Saturday morning brought about the State Meet. I've gone up for Fridays and the prelims the last few years, but it worked out best with our athletes (and the Calculus schedule) to go up on Saturday this year. We had two guys in the 3200 and a male shot putt-er and girl discus-er. I had my fingers crossed a couple of the others could sneak through to the finals so I could see them too, but their hard efforts and PR's fell just short on Friday.
Rad had a strong race and finished 5th with an amazing 9:09.
Sean ran strong and posted a solid time and had an amazing senior year.
Made it home in time Saturday night for us to go down to Cornerstone. Another amazing night of music and a great message on giving what you have in your life.
Then, on Sunday, Beth and I went to the Butler-Freeport trail by our house. It was perfect--shady and cool (at least cool for the first half hour). Beth had an 11 mi. run and I didn't want to do all of that since I was racing on Monday. So, I went out to mile 4 on the out & back and then just turned around to come back. Knowing I was going to have some time to kill, I carried the camera and snapped some shots of our favorite trail (and place of my half-marathon PR).
This first one sums up what most of the trail looks like. Lined with trees and shade, crushed limestone path, and mostly straight with a few bends.
Around 3.5 miles from Freeport, there is this creek that passes under. It just looks like a picture out of a movie or something.
Around 3 miles to Freeport, Route 28 passes over the trail on this HUGE bridge. It is just SOOOO tall.
Monday was the Gatons Memorial Day 5k. Kevin Gatons was one of Beth's high school cross country and track coaches. Four and a half years ago, he passed away at the state XC meet jogging the course with one of the GS athletes. It was just so sad in general, but really sad to see Cheryl and the kids at the funeral and to think the rest of their life would be without Kevin.
This race remembers Kevin and is worthy of his running ability as a lot of the top runners in the Pittsburgh area make their way out to Greensburg to race. Also, a handful of top high schoolers come out too, even on the heels of just competing in the State meet Friday and Saturday. All in all, it's a great celebration of Kevin and his life.
This is cousin K and I during our pre-race warmup. I think I may have developed a bit of a farmer's tan during the track season.
This is a post-race shot of the Lebo clan. They're fast (I definitely weigh down the average 5k time) and not afraid to sport the pink shorts. They broke those out all spring for the big track workout days. They're awesome and I can't say enough how impressive it is for them to wake up early on a non-school day and drive an hour to come do a 5k right after finishing their track season. Kevin would be proud!
Finally, here's a picture of Beth and Cheryl (Kevin's wife). Cheryl is so amazing! She was really close to qualifying for the Olympics back in 1996 and ran two really fast Pittsburgh marathons the last two years.
I remember the first time I met Kevin and Cheryl was when Beth and I were first dating and they took us out for dinner at Sharky's in Latrobe. What a great couple they were! And, in spite of everything going on at the race today and Cheryl I'm sure having so many things on her mind and so many people to talk to, one of the first things she said to Beth and I when she saw us was, "Beth-wasn't your birthday this past week? Happy Birthday!" We see Cheryl once a year and she still is so caring to think of Beth.
So, remember Kevin and the Gatons family and remember all the soldiers who paid the ultimate price for us so we can enjoy weekends like this and our freedom. Happy Memorial Day!