With threats of Hurricane Nate bearing down on the Emerald Coast a couple of weeks ago, several of the community’s annual events were canceled such as the Destin Seafood Festival and the Destin Fishing Rodeo even shut down for a day and a half.
The Rodeo 5K Run, which is always held the first Sunday in October, was called off by organizers due to Nate as well.
But that didn’t stop local Dawn Foy. She hit the course on that cloudy windy Sunday, Nate or no Nate.
The course, which starts and ends at Clement Taylor Park on Calhoun Avenue, runs through the back streets of Destin and back to the park and is a pretty flat course.
“I was the only one, so I won,” said Foy with a laugh.
Foy, who recently turned 60, decided to take up running in January at the encouragement of her son Jesse.
“I hadn’t run since I was about 15,” she said.
After a couple of months, however, her son quit but she continued. And when she heard about the Rodeo Run she decided to give it a shot and started training.
“It was a personal challenge,” Foy said.
After talking with race director Kimmy Meyers, she decided to give it a try.
“I’m going to be there and she (Kimmy) said go for it,” Foy said.
Foy and her husband John showed up at Clement Taylor Park about 7:30 on the would-be race morning and drove the course to make sure everything was OK.
“I was going to wait until 8 to start, but the clouds started rolling in so I went about five till 8,” she said.
With her husband following her along the trek in his truck, she took off.
“It was like an obstacle course with tree branches down, pine cones, mud puddles and traffic. Definitely more than I expected,” she said.
But she continued on.
“The last four or five blocks the rain started coming and pelting my chest, but it wasn’t that bad,” Foy said.
Foy finished the race in 35 minutes, her personal best.
She said she has clocked herself running a 5K around her neighborhood in 39 minutes.
When asked if she will do the race next year?
“I’m absolutely going to run next year,” she said.
For her efforts, Meyers personally delivered the first place prize to Foy in person, an engraved tumbler with her name on it and first place.