outrun. The third mile is near identical as the first (5:56) and as I glide into the race shoot and stop my watch, I find a time of 18:35. A little slower than the Thanksgiving Race the week before and slower than my time at last year's race, but I will take fourth place. I shake my head and tell myself I should have stayed with the three in front a little long, but nevertheless.

Trudging in the rain over to finisher's food tent, I find the three CRC guys I finished behind - John, Seth and Tim. "Hey, we follow each other on Strava, but we've never met. I'm Seth", one of them says while sticking his hand out to greet me.

I follow his gesture, "Oh, I know who you are and nice to meet you!"
"I think you beat me at the CRC Mile Dash?", says Seth.
"And you beat me at the Blazin' Five Miler"
"Yeah, we ran together for the first 3 miles"
"We did and as a matter of fact I know all three of you," I say jokingly, " though I'm used to seeing you guys from behind."

It is quite funny if you take a look at the results of those two races and others, those three and I (along with Paul who finished behind me on this day) are typically in same area of one another. I then head back to the road to see the rest of the Traffic Panthers and L make their way in. Even with the rain, L finishes 18th in 24:44, a good six seconds faster than the week before.

Now it is really starting to get cold and before all of us call it a day, I find out I have won one of the door prizes. I take home an 18 pack of 12 oz Gatorades and a Wise Auto Care & Cycle Center t-shirt, sweet! Since it was a rather ugly day and everyone wanted to head home, we decided to hold off on using the BrewDog USA gift card for another time. At home, I find Maker's Mark has sent me my yearly ambassador's holiday-themed gift. It is a pair of socks with images of Maker's Mark bottles all over them. I was impressed, they fit well!

The next day, Sunday, was nearly all sunshine and over 60 degrees. A quick spring break, if you will, before winter officially sets in. The weekend concluded with L and I decorating the place for Christmas and some holiday cookie manufacturing before the start of the last work month of year.

We have begun the dark running season of cold, snow and ice. These are the days where even the most grizzled running veteran can have trouble finding the motivation to brave the initial frigid blast, though once you get through it you are home free. For me motivation can be found with simple things like a reward for braving the elements, something waiting on you upon your return. It is a way to give yourself a break, because we all need something - now and then - to help take the pressure off...

MUSE - Pressure

I’m trapped and my back's up against the wall
I see no solution or exit out
I'm grinding it out, no one can see
The pressure's growing exponentially

I'm trying to keep up to speed with you
Your lane changing is oscillating me
I'm hitting the ground and I'm sprinting
I'm falling behind now I'm tuning out

Pressure building
Pressure building

Don't push me
Don't push me
Let me get off the ground
To you I'm no longer bound
Don't stop me
Don't choke me
I need you out of my head
You've got me close to the edge

I'm feeling the pressure, I can't break out
No one can hear me scream and shout
Get out of my face, out of my mind
I see your corruption, I'm not blind
I'll carry the burden and take the strain
And when I am done I will make you pay

Pressure building

Don't push me
Don't push me
Let me get off the ground
To you I'm no longer bound
Don't curb me
Don't thwart me
I need you out of my head
You've got me close to the edge

Don't push me
Don't push me
Let me get off the ground
To you I'm no longer bound
Don't stop me
Don't block me
I need you out of my head
You've got me close to the edge

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