This past Saturday I ran a race that had been booked on my 2012 Racing Calendar since January 1. Stephen’s Sunrise Pi Mile was a new race this year, but one that was put together in memory of Stephen S. Fenstemaker. Stephen was one of my brother’s best friends growing up, as they went to elementary, middle, and high school together. They shared memories in and out of the classroom, on and off of the soccer field. On October 29, 2010, Stephen was involved in a single car accident off the campus of Miami University. My brother was the passenger in his car. Needless to say, that day rocked the Jackson and Louisville communities to their cores.
Stephen’s family put together a Math Scholarship in his honor, to be given out to deserving students at Jackson and Louisville that demonstrate interest in majoring in math or science. The proceeds from the Pi Mile were to fund these scholarships.
The race started and finished in front of the Paul&Carol David YMCA. It was a course I knew well; as my mom and I had helped to design it for this race. Hilly, but scenic. It ventured in and through both the North and South Parks, with a small portion being in a neighborhood. That morning, I awoke to a bunch of rain. I prayed that it would clear up for the start of the race, as I knew Stephen would be watching over us.
And it did. The skies cleared and the sun peeked through.
We were instructed to head to the start where a brief prayer was said. I began to tear up as we prayed for a good race, good weather, and for Stephen and his family.
We lined up to begin the race. And waited for the siren to sound. Shortly after, we were off.
The race proceeded along the back road behind the High School, turning its way into the North Park. If I look emotional in this picture, it’s because I was. I didn’t care how much it hurt, I was running this one for a purpose and for Stephen.
Yes, it definitely was a little bit hilly. One thing I found so touching was that the JHS Boys Soccer Team came out to run the first mile with the racers. They had their first District Game that evening so could not run the full race, but they hopped in to celebrate the life of a former alumnus.
Such a beautiful morning to run.
My mom served as the Mile 1 Split timer. She was able to yell out to me “7:12!” at the first mile. The hills had majorly fizzled my legs. They were sure to not be able to recover as the course was an out and back loop, I would have to run the same hills again.
The hills did their work on my legs as Mile 2 clocked in at 7:35. I tried to rally some energy going into the hills again, but was only able to manage a 7:38 on my 3rd mile. Because the race was a “Pi Mile” the course was purposefully long to clock in at 3.14 miles. I finished in 23:39 (7:32/mile pace). And finished with a smile on my face and my heart.
I was able to finish 2nd Overall Female out of a smaller field of 166 runners. As ecstatic as I was to have placed overall, I was more happy that this race finally came into fruition. I can only hope that everyone that participated this year will return next year and bring a friend or two along. This race needs to grow, so the memory of Stephen can live on and help worthy high school students achieve their dreams of college.