This guest post was written by Lo Vongsaravane, Finance Assistant for the Asia/South Pacific Area.
It was a great experience for me to participate in my first trail run at Petit Jean State Park for the Hoof It For Heifer on April 14th , especially one that was in support of the great place where I work. I think the event was a great fit since part of the mission is to care for the Earth. Runners enjoying the beautiful trail are reminded of why we should do our part to protect the environment. The event would not have been successful without the wonderful volunteers who support Heifer.
First, let me start off by saying that socks are a necessity when you are doing a trail run. I learned that the hard way at the fourth mile marker. I want to give my many thanks to the kind volunteer who offered up her socks at the aid station. I don’t think it would have been possible for me to finish the race in the allotted 6 hours because I would be crawling due to severely blistered feet. I didn’t necessarily jump at thought of waking up at 4am on Saturday morning, but it really wasn’t that difficult due to the anticipation of doing the race. I needed to drive from Little Rock to Morrilton which was about an hour and half. I made sure that I made it in time for the 7am start or I would be disappointed at myself for missing an opportunity to take part. I was excited that I had other staff join me for the race, Jesus and Ileana. A former staff also came with me, Andy. They were all excited about the race and pretty good runners. It was great seeing all the runners that came out to support Heifer, who woke up early on a Saturday morning, and willingly endured 12 miles of some tough terrain. The weather was perfect for the race. The trail was very scenic which helped me take my mind off the knee and leg pain during the latter part of the race. My favorite parts were passing all the rock formations and the creeks. A couple of runners fell into the creek, but they worked through it. I also took some falls on the tricky portions of the trail and was able to trudge through it. As I headed towards the finish, the cheers from the volunteers were encouraging. I need to express how much the volunteers have motivated me to do more personally, the way they happily offer their time and money in the event to support Heifer and its mission. I’m proud to have finished the race as many other runners did.
I think the race was very well organized, especially for being its first year. The Race Director, Wanda Eason, did an awesome job in coordination from beginning to end. The hard work of all in putting the event together is truly appreciated. I definitely look forward to doing another Hoof It for Heifer soon, with socks.