This year was my first opportunity to participate in a FANTASTIC event in the small northern California town of Mt. Shasta. It is an annual event held on the Fourth of July, and gets just about everyone in town involved in some aspect of the celebration. This is my race tag, indicating I was doing the two mile Fun Walk.
The folks in Mt. Shasta have been doing this event so long, that they have the registration and check-in process operating like a well-tuned clock, with it taking just seconds to get my race number and T-shirt.
This was the first race I had been to where bottled water was so abundant, and free of charge. Mt. Shasta is famous for its great-tasting water, and the Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water Company wanted as many people as possible to sample their water. Each bottle proclaims it is bottled at the spring source near Mount Shasta ( www.crystalgeyserasw.com ) So here is a big THANK YOU to Crystal Geyser for making sure none of us became dehydrated!
Besides the race category for the 2-mile Fun Walk, there was also a 5-mile Run. The 5-mile run had the usual categories based on age, but in addition, they had categories to encourage participation by folks who do not fit the typical elite runner stereotype. There was a category called "Clydesdale", for men who weighed over 200 pounds; likewise, there was a category called "Athena", for women who weighed over 150 pounds. I also liked the fact that there was a separate category called "2-mile Youth Run", for kids 18 and under.
The city of Mt. Shasta closes off its Main Street to automobile traffic, all day on the Fourth of July, to facilitate race and event festivities. Most of the stores are open and do a booming business, with the huge influx of visitors that come to town for the race, parade, craft booths, and fireworks.
I was thankful my daughter-in-law, Stacy, (shown in this photo with her son, Caleb) told me about the Mt. Shasta Fourth of July spectacle, and invited me to make the trip from Arkansas to California, to see it all take place!
As the walkers and runners turned off of Main Street, they headed down Lake Street, which gives great views of Mt. Shasta in the background.
Stacy had told me that the local residents get into the spirit of the event by applauding, waving, and shouting words of encouragement as the walkers pass by. The folks at this house were especially picturesque as they watched the event go past their residence. Some residents also had their sprinklers operating on the perimeter of their lawn, so that if any runner who wanted to, could get a cool misting of water to keep them from getting too hot.
The race route took us by Mt. Shasta's Mercy Medical Center, which was also a sponsor of the event. My son was working in their Emergency Department on the day of the race, so I was thankful I did not have any medical issues during the race, that would have required my paying a visit to him there!
After passing the medical center, our route took us on the overpass above Interstate 5. That must have been an interesting sight to the holiday drivers below, as we waved at them under the gigantic, patriotic, floating, red-white-blue balloon arch!
The young woman shown in this photo has an infant strapped to her chest, like a momma koala bear. Her baby was, no doubt, one of the youngest participants in the race! The pointed mountain in the background is called "Black Butte", and is on my "bucket list" of hikes to do on a future visit to Mt. Shasta.
I was amused at this cute little girl, dressed like a princess, and having her hands full of treasures, she did not want to part with!
This couple was enjoying the opportunity to be on the north side of the overpass, that gave them clear views of the 18-wheelers traveling south on Interstate 5. The female is giving the familiar arm gesture that asks in a friendly way, if the trucker would sound a blast from their mighty truck horn. We received an on-going serenade, which I nicknamed the "I-5 Sonnet", as everyone seemed to be enjoying it so much!
This photo shows the mass of people engulfing the street for blocks, as the walkers going out, met some of the walkers coming in, near the turn-around point.
For those physically-fit individuals that finished the 5-mile race, the reward was a nice medallion, complete with patriotic ribbon. MariaLynn can add this medallion to her Boston Marathon collection!
If there had been a category for "tallest guy" and "tallest girl" at the race, I am sure this couple would have won! They were walking throughout the crowd, posing for photos, and seemingly enjoying their lofty status!
These friends each won a first place trophy in their age division for the five-mile run. CONGRATULATIONS!
Likewise, this local physician won in his age division, and sets a good example for his patients, of the importance of physical fitness.
Not surprisingly, I took a very long time to complete the two mile walk, as I was having so much fun taking photos. I was glad to see Stacy (in pink) at the finish line, to cheer me on to completion! (I am the one with stars!)
After the tragedies of the Boston Marathon bombings, I was thankful for the presence of law enforcement officials along the race route. They were there to "take captive" every problem, pet, or person, that was being disobedient to the law. This photo serves as a visual aid to help me remember my memory verse for the healthy living class I lead ( www.FirstPlace4Health.com ). The verse is from 2 Corinthians 10:5 and says "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." I am hoping that after seeing the photos of the fun time that can be had by participating in physical activity, you will be motivated to start training for a similar event in the area where you live! Even better, make the trip to Mt. Shasta, to participate in the 2014 event! Just log on to www.mtshastarunners.com for more information. Whether you choose the "two" or the "five", I guarantee you will have "MILES OF SMILES"! Tricia