Once a year — and once a year only — I run a 5K. It’s “The Stride” which benefits Sound Shore Medical Center. Given my complete lack of training and preparation, the potential for personal embarrassment is always high. It’s good that the run is sponsored by the hospital and has lots of doctors around, because I might need them at the finish line.

Well, this year’s 5K took place this past Sunday, and I am happy to report that I did not collapse along the way. My time was 26:38 — way behind the real runners and about the middle of the pack for everyone else — which is better than I expected.

The race passes my house on Pinebrook, so the real highlight for me was a hearty cheer from Jeremy, Owen, and Catie. I mustered just enough energy to wave back.

The photo above is of me with brothers Ron and Dan Burton of the NewRo Runners. I can’t quite remember whether it was taken before or after the run, but based on my relatively well-rested appearance, I would guess before.

To learn more about the Stride, log on to www.thestride.net.

I’ll be aching for at least a week.