21 Minutes 58 Seconds

March 15, 2012
Hunger Walk/Run

1 week ago, I did something that I could barely imagine just a month or so ago – I ran a 5K fun run for the Atlanta Community Food Bank in a brisk 21 minutes an 58 seconds.

The annual Hunger Walk/Run is something I’ve participated in for many years, but this year, I donned a pair of running shoes and a determination to push myself further than I had ever gone before.

I wrote about my reasons for not running before in an earlier post, and in all honesty I was still slightly unsure of how my endurance would hold out in the actual run. Last Sunday at 2pm, the starting gun was fired and off we went – hundreds or perhaps thousands of runners all took off in an effort to assist in the alleviation of hunger and poverty in Georgia. Some, like me, did it for exercise, while others did it to race their friends and family.
I quickly found myself running at a faster pace than I have started out with lately. A mile into the race, I was feeling great and had definitely hit my stride. I kept pushing and was catching up with Matthew and Nick, who I started with and who had pulled ahead early on. Both of my running mates were much younger and had been running for years; they were the clear favorites to outpace me.

Hunger Walk/RunOn the last mile, I ran past Nick and was gaining consistently on Matthew, who was totally oblivious to my presence at his heels. At the end of the run, I clocked in just 4 seconds behind Matthew. I wish I could have captured the expression on his face when I tapped his shoulder and he saw I had completed the race right begin him – the look of shock compounded the sense of accomplishment I felt in running the race for the first time with such a respectable pace.

This experience has opened my mind to new ideas about what I’m physically capable of and despite my relative slow start at getting into running, it feels like I am finding a new zone.

In 1973, Pink Floyd wrote a song called Time, which has one of the most important messages of any song I’ve heard before. Here are some of the more poignant lyrics:

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way

Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today.

And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun.

Consider the meaning behind those lyrics for a moment. What does it bring up for you?

What starting gun are you waiting for?


Also, you can still donate to my Hunger Walk/Run campaign if you would like.  Online donations are accepted through March. 31. Thanks! 🙂


  • Reply Cori March 19, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Well done, Brandon! That is something to be very proud of! Very respectable time! We won’t mention my time when I ran a 5k a couple years back.  I also have never thought of myself as a runner. When I finished my 5k, although it was a fun experience, I still didn’t feel like a runner and thus, I haven’t run since! If we don’t view ourselves as capable, we never will be. Maybe I need to get out those running shoes again and this time with a better attitude!

    • Reply Brandon March 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks, Cori. I fully support the return appearance of your running shoes. 🙂

    • Reply Brandon Sutton March 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm

       Thanks, Cori. I certainly support your efforts to get those running shoes out again. 🙂

  • Reply Deonne Kahler March 20, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Good job! I’m fascinated with people pushing their limits, and this is a great example. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Reply Brandon Sutton March 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm

       Thanks for the kind words, Deonne.  I’m happy I’ve pushed beyond this invisible limit I had placed on myself.  It turns out that I really enjoy running.  🙂

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