More than 35 F3 and FiA pax and families converged on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 14 to take part in the Hopebuilder’s 5K with Speed for Need. F3 has been an ardent supporter of Speed for Need, and FiA was thrilled to be invited for its inaugural race with Speed for Need. After a powerful morning, we can assure you, it won’t be the last. Judging by the number of photos taken by the track commanders’ families, it became very clear that this was a special morning for all four track commanders and their families.
Our four highly enthusiastic Track Commanders gave the “go” sign, and at a few minutes after 8:00 on a perfect, slightly cool Saturday morning in Myers Park, the race was on.
All 4 shiny #speedforneed chariots started together, at the front of the entire Hopebuilders 5K pack. They took off in 2 pairs of 2, with dozens of fans and supporters in tow.
Rich and Devon formed TC group #1, dropping a quick half-mile along Kings Drive. Mason and Jackson were right on their tails, earning cheers from all the fans lined up along the start/finish line.
Once the first 2 chariots sped through the Queens and East Blvd. intersection, Devon gave his pilot the “go sign” of a raised left hand, and Egypt kicked it into gear. When his watch beeped after the first mile, he looked down to see they had run it in 8:08 – noticeable because that exactly matched Devon’s race number on his bib – #808 ran an 8:08. This race was meant to be!
Rich settled in to a nice clip as his Pilot Pocahontas pushed him up the first hill of the morning, with other racers cheering him along. These FiA ladies made several seamless handoffs among pilots during the race, ensuring TC Rich always had a fresh set of legs piloting his chariot along the course.
Mason wasn’t far behind, enjoying the smooth ride offered by Pilot UltraWings along the scenic Booty Loop course. She was all smiles as they wheeled right past the 1 mile marker and enjoyed a nice little reprieve on a short downhill.
Jackson, the elder statesman of this group at 16 years old, encouraged his dad all along the course, helping with the hills, turns and nuances of running with a racing chariot down the middle of a city street. He got some great support from F3’ers Cheetah, Freight and others along the way.
All 4 TCs helped their pilots navigate the tight hairpin turn at the halfway mark, as they reversed course to head back to the finish line. Devon and his team stopped briefly for a water break at mile 2, and were passed by Rich and his opportunistic pilot, Stringbean! Not to be outdone, Devon gave the sign to co-runners Nash, Taf and Tool Time, and with their road-clearing skills, Pilot Egypt was able to steer Dev right alongside Rich for a photo op from the leap-frogging Tolkien up front.
The TCs started to smell the finish line. Jackson got inspiration from seeing his speedwalking mom on the outbound portion of the course as he was headed back in, and he prompted Tree Killer to kick it into high gear. The exuberant cheers of F3’s Fishwrap and his 2.0s helped Rich’s pilots accelerate across the finish line with big smiles for the TC and pilots alike. Devon high-fived Taf, and his pilot needed to put on his best finishing kick for this race. And Mason again could not contain her excitement as she grinned ear to ear, with one last kick by her pilots as they sped by other racers at the finish line.
The 4 chariots regrouped within minutes at the finish line, a sea of high-fives, fist bumps and hugs. All agreed they’d never forget this morning, and the chance to race – together.