On Saturday, I did a 5K. It was a fundraiser for an old friend, Ray Wallen. Ray was injured in a boating accident on Lake Norman a few weeks ago. The accident resulted in one of his legs being amputated. Ray was an all state runner and a member of the wrestling team at West Henderson so it was a bit disheartening to see our old friend in a wheelchair. But, because he's Ray Wallen, he was full of spirit and optimism.
It was a great occasion. Our friend, Ryan, flew in from Colorado to show his support. He won the race in the 18s. I ran a respectable 28:30ish. I was pleased with the effort, though I'm paying for it now.
The best part, however, was the reunion of old friends and teammates. It was great to see all these people come out to support Ray. They were there, young and old, runners, joggers and walkers. Lots of people I have not seen in many years. It was fun and festive. Not the best circumstances to reunite, but it was great to see everyone rallying for a cause. Here's some of our old cross country teammates and Coach Price, who led this group to state titles in 1993 and 1995.
Times-News Article on Ray
Ray Wallen Benefit website