EDITOR'S NOTE: The Roadrunners put on the 35th White River 4-Mile Classic on Aug. 3, 2013, with intermittent lightning and a steady rain starting just before race time. It made for an unusually gray and slightly cooler-than-usual race, but we had a few ambulance checks for heat problems. Some who did not require help reported later having little recollection of parts of the race — humidity taking a toll even on those who made it through. My doctor noted the rain paradoxically sent enough of a cooling signal that our systems shut down the usual sweat that helps us shed the internal heat of effort. When all was said and done, we met the elements, the hills, and each other and came out way ahead of where we started. I was part of a great day for our club, and I'll let you show us why, in a collection of items from Facebook. Thanks, friends.
  —Bruce Oakley


Check out our archive for previous travels On the Road, and remember we invite you to share your own story, cause or advice with our members.

On the Road in Rain with Us

Ashley Carroll Beller:

How good it is to be a part of this running community! Thank you to Melanie Mathews for checking in on me, Jennifer Liles Dorris for visiting me in the ER, Jessica Hogue and Adam Hogue for being great friends to us this morning, and to the young man who propped me up and waited with me on the race course until the paramedics arrived. I have no recollection of it and don't know who you are, but thank you! Who knew you could get so overheated in rainy, 80 degree weather?

Suzy Taylor Oakley:

I want to say my own thanks to our running community for yesterday.

I was dreading the 4 Mile because I've struggled with running lately. I haven't been motivated as usual, and the news that I'll be needing heart surgery threw me for a loop. Even though I didn't even want to get out the door yesterday morning, I knew I'd regret it if I didn't, so I did.

I was emotional as I ran and was nearly in tears trying to navigate Water Street (I'm sure most of you can relate :-)) just because my heart was so heavy. I was a lot slower than I could have been because I had that stupid heart thing on my mind!

But every single one of you helped me - before, during and after - starting with Amanda Nikkel, who listened to me Thursday night, going slowly and gently with me the whole way as we did one last training "run." Amanda, thank you for causing me to examine whether I might be just a little depressed (I think I may be!). I so appreciate your gentle persistence and listening heart, and I didn't get a chance to tell you that yesterday morning. You're awesome in so many ways.

Betsy Tucker (who's not on Facebook) helps me in many ways at all times and has been with me through email, text messages and words of encouragement at church. Same goes for Tommy, her husband.

Saturday, there were those who helped in direct ways, with hugs: Betsy, Dana Dowell; shout-outs along the course or at the finish: Janie Inman Barber, Phyllis McCourt Russell, Linda Moser Dale, Suzanne Mills Dickey; Michelle Goldthorpe McSpadden, David Meroney and others; Dana, I will never forget your turning around and taking me in to the finish. I don't know where you were headed (uphill, silly girl), but you knew I needed you and you were there! To Bruce Oakley, who is always there when I need him, rain or shine; you've made it fun to run in the rain! And you hugged me and understood when I was blubbering, "I don't know if I can do a half-marathon!"

And many of you helped in more subtle, indirect ways. Thanks to every single person who was there. Despite the clouds and lightning, my day was brighter because I had you all around me.

Thread begun by Stephanie Jones Baxter:

Great job!!! Thanks volunteers!!!

(Dana Dowell, Jennifer Liles Dorris, Kandy Hackney Tosh, Lisa Drake, Doris Lillard, Lorie Pinckard, William Weatherford, Linda Moser Dale, Rebecca Patterson, and MK Vandiver like this.)

Shelley Garrett:

Yes thanks to everyone who stood out in the rain

Bruce Oakley:

Absolutely! Big thanks: Phyllis McCourt Russell organized 2 water stops with West Baptist members and youth group; Matthew and Kayla from Ozark Foothills Literacy Project, along with Kay Reynolds, handled key corners; Danny Dale, Janie Inman Barber and Cindy Wade called out mile times, Cindy doubled with Suzanne Mills Dickey at registration; Josh Poff and friends did a great job with cones and signs -- and I'm forgetting a couple at registration and somewhere else.

And the McSpaddens do it up right, rain or shine.

Thanks to Bill Torrey for jumping in to help Dennis Anderson while I was slow to react. And for all who helped Ashley Beller, who has passed along her own thanks already.

Proud to be out there with you all for this race.