San Pedro Sunday morning: Covering ground for a good cause

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Some of the runners and walkers begin to mingle around the starting line for Sunday morning's Autism Awareness 5K in San Pedro, Belize.
Some of the runners and walkers begin to mingle around the starting line for Sunday morning’s Autism Awareness 5K in San Pedro, Belize. That is Miss Rose in a yellow top, already pumped from the 7K run she did earlier to warm up for the 5K walk with me.

This morning was the second annual Autism Awareness 5K Walk/Run in San Pedro.

Rose and I chose the walk option off the menu, out of deference for me being completely out of shape thanks to back-to-back surgeries in the past year or so. So Rose prepared for the 5K by rising early and running a 7K. I prepared by looking for my ancient running shoes, which I searched thoroughly for scorpions, lizards, spiders and other creatures who seek shelter in musty, dark places in the back of closets.

The good news is, I found none of the above.

But the shoes. Oh, the shoes!

My running shoes -- can I still call them that if I haven't run in more than a year? They were animal-free when I dug them out of the back of the closet, happy to say.
My running shoes — can I still call them that if I haven’t run in more than a year? They were animal-free when I dug them out of the back of the closet, happy to say.

The bad news is . . . oh, wait . . . I told you earlier: I am terribly out of shape as far as humans go.

The run/walk began in front of the Sandbar, the hostel/bar/pizza joint in Boca del Rio which seems to be making a habit out of civic generosity. If there is a good deed being done for San Pedro, you’ll likely see the Sandbar’s name attached to it somewhere. Seriously, a bottomless source of good works for the community.

This event was to raise funds for the special needs classes at Ambergris Caye Elementary School. It is the only class of its kind for special needs kids and Sara Jean is the only teacher of her kind on the island. Both are precious resources worth supporting.

Inside the Sandbar, in advance of the race, it was a beehive of ... of social media. Everybody seemed to be on their iPhones. So, naturally, I had to get on mine and record everybody else doing exactly what I was doing. Now if I were a little bit snarkier, you could call all this ironic. But, hey, I just report the news. I don't make it.
Inside the Sandbar, in advance of the race, it was a beehive of … of social media. Everybody seemed to be on their iPhones. So, naturally, I had to get on mine and record everybody else doing exactly what I was doing. Now, if I were a little bit snarkier, you could call all this ironic. But, hey, I just report the news. I don’t make it.

I have no idea how successful the run/walk was as a fundraiser, but as a community gathering of San Pedranos and expats I’d call it a whopping success. And you couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous morning.

If you are looking for a 5K route to run or walk, this one is pretty decent. Start at the Sandbar and head north up Boca del Rio to the end, then return south on the main road, all the way to the Road Kill Bar. Hang a left through the pine grove and hang a left at the beach. Walk the beach north back to the Sandbar.

Some of the many eople registering for the Autism Awareness 5K at the Sandbar in San Pedro on Sunday morning.
Some of the many eople registering for the Autism Awareness 5K at the Sandbar in San Pedro on Sunday morning.

Sometimes you are lucky and your friends might be gathering for brunch at, oh, let’s say the Holiday Hotel’s waterfront Caprice restaurant. Then you, too, might be able to stop for a sip of a rejuvenating mimosa before returning to your walk. Beats bottled water any day.

Actually, after the walk/run we did jump into the golf cart and rumbled back down the road to the Holiday Hotel where our friends had saved a pair of seats for us. I know what your are wondering: “Bob, you are a sweat hog. How could you meet up with freshly bathed friends at a nice place like the Caprice after manning up for a whole 5K?

And they're off! Walkers for the Autism Awareness 5 K fund raiser head out on a beautiful Sunday morning in San Pedro.
Walkers and runners for the Autism Awareness 5 K fund raiser head into the Sandbar for final instructions  on a beautiful Sunday morning in San Pedro.

Excellent question.

I brought a towel and spare shirt and treated the whole community to my impression of a crazy guy washing up and changing clothes on Front Street before entering the hotel dining room. And since I was facing the sea, I also had the wind in my favor.

And that other thing you are wondering?

Yes, I had the waffles and friend chicken and there wasn’t a speck left on my plate.

Thank you. It was a fabulous morning.

Sarah Jean delivers the final directions for the 5K run/walk to participants.
Sarah Jean delivers the final directions for the 5K run/walk to participants while sporting the very cool participation T-shirt.

Rose is now back from the massage she scheduled as we walked along Boca del Rio and as soon as she gets done making the fresh vegetable soup in the crock pot, we should just be able to catch the end of the corn hole tournament at The Truck Stop.

And please, do not let me forget that tomorrow morning is my deadline for renewing my Visa stamp at the Immigration Office. Not like I did last month . . . .

A few more photos from this morning:

Little Ms ACES (Ambergris Caye Elementary School) and her entourage carry the banner for the race and their school on Boca del Rio.
Little Ms ACES (Ambergris Caye Elementary School) and her entourage carry the banner for the race and their school on Boca del Rio.
Wayo walks with VIPs in the Autism Awareness 5K run/walk on Boco del Rio in San Pedro.
Wayo walks with VIPs in the Autism Awareness 5K run/walk on Boca del Rio in San Pedro.
So I said to my walking companions, "Pretend that you are almost through with a half-marathon." I think they did very well. At least, that is how I remeber looking and feeling. Thank you!
So I said to my walking companions, “Pretend that you are almost through with a half-marathon.” I think they did very well. At least, that is how I remember looking and feeling. Thank you!
Every fund-raiser walk/run should end up like this, at a big table surrounded by friends for a Sunday brunch, with bloody mary's and jugs of mimosas and a cool ocean breeze flowing through the room. We met up with friends at the Holiday Hotel's Caprice restaurant. They'd reserved two seats for us. Thank you all.
Every fund-raiser walk/run should end up like this, at a big table surrounded by friends for a Sunday brunch, with bloody mary’s and jugs of mimosas and a cool ocean breeze flowing through the room. We met up with friends at the Holiday Hotel’s Caprice restaurant. They’d reserved two seats for us. Thank you all.

 

Hydration is so important when you are walking a 5K in tropical weather. Fortunately our friends at the Holiday Hotel were willing to share their mimosa with me as we passed by. (Photo by Ruth Rinehart.)
Hydration is so important when you are walking a 5K in tropical weather. Fortunately our friends at the Holiday Hotel were willing to share their mimosa with me as we passed by. (Photo by Ruth Rinehart.)

 

What can I say, Rose is all Grace and I'm all Frankie (sly Netflix reference) in front of the Caprice restaurant as we were close to finishing the Autism Awareness 5K on Sunday morning. (Photos by Ruth Rinehart.)
What can I say, Rose is all Grace and I’m all Frankie (sly Netflix reference) in front of the Caprice restaurant as we were close to finishing the Autism Awareness 5K on Sunday morning. (Photos by Ruth Rinehart.)

 

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8 thoughts on “San Pedro Sunday morning: Covering ground for a good cause

    Amy Woods said:
    April 17, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Ahhh. Yet another reason to love San Pedro. My husband and I have had the good fortune to visit the island, several times, and every time we are there, some kind of fundraiser event or parade led by children from the community warns our hearts and lures us back.(that and the bone fishing!) I am returning in June with 12 other women to celebrate life. Life after breast cancer. Should there be an event of any nature where we can participate our help to better a cause, .please advise. We will be at the Blue Tang June 22 thru July 1.
    See you at the Truck Stop!
    Amy Woods

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      April 17, 2016 at 8:06 pm

      That is wonderful, Amy. Certainly something to celebrate. Perhaps posting here will get you started on connecting with someone local. Also, there is a Facebook group called Belize Expats which is well read. If you post an inquiry there, I’ll bet you’ll get a response. See you on the island! I’ll watch out for events during the days you mentioned, too.

      Like

    Susan said:
    April 18, 2016 at 5:40 am

    Oh wow, looked like a ton of fun! Can’t wait til next year to join you and Rose on the run. Have y’all gone to Placencia in December for the Marathon down there? That is on my bucket list for Belize once we are residents…ahhh….NOT the Marathon, but the 5 or 10K walk/runs that accompanies it. Momma didn’t raise no runner! Good job you guys!

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      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      April 18, 2016 at 7:05 am

      Placencia’s run was on my list until I developed heart problems in late 2014. I still have hopes of some day doing at least the half-marathon, which would be about my 38th. Physically I have a ways to go to get back to that level of running.

      Like

    tacogirl said:
    April 18, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Bob to my understanding they raised enough money for one scholarship and are looking to get 2 more by September. The following information is from Sarah Jean.

    One hundred and thirty two people participated which is a fantastic turn out to raise awareness for Autism!

    For anyone who would like to make a donation towards a scholarship for a child with special needs, you can do so by visiting: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/sponsor-a-special-education-student/ Please feel free to share the link with your friends and family members.

    Liked by 1 person

    Tyonia and Andrew Schulman said:
    April 18, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Great morning, for a great cause with new friends!! What could be better? We enjoyed it so much.

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      April 18, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      It was so much fun to spend time walking with you and Andy. That made the kilometers just fly by! Next time I do a benefit walk, I’m going to follow your example and fill a bag with trash as I walk! Brilliant!

      Like

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