Heroes in Recovery 6k - 2017 Race Recap

June 3 is not exactly an optimal day for a 5k-- or a 6k for that matter-- in South Florida, but that's the day when the Heroes in Recovery 6k was held. This is a special race for me because it hits close to home. This was the first race I did last year after my sister's death.

The race series' purpose is to break the stigma of addiction and mental health issues and to inspire a sense of community through the 6k races. The races are also held raise awareness for the need for treatment and support for those who are in recovery. The extra 1k symbolizes the long and difficult struggle that people in recovery face.

Once again, I found this race to be an inspiring experience. Before the National Anthem and the start of the race, all runners are invited to say the Serenity Prayer. And then, like any race, it begins.

The course in Fort Lauderdale winds its way though beautiful neighborhoods of the Rio Vista community and along the Tarpon River. The course is marked in kilometers, instead of miles, which is atypical, but a good way to know how far you've got to go.

The race swag was great this year, along with the tech tank top (men's AND women's sizes), we were given a bag (not the typical drawstring), a running belt, and of course the finisher's medal.

Goodies after the finish included the standard bananas and bagels, but also muffins. AND paper towels! This might not be environmentally friendly, but there's nothing quite like a nice clean, dry paper towel to blot the sweat after an exceptionally warm race.

This year they also featured Yasso frozen yogurt bars at the finish! And they were delicious.

Here's why I love this race:
I was standing at the finish line, ready to capture a picture of my friend's finish, when a tattoo-covered man comes charging across. He came immediately over to the side, near where I was standing. Out of breath and covered in sweat, his eyes met mine. I could see that this had been a struggle for him, but I could also see that it wasn't the most difficult one he had ever faced. I know that he's in recovery and that his battle will continue. The success of finishing this 6k was a symbol for him of things to come. He can do it.


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