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Will Run for Booty.

February 27, 2011 by Carolina

As in pirate booty. The Gasparilla 15K was yesterday & it was a beautiful run. I woke up bright & early to run 9.3 miles next to the water; check out the scenery.

The first 6 miles of the race felt great — I was ahead of my usual pace & thinking I could PR — I was starting to get excited. I spent the majority of the race actually racing with a girl who kept passing me & looking back. Never backing up from a challenge, I kept up with her, running way faster than I typically do. Though I was very tired by mile 6 I was thankful for the push. I had energy beans & resolved to beat her to the finish line…then it happened.

A man running in front of me collapsed (it looked like he fainted), hit the brick road, cracked his head open & was bleeding all over his face. A few of us stopped to help, found him gushing blood & twitching; it was a scary sight. One of the runners rushed to the water stop ahead & came back with a medic who immediately called for help. About 5 of us waited for the medics to come & load the man on the stretcher.

After leaving him in the medics’ hands we were told to go, but I couldn’t, I was literally sick to my stomach. I’m very squeamish & that much blood hit me hard. I found the nearest port-a-potty & puked everything I had in my stomach; it wasn’t a pretty sight. Luckily there was a water stop right by the restroom, I was able to grab a drink & started to walk…all I could do was think about that man, hoping he was okay. I saw one of the girls that also helped him out & she told me the least we could do was finish, so I started running again. By then my mind was a mess, my legs felt like led but I ran.

And finished. It was the slowest time I’ve ever had but I didn’t care, I was thankful to be able to run. I was thankful to have helped someone in need. I was thankful to be alive. As soon as I crossed the finish line I was welcomed by my friends & all was better.

I will never forget this race.

Carolina

Carolina is a marketing professional and graduate student living in Orlando, Florida. Originally from Colombia, Carolina loves experimenting with different spices in the kitchen. When she's not cooking she loves to run, practice yoga and spend time with her dog Rocco. Carolina is passionate about travel and always has her suitcase packed and ready to go!

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