Team Sumoflam Completes the GAFC 5K

The TeamSumoflam family before the event

The Team Sumoflam family before the event

The day finally arrived…a 5K walk at the Great American Fitness Challenge. Team Sumoflam came all decked out in our bright yellow shirts. At 10:45 it was about 85° and sunny. The 15K event was over and the grueling obstacle events were in full swing. Hundreds of people came out for the events.

It was real fun to have all of my Lexington family here at the event to join me and support me. My wife, two daughters, a son in law and four grandchildren, as well as a friend, joined me to walk the 5K. And you couldn’t miss the Team Sumoflam Neon Yellow shirts!

Up at 5 AM and ready to work the event

As part of the BrainBox organizing team for the GAFC, I had been on site since 5 AM…helping with setup, photography and social media. By race time I had already put in over 7000 steps (according to the new Argus app I am now using).

An event of this nature took loads of planning and loads of work from a number of people. There were 15 of us that worked on this for months to pull it off and get all the logistics in place. It was a great experience as we, in essence, created a new brand…the Great American Fitness Challenge Brand! I look forward to the new events that may be borne out of this inaugural multi-event event!

Following are just a few photos of from this event. I was so honored to be a part of the planning team and thrilled at the inspiration and drive that it has given me to adjust the course of my life.


Sunrise on Event Day at the Kentucky Horse Park

Sunrise on Event Day at the Kentucky Horse Park

The Obstacle Course finish line

The Obstacle Course finish line

Henry Clay JROTC presenting the colors

Henry Clay JROTC presenting the colors

The Medals...Finisher, Gold, Silver, Bronze

The Medals…Finisher, Gold, Silver, Bronze

National Guard during the playing of My Old Kentucky Home

National Guard during the playing of My Old Kentucky Home

A portion of the obstacle course and the beautiful Horse Park behind it

A portion of the obstacle course and the beautiful Horse Park behind it

The Finisher Medals...everyone that finished their event got one of these

The Finisher Medals…everyone that finished their event got one of these

On the morning of the event in my "Event Gear" as one of the photographers

On the morning of the event in my “Event Gear” as one of the photographers

Working as a shuttle driver prior to the event

With my wife Julianne before the 5K race. The headband was made for me by kind “Flamingohead Family” at Woodflock in California a couple of weeks earlier. I promised I would wear it in the race

As race time approached I changed into my Team Sumoflam shirt, wrapped a nice cool band around my neck and another (flamingo-designed from my Woodflock friends in California) around my head.

I was already pretty tired. The night before was a nightmare as I was picking up one of the former Navy SEALs. My car broke down and AAA never answered. I had to take my daughter’s car and take care of him and then wait for her to get off work at 1:30 AM. I finally got to bed at 2 AM and was up again at 4 AM to head off to the Horse Park for a 5 AM gathering to do final preparations.

By the time the photo to the left was taken, I had walked nearly 2 miles taking photos, setting up signs, assisting visitors, etc.

I was glad that for the last hour prior to the race, I was assigned to drive shuttle from the parking lot. I was fortunate enough to be able to get my family picked up and bring them. The funnest and most endearing part of the day was seeing my grandkids all in Team Sumoflam yellow. And, even better, seeing them with a new TeamSumoflam Cheer!!

Grandkids getting ready to start the race

Grandkids getting ready to start the race

Starting the 5K

At the start of the 5K, people took off and left me in the dust…I soon fell behind, but pressed on alone. After a mile and a half or so, my knee started hurting and sciatica kicked in…ugh.

I had to stop a couple of times to relax the knee, but pressed on…as people made their way back (it was an up and back race), many high fived me and encouraged me. It was uplifting!!

I soon neared the 2 mile mark and was shocked I was still moving forward. I was exhausted, hot and discouraged. I should have been on the way back a half mile earlier…did someone mess up the measurement of the course? I didn’t know, but I did know that it appeared I still had a ways to go to the turnaround point.

I did not go any further and turned around with my family, who came back to stay with their exhausted dad/grandad. We moved on and, ultimately we all finished. Even the little kids got finisher medals!!!

Grandkids at the finish line with their medals

Grandkids at the finish line with their medals

My Smile at a Mile, Two Mile Smile and FIRST EVER Three Mile Smile on the course. Some of those were forced smiles….

Showing off my finisher medal after the race. Happy it was done!!

I also got in my first Three Mile Smile!! How fun is that?? However, truthfully, I was exhausted beyond words…and famished too. All I had eaten was 4 bananas and three granola bars. I had drank lots of water though and continued to also pour it over myself to keep my body cool.

The sense of accomplishment of finishing was thrilling…and doing it with family was amazing!!

Yes, it was grueling. Yes, I was exhausted. Yes, I was in pain and had to sit down and cool off. But I was also happy to have hit this achievement after more than 70 days of exercise and changing eating habits, etc.

This was the reward.



David and Julianne show off their finisher medals. It was hard work!

Everyone from Team Sumoflam finishes!


Hanging with two former Navy SEALs…John MacLaren (L) and my mentor and new friend Rob Roy (R)

Shortly after the race, I hopped in a golf cart and headed down to the obstacle course to visit with my new mentor and supporter, former Navy SEAL Rob Roy and another former SEAL John MacLaren. Both were so encouraging…I’m grateful for this. Later, Rob and his assistant Jen put on THEIR Team Sumoflam shirts.

I have written much about Rob Roy in previous posts. I met John MacLaren the evening before as I picked up him up at the airport. A former U.S. Navy SEAL, John left active duty in 1996 and began to pursue certification in nutrition and fitness training and an undergraduate and graduate degree in spiritual and counseling psychology. He has been a certified fitness specialist for over 20 years and holds certifications in resistance training, sports and endurance training, Crossfit, post-rehabilitative exercise, pre- and post-natal health and fitness, training and physical therapy for elderly and special populations, fibromyalgia and CFS fitness programs, kinetic chain function and nutritional counseling.

Rob Roy and his assistant Jen don their Team Sumoflam shirts in support. Rob has been an inspirational Mentor throughout all of this.

It was a good day and I had put in 17,714 steps…wow! After a restful weekend, I got up on Monday and weighed in at 412 pounds… That is now a loss of 38 Pounds since April 1!!!