Fallen Officer 5K
The first annual Fallen Officer 5K was held Saturday May 14, 2016 in downtown Biloxi, MS. The race was presented by the Mississippi Gulf Coast Blue Team. Over 900 participants ran in honor of law enforcement officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Proceeds benefitted the families of the fallen officers.
For being in its first year this race became very popular and sold out a few weeks before race day. Luckily more spots were opened. Because the race was for such a great cause, many sponsors stepped forward as well.
Pre race festivities were held at the Biloxi Town Green on Beach Boulevard. The opening ceremonies began with the Color Guard presentation by the Biloxi and Gulfport Color Guards, the National Anthem, and Pledge of Allegiance. Keynote speakers included local police chiefs. The opening ceremonies ended with a bagpipe rendition of Amazing Grace.
The race start was a few blocks away at the Biloxi City Hall. There was a special start for those running in honor of the fallen officers. AR Graphics generously donated “thin blue line” flags with the names of the fallen officers to those running in their honor. The flags were given to their respective family members after the race.
I met up with my running partner in crime, Misti, and we made our way to the starting line. We began the 5K distance at 6:00pm.
The first block was a challenge trying to go around people but we turned east and the course opened up. The first mile seemed to go by very quickly and I finished in 7:08.
During the second mile my adrenaline wore off and my body reminded me it was hot….and summer was here to stay. Full bottles of water were given out at the turnaround so I briefly stopped to drink what I could and continued on.
The second half of the race was harsh. We were running into the sun and the smell of a corner store on the route frying food did not help. I slowed down for mile 2 and finished in 8:04.
During mile 3 I had the pleasure of running next to a fellow female officer for a bit. She was in full uniform and rig. I was inspired and soldiered on into the sun.
The finish line was back at the Biloxi City Hall in downtown Biloxi. The streets were filled with people cheering for the runners. It was a great finish line and I completed the race in 23:54. It was on the slower side compared to my recent times but I’ll give myself a break with the heat.
My time was good for fourth overall and 1st age group. The first 500 participants to register received custom race medals.
I located my husband and parents on a bar balcony overlooking the finish line. My Dad showed me the race photos he took from that angle and they were pretty cool.
I didn’t realize how much the heat got to me until I sat down. I drank as much water as I could but I felt pretty bad.
Unfortunately we had to skip the post race ceremonies because we were meeting friends for dinner at the Beau Rivage and I desperately needed a shower.
I finally started feeling better a few hours later after a nice and deserved crab leg dinner.
Photos of the candle lit ceremony to honor the fallen officers were posted on the event page later that night. The ceremony looked beautiful.
The race will be back next year and I look forward to participating again and staying for the post race ceremony.
Next up for me is race #2 of the year long Quadburners series: It Takes Two. The race is an 8 mile relay race on the beach in Bay St. Louis. Until next time!