Fitness! Fun! FUNDRAISING! Melissa’s Race to Battle Brain Cancer is SO much more than another 5K. This event is a FUNDRAISER benefiting FLORIDA HOSPITAL CANCER INSTITUTE for brain cancer research. It’s also a fun, challenging, and certified chip-timed 5K run and walk, located at Fort Mellon Park on the scenic shore of Lake Monroe in Sanford. This event is in memory of Melissa Vosburg, a resident of Sanford and teacher at Midway Elementary School, who was lost to brain cancer in 2013.
The day started off beautifully. It is always a plus when you run a race in Florida and the weather cooperates. This time of year really can be hit or miss when it comes to the weather. Thankfully, last Saturday the temps were mild and there was a breeze. Add in that the race starts and finishes by the water and you have the makings of a perfect race day.
This was my first race since the Best Damn Race Orlando 5k in the beginning of March. I walked that entire race and didn’t want to do that again. I wish I could say that I’ve been training a lot since then, but that isn’t the case. Stress has kinda been ruling my life lately, so I’m not really where I want to be fitness-wise. But that wasn’t going to stop me! I set my watch to an easy set of intervals and planned to stick to them for as long as I could. Thankfully, thanks to the weather, I was able to stick to them for about 2/3 of race (which is longer than I thought I’d be able to). I kept a fairly good pace and actually finished the race with a smile on my face. It was a great way to get the weekend started.
After the race, I was able to hear Melissa’s story from her brother who shared it with the participants. It is a sad story, but it was wonderful to see so many people out there supporting their cause. He, along with Advent Health, announced that the event had already brought in over $82,000 – how amazing is that?! It is awesome what people can do when they work together. The last thing Melissa’s family did was a butterfly release in Melissa’s honor. It was such a beautiful and emotional thing to be a part of.
After the race, they have a post-party called Brews for Brains. They have games, vendors, entertainment, food trucks, and of course, beer. Deviant Wolfe was the beer sponsor and for a donation of just $5 (it was suggested), you could get one of their amazing beers. It was definitely a great treat after the 5k. All of the vendors and food trucks gave a portion of their sales back to Melissa’s Race, which means that the $82,000 they’d raised beforehand was definitely going to increase.
I definitely want to participate in this race again next year and would encourage you to do the same. Or at the very least, look for a race in your community that supports a great cause. Maybe even find one that supports a cause close to your own heart. Running a 5k is always fun, but being able to help out others at the same time makes it even better!