Three of the inspirational people that stay with me through running are my nephew Shawn, my wife Cindy and a 5-year-old named Korrey, my step-grandson. Shawn has run some great races including a 9:06 finish at the JFK 50 and a 3:36 Baltimore Marathon. We have run together in races, raced in races and have had some great conversational runs. Cindy, the bionic lady, with two artificial hips and an artificial shoulder due to osteoarthritis, completed the Tobacco Road Half-marathon, a 10K, and multiple 5Ks. But, the Tobacco Road Half brought tears to my eyes. She trained hard, knew it had to be a run-walk and persevered for a 3:06 finish. I wrote about it here. She is also the best crew anyone could ask for.
For the last 6 years, we have ventured to Cincinnati for the Flying Pig Running Festival, a weekend celebrating running and Cincinnati. There are races for everyone from the baby crawl to the full marathon and even a flying fur event for dogs. The entire family can be involved. In our first year In 2014, Bree, Korrey's sister did the Piglets race of 25 yards at the age of a few months past 2 years. Bree ran and ran and ran past the 25 yards to the big kids' finish. In 2015, it was time for all the kids to run the piglets races. The theme that year was All-Star and they were all All-Stars. Read about it here. In 2016, Cindy, her daughter Becky moved up to the 5K while the kids still did the Piglets races.
Now, let's skip a few years and get to 2019 which relates to the tile of this post - The Korrey Effect. In 2018, all 9 of us, well, 9 1/2 since Jenn was with child, did the 5K. The kid's races got so crowded that we figured it would be more enjoyable to do the 5K. We did and we all finished in good time and spirits. But, in 2019, I got to run the entire race with Korrey, and run we did. For a 5+-year-old to finish a 5K, it takes a lot, but for the same kid to finish while running every step of the distance, that is a truly an enduring, persevering effort.
Frankly, I didn't know what to expect as we started. First, there were so many people and so many adults that I needed to hold Korrey's hand so that he didn't get trampled on or step in a hole or trip on uneven pavement. We started a bit fast and as the runners spread out we had more room to move around, passing people, being passed by others but just plowing along. The first mile was run in 10:44 which must have felt blistering to a nearly 6-year-old. Although I was holding his hand, I wasn't pulling him along as I let him set the pace. Although his brother Jaxon was ahead, Korrey ran his own race.
Korrey Effect 1: Run your own race!
With his eyes fixed on what was ahead, we moved into mile 2 which included two hills at 2.4 miles and 2.8 miles.
Korrey Effect 2: Focus and fix your mind on the task at hand!
Throughout the run, he heard words of encouragement not only from me but from the runners around him.
Korrey Effect 3: Eat hills for breakfast!
Korrey Effect 4: Take in words of encouragement and use them to your advantage!
There was an aid station at mile two with some food and drink being handed out. I asked him if he wanted to drink and he said "no" but he did take a pretzel and ate it while running.
Korrey Effect 5: Learn to eat and drink on the run and don't lollygag at aid stations, particularly in ultras!
This probably felt like an ultra to him. The previous year, I watched the boys while Cindy, Charlie, Becky, and Bree ran the 5K. When I say watched, I mean cheered and high-fived as spectators. Now, Korrey was being cheered.
Korrey Effect 6: We runners need to cheer on others as spectators or volunteers sometimes!
At this point after finishing mile 2, I still could not believe he was still running and hadn't stopped to walk. I saw his strained face determined to keep going. It probably didn't help by me saying "almost there" which I cringe at when a spectator yells it at mile 20 of a marathon.
Korrey Effect 7: Don't believe all that you hear, know where you are in your own race at the distance you are running!
However, we were truly getting close but I could not remember where the exact finish was since it was changed the year before. Korrey knew that wherever it was, he couldn't stop until it truly was the finish.
Korrey Effect 8: Run to the finish. There is no finish except at the finish line!
We pass mile 3 and we literally can see the finish line and we speed up as we pass all of the cheering finish line spectators but Korrey is still focused on the finish.
Korrey Effect 9: Run faster down the stretch and be happy!
We pass the finish line and grab some food and drink to celebrate our race, have a picture taken and enjoy the accomplishment.
Korrey Effect 10: Enjoy and celebrate what you have done!
If Korrey had a mantra or even knew what a mantra was, this would be it and it is one that we all cannot only run by but also live by!
The Full Korrey Effect?
Relentless Forward Progress!
|The course and split times|
Some pictures from the Expo and The Flying Pig 5K
|Bree and a Flying Pig|
|The Start Line|
|Rowan's First 5K (although he got to ride)|
|Calvin, the Kids and Cindy|
|Bree (how does she twist her leg like that?)|
|Almost There (haha! The Finish Swine!)|
|Bree and her Medal|
|Brother, Sister, and Family|
|The Medals Are Real!|
|Cincinnati Skyline Before the Marathon|
|Yes, I do!|