The Bob Cole Memorial 5K was a grand success, his spirit lives
By Clint Kern
SANFORD - 416 participants ran or walked and over 40 volunteers, helped Shannon and Ryan Cole magnificently facilitate the Bob Cole 5K on July 14th in downtown Sanford. The 5K traced a course that Bob Cole mapped out many of moons ago, which metriculated from the Sanford Park, along Sanford Lake, through various neighborhoods along Saginaw Road and back to the finish line near the park pavilion.
If you couldn’t instantly feel the Bob Cole positive vibes, you certainly did during the back stretch of the race as four men in kilts played the bag-pipes. The funds generated from the race will help to furnish three scholarships. They are the: Coach Cole Jack Pine Cross Country Scholarship, Builder Bob’s Industrial Arts Scholarship and Robert Charles Cole Agricultural Scholarship. For more go to www.rccolefoundation.com
Over 120 plates of pancakes were served. “We used to have a Pancake Breakfast after a morning practice in August. Every year, Coach Cole would yell, ‘Krusteaz, makes great dog food and a pretty good pancake, too,’ with a huge smile on his face,” remembered former Meridian star harrier, Jessica Reeves. “He used to ride his bike with us at some practices, and he would rubber band just about anything to his bike, including a peanut butter jar that he used as a water bottle.”
“Planning for next years run has already began. We are already approved to be a part of the element series through the Midland Community Center next year. We are taking sponsors for the 2013 race already as well. Des was a wonderful addition this year and we were very happy to have her here,” exclaimed Bob’s daughter, Shannon Cole. Shannon applauded Olympic long distance runner, Desiree Davila who came up, stood for pictures and greeted folks before and after the raffle. Ryan Cole brought her up with him from Arizona State, where Ryan is now a coach for the ASU track squad.
“My freshman year, coach drove up separately from the bus, the bus was following him to our Standish Invitational. We ended up going down this random dirt road after coach had his left blinker on for miles. We got on this dirt road and finally coach stopped his van and came back to the bus and asked why we were following him because he was just exploring,” reminisced Meridian’s stalwart thinclad, Amanda Decker. “Coach would always tell us, it’s not the last one, it’s the best one, when we would be doing 400s and we’d get to the tenth one it wouldn’t be the last 400, it was the best 400. We made bracelets after he passed away which read, it’s not the last one, it’s the best one. Our 2012 track team shirt was dedicated to him with his angel wings watching over us and the back saying, whatever it takes to make the last one the best one.”