I had the privilege of running a 5K with my Dad for the first time this weekend. Let me start by saying we both finished! My one and only goal I have in every race is to finish, so mission accomplished.
(Sorry there are no photos…camera malfunction 😦 )
We were pretty organized about race morning. We planned when to get up, when and what to eat, what time to get to the start line etc. Everything went well, I was feeling the best I have ever felt on race day and I was supper excited to be running with my Dad.
All went as planned and we were ready to go early. We had time to stretch and eat our power bars before the race. As we were waiting at the start line Dad says he is feeling dizzy, he is diabetic, so this was not encouraging. Then he says don’t worry I will feel better in about 15 to 20 minutes. I was a little concerned, but he said he was fine, so I didn’t think about it too much.
Next thing I know the race has started and it’s time to run, so off we go. We started out doing really well. The first 1/2 mile our pace was fast, faster than I usually start and I was still feeling great! The course followed the river through a really nice park, was flat and easy with only a few easy rolling little hills.
Despite how great I was feeling and how much I was enjoying the race I knew early that Dad was in trouble. I have never seen anyone work so hard to keep up a slow shuffle. He was breathing way to hard for someone as fit and in shape as he is. We had been touching base on his training runs and I knew they had been going well and he was feeling good, so I knew everything was not ok.
We made it to the first and only aid station which was also our turn around point, and he took some energy drink and told me that everything was a haze. He didn’t remember any of the race up to that point, and couldn’t see. We were walking at this point and he stumbles and looks like he is going down, so I grab his arm and pull up to keep him on his feet. He almost went down a few times which scared me. He is a big guy and I’m out on the course with him alone.
I kept suggesting we stop and sit/call for help. But he insisted on walking and said he was starting to feel better. The sugar from the energy drink was kicking in. Thankfully one of the runners that passed us asked me if everything was ok, I told her that he was having a diabetic reaction and could she please let a race official up ahead know so that I could get some help. I owe her a thank you because Steve, one of the race volunteers, walked back to us, called the RD who called the paramedics, and Steve walked with Dad and I until we were within sight of the finish line. By that point Dad wanted to do a slow jog to cross the line.
The RD was standing at the finish and grabbed Dad to help keep him on his feet and the paramedics were there waiting to take care of him. I was just glad that we made it to the finish and there were people there who could help.
The only frustrating thing for me about the race is that there was nothing I could do to make it better for Dad. I knew he was in trouble and there was nothing I could do about it. I didn’t have any candy or anything in my pockets. It was a beautiful course, flat, and a great first race for someone and I feel bad most of it is a foggy haze for him.
I don’t have diabetes and I have struggled with my race morning routine and food, so considering this was his first race, first time running in the morning it’s not surprising there were issues with his blood sugar levels. If he decided to give it a go again he will know what to do to avoid having issues like that.
We started the race together, we crossed the finish line together and we both got really awesome brooks shirts for finishing. I call that a successful race!
I love you Dad, I’m glad we got to do that together and I’m really glad you didn’t pass out! 🙂
One thought on “Wenatchee River Run Post Race Report”
This has been a tough experience for me in as much as I do not think I can end this on such a negative experience. I had fully intended to take tubes of glucose to this run just for such a severe diabetic reaction. However, not once in my training runs did I even come close to such a reaction. I honestly thought you and I would run somewhere around 27-28 minutes. Your form was perfect and in that first half mile it dawned on me this was your race to set a high P/B for you. I knew fifteen minutes before the start it would take a monumental effort for me to finish. I knew then this would be a severe reaction that would probably end up with me in a diabetic coma somewhere on the course. I cannot describe the pain associated with such a reaction. I was aware that my parasympathetic nervous system was shutting down and with it so were the internal organs. It hurts. It is very painful. There was no glycogen being delivered to the leg muscles and to keep putting one foot in front of the other was agonizing. What made it worthwhile was the effort you put forth in holding me up. I was aware I was going down, and aware you had my arm. I was aware of your voice. You picked me up, you kept me going until the sugar from the aid station gave me enough fuel to finish. And that is why I made the decision to go ahead and run. I knew you would come through and see me to the end. I knew that all I had to do was endure the pain of body systems shutting down. On your strength we would finish together. Under these circumstances it was a far more significant finish. I dare say—in the future we will both finish a 5k well under 30 minutes. I would love to do this again.