Ron Sparks Author, Poet

The IOA 5k Race


There is a yearly 5k run sponsored by “Insurance Office of America” here in the Orlando area. Every year my company, Channel Intelligence, encourages everyone to participate and attend. Easily 1/2 of our company attends each year – and that’s a staggering statistic if you stop to think about it. What other company can confidently say that close to 50%-60% of it’s employees run a race together? Not many; that’s one of the reasons why I like working at CI so much.

Last year was my first year to attend and I had a great time. I’m not much of a runner because of my lack of an arch in my 4E wide feet, but I will jog/walk as much as I can. This year, my second year participating, was something special for me.

My recovery from cancer is far from complete, but I would have never thought, even for a second, that 8 weeks after my treatments ended I would be fit enough to participate in the race this year. I not only participated, I enjoyed it and didn’t wear myself out. Even three weeks ago that would have been impossible; my strength and stamina are increasing every day.

I didn’t set any records yesterday. The field was so crowded that it was all I could do just to walk in a straight line. There was no way me, as a walker, could pull ahead of the crowd for some clear space. There were, literally, tens of thousands of people attending. I managed to walk all 5k in 1:01:24. 1 hour, 1 minute, and 24 seconds. Like I said, no records were broken, but I couldn’t have done this even a month ago.

I’m paying for it a bit today with some stiffness and soreness, but I am so happy to have been able to do this. The best moment was as we were driving home last night when Carey reached over and grabbed my hand and just smiled and said “I’m proud of you, honey.”

And I have great reason to be proud. I am not letting my weakness stop me from living. I am working every day to get stronger. To get better. I may have to continue this cancer battle in the future, you never know, but I am not living my life in fear. I’m proud of myself too.

I loved the fact that this is a family event and we got to bring the kids. Matthew, Christopher, and Ashlee had a blast as well. The enjoyed the crowds, the free food, the drink, and going from tent to tent and just looking around. The crowds were a bit much for Carey and me – we have large crowd issues – but we all enjoyed every minute of it.

The only part that “bothered” me was when I saw myself in the pictures I hadn’t realized how prominent my scar was. Nothing major, though – I love my scar and think it’s cool as hell. I just hadn’t realized that it was so obvious.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the race:

Some of the Channel Intelligence crowd before the race.

The CEO of our company Rob Wight (right) talking to one of our VPs, Roger (left).

Me just before the race: notice my scar. Sexy, huh?

Another pic of me just before the race.

Carey and co-worker Ann.

Carey and me lounging around just before the race.

Carey and Ashlee.

Christopher and me.

Matthew and me.

Me and co-worker Todd.

The massive crowd starts to line up.

That’s a lot of damned people!

I was feeling so strong that I was even able to carry Christopher for about 1/4 of a mile because his feet were hurting. He has flat feet like me.

I had a great time at the IOA 5k yesterday. I am so proud of my determination to recovery and my persistence in making it happen. I am tickled pink that I got to attend this year when just a few short months ago it was in doubt. I love that my co-workers and family get to see me well on the recovery road and that they get to see the results of their love and support of me.

I can’t wait to do it again.

I have a lot of pictures. If you want to see them, just click the link below:

2009-04-16 IOA 5K

About the author

Ron Sparks

Ron Sparks is a technology professional, science fiction and fantasy author and poet living in Zurich, Switzerland. His latest book "ONI: Satellite Earth Series Book 1" is available on

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Ron Sparks Author, Poet

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Ron Sparks

Ron Sparks is a technology professional, science fiction and fantasy author and poet living in Zurich, Switzerland. His latest book "ONI: Satellite Earth Series Book 1" is available on


A man of many passions, I lay claim to a myriad of interests and hobbies. Among them, I am an amateur astronomer, an avid motorcycle rider, a whiskey aficionado, a (poor) surfer, a scuba diver, a martial artist, a student of philosophy, a proponent of critical thinking, a technologist, an entrepreneur, a cancer survivor, and I harbor a lifelong love of science fiction and fantasy. Feel free to strike up a conversation on the social networks below.

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