Grit And Determination, Along With A Plan
But he didn’t let his health issues, weight or his prior running failure deter him from his goal: to run one 5K race per month from March through December 2015. He figured the regular 5K races would keep him motivated to continue walking.
Derek launched his self-administered 5K challenge at the Kansas City Big 12 Run in March, a run which combines a 5K and 12K on the same course. His goal was simply to complete the shorter distance.
Soon after he began the race, the volunteers started post-race breakdown of the barricades within a few blocks of where he was. Derek ran alone for the first mile and a half, except for a police car silently shadowing him.
Determined, Derek moved forward toward his goal. Near the 2-mile mark, the 12K runners rejoined the 5K route and Derek had plenty of company.
He had plenty of happy, cheering company loudly urging him on and giving him lots of support.
“It was really cool because a lot of them were exhausted, but nearly every one of them gave me high-fives and told me, ‘Good job!’” Mitchell said. “It was really encouraging that everybody was so awesome.”
Even though his knees and feet were feeling punished during the last part of the race, Derek said:
“As soon as I saw that finish line and heard everybody yelling, all the pain that I’d been feeling up until that point vanished. I booked it. I couldn’t go as fast as I’d wanted to because I’d already lost some weight and my pants started falling down. But it was just amazing.”
He finished his first 5K in 1:27:44.
But it didn’t stop there of course…
Click Next page to see Derek’s surprise of his life!