Week One is now done….
Today started with a very cold (Florida standards) 50 degree morning. Thirty-five of us piled into a couple academy vans and personal vehicles and traveled for about an hour to get to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial. The rain went from a light drizzle to a steady rain (with some wind) while we were waiting for the 0800 hrs. start of the race. We were all wearing our academy shirt and shorts. I also had the previously mentioned photograph of Captain Charles Bo Harrison proudly displayed on the front of my shirt. I had a lot of people ask me about Bo and I was able to explain to them how great of a man he was and how much he meant to the community. I also told them how he was killed and that he was less than a month from retirement after serving the citizens of Pasco County for 31 years. My hope is that his memory never fades and people are constantly reminded of the sacrifices that are made everyday so we can live in a safe and free society. The race began at 0800 hrs. sharp and the "splashfest" was on and it began to rain harder. I stuck with my pod-mate, Lieutenant Dan Harrington of the Washington D.C. Police Department (he came in first in his age group and 10th overall) for about 3/4 of a mile and his pace was too much for me to handle. As we ran through the streets of Washington D.C. we were graced with sights of the Capitol Building (that was still being refurbished), the Washington Monument, and different Smithsonian buildings. The D.C. Police and race volunteers were very motivating from the sides of the roadway. As I ran, I noticed other runners with body markings identifying who they were running for. The run was definitely celebration of sacrifice and at the same time you could tell that many of the runners were reflecting on the reason why they were running. Shortly after the two mile point, I noticed something that I don't often see in Florida, a hill. Who would have thought there would be a hill around the area of the Capitol (pun intended, I'm here all week)? Needless to say, the rain, hills and wind took their toll on many of us. Even with running a lousy 25:38 (73rd out of 274 runners) I was proud to have the ability to ensure that Bo and all of our heroes that lost their lives are NEVER FORGOTTEN.