Latest reviews by James Mevis
I like stories and anecdotes that provide deeper meaning and background to the events that are occurring around us. I was told one of these as I picked up my racing packet for the 5th running of the Columbus Race for Global Water 5k. One individual providing me my bib/chip and goodies gave me a bit of background on the course layout. She told me for the 2nd year it would be using the tunnel that goes from the Hoover Reservoir (water) side of Sunbury Rd to the opposite. I didn’t know that when one crosses through that tunnel they were crossing jurisdictions – from city of Columbus on the water side to Westerville on the other. The team supporting this event had taken feedback from the initial years to simplify the layout and in doing so had to get permission from both jurisdictions. “Nice”, I thought. I had run the course 2 weeks earlier to get familiar and I did run through that tunnel. Along with the beautiful scenery provided by Hoover Reservoir, the tunnel was sort of a unique feature of the path. Now I knew the rest of the story.
In my view, the event was well run, well organized and the setting was perfect for a 5k race. I’ve been running in Westerville area venues for the past year and this was my first event in the Hoover area. This event has a great cause: access to clean drinking water and sanitation around the world. The race was preceded by background information and thanks to sponsors and all the volunteers who make it happen. I got to see the individual who told me the background story. She was introduced as the key volunteer to drive the event. She did do a great job and we all clapped. I also got to shake hands with the 2nd person at the packet pickup as she took a moment to say hi shortly before race time and we exchanged “good lucks”. It was time to run.
The out and back course starts on top of Hoover Dam and runs on the Big Walnut trail to the west of the reservoir. It then goes north up along Sunbury Rd. Shortly before the turn around point at East College Avenue, one traverses through the now memorable tunnel. My own personal anecdote this day is a strong desire to break the 24 minute mark for the first time. As the race starts out, I am willing to go out a little faster than normal and before the 1 mile mark I am keeping a pace that would get me to sub 24 mins. The cool fall air that has finally decided to return to Central Ohio has made going a bit faster an easier decision. As I pass mile 1 I take a moment to look out over the water and see sail boats in the distance. “This is a beautiful location and a perfect day” I think to myself. I quickly focus back on the run. Although I don’t really need it, I use the water being handed out for a mild cool down and I say hi and thank you to the volunteers manning the water station and key locations near the turns at the tunnel and at the turnaround point. I truly appreciate all that assist with such events and make them run so smoothly. Reaching the turnaround point, the race heads for home. As mile 2 passes, I am feeling quite fatigued having kept a faster than normal pace. At about 2.5 miles and 2 more times after, I actually break into a walk for 10-15 steps and then return running. I get passed by 2 (obviously less fatigued) runners during these slowdowns. But the next thing I know I’m back on top of the dam and heading for the finish line. I see the clock ticking with leading '23' digits as I cross and believe I’ve eclipsed 24 minutes. I’m handed a (clean) water and a medal and am exhausted and happy. I confirm I broke under 24 minutes a few minutes later when times are posted.
Thanks and congratulation to all who organized and ran this really nice event for a great cause. Schedule permitting, I hope to run it again next year.