Bad Dog Memorial 5k

The purpose of The Bad Dog 5K is to provide financial support for Ronald McDonald House of Memphis by honoring the life and legacy of John “Bad Dog” McCormack.

John McCormack was a lifelong Memphian who spent over 20 years of his radio career working to support Ronald McDonald House through the annual Radiothon he put on with his on-air partners Bev Hart and Tim Spencer and in those decades they raised millions of dollars to help house children and families in treatment at nearby St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. John “Bad Dog” McCormack brightened the lives of countless radio listeners in his decades on the air. The morning drive DJ/funny man, 55, died of complications associated with leukemia at Methodist University Hospital on Thursday, March 10, 2011.

We are honored to continue his legacy of love and support for
The Kids at The House that Love Built!RMHC-logo-no-text

The Ronald McDonald House is a temporary home away from home where the families of children being treated for cancer and other serious illnesses or trauma reside while the child receives treatment at a nearby hospital or medical treatment center.

This was a fun morning for my friends and I. We all came together to support a great cause and to support a dear friend who is the race director.
#TeamPositivity loves you Julianne! ❤

I had decided the week prior that I was going to ditch my last long-ish run for marathon training and shoot for a personal best race time. My previous 5k time was 28:53 set back in August of 2015. I haven’t been training for speed, but I wanted to see what I could push myself to do.

Once I got to the starting area, I realized I needed some quiet time to settle my nerves, so I headed out for a slow warm up 20 minute run around the Beale St district. I love running downtown Memphis, there is so much history of the city that you miss when you pass by in a car. I told myself that I would definitely do more running this summer down by the river. Once I got back to the starting area of the race, I did the usual pre-race ritual…..port-a-john, grab some water, get and give hugs to friends and of course all the pre-race selfies!

I lined up at the starting line to listen to pre-race instructions and then Julianne, the race director,  beautifully sang the National Anthem. The siren sounded and off we went!
I felt strong and relaxed the first two miles. Mile 1 beeped at 8:40. Mile 2 beeped at 9:45. Somewhere between mile 2 and the last water stop (approx 2.5) something happened to my right calf. I slowed down to walk a few times to see if I could work it out. I was almost to the last turn to head downhill to the finish line, so I decided I would just punch the gas for a strong finish. I just needed to get to the corner of Front St and Beale St! “Just get there Daniela!” screamed in my brain. Around the corner I went, and the feeling in my right calf intensified so much that I was convinced someone shot me with a BB gun. There was a quarter mile to go, I had to finish strong, so off I went into a sprint. Halfway down the hill, my calf locked up and wouldn’t let me run, so I halfway limped a few steps. I had given up and was going to walk to the finish line, until I heard someone scream “C’mon Daniela!” I took off toward the finish line despite the knot in my calf.
I am so grateful that a few friends came and caught me in the finish chute and got me to lay down on the ground and helped me get the knot out of my calf. If they weren’t there, I would have hobbled back to my car defeated and crying.

Once the knot was out of my calf and I walked around a little get my leg moving, I turned to see Ethan, one of my kids that I coach at KidsRun365 run camp, coming into the finish line! He has just finished his very first 5k race!

I looked around and didn’t see his sister Olivia, so I started walking the course backwards to go find her. Thats when I saw their mom doing the same thing. My leg felt better and I started a slow run to catch up with Susan so we could find Olivia together. We rounded a corner and saw her run/walking with some other friends! Once I saw Olivia I started cheering for her and told her to come with me and I would run her in. We did some run walking intervals until we saw the finish line. She took off running as fast as her little feet would carry her.

Olivia and Ethan both placed in their age groups! I am so very proud of them for not giving up and finishing something that most kids their ages (or even adults) wouldn’t even think about doing.
I am so proud of their mom for sharing her love of fitness and running with them.


Overall I had a great race. The volunteers, police, motorcycle brigade, and timing officials were all super supportive and nice. Big thank you to the Tutkos for pulling is all together  for a great race experience!

I didn’t manage to run a personal best, but I did finish in a time that I am proud of and after reviewing the official race results, I found that I ran the exact same time as I did in 2015. 29:31

The 2017 race will be mine to conquer.


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