What a great race... low key, lots of kids, excellent weather, and a superb course. All the elements of a great race... and a great cause to boot. The wind was a bit of an issue but the trees and houses along the route provided good shelter. I arrived at about 9 and scanned the joint, got my bearings, and registered. There were about 100 to 150 runners in all sizes, shapes, and ages. Little kids on teeny bicycles, moms and dads with state of the art strollers, athletes in wheel chairs, seniors all decked out in high tech running gear, teenagers on blades, and even a guy on a unicycle. This is most definitely not your typical
racing event but impressive nonetheless. There was a real party atmosphere and good karma everywhere. The race started promptly at 9:30 as promised. I stood at the front of the start line snapping pictures as people poured by... first the little kids on bikes screamed by, then the bigger kids blasted out 0 to 60, then the adults, and finally a whole crew of walkers with dogs and the elderly strolled by. It took a full five minutes for everyone to pass. After stowing my camera in the scooter I started... last place by about 2 minutes. I slipped into a nice groove and flew past the walkers. Soon I was out of the park and focusing entirely on form... it felt good, very good... Zen
And The Art Of Running personified. I slipped into a comfortable 5:30 min/ k pace and held it for the entire 10 k. I took three brisk walk breaks and gulped down Gator-aid... hell, even that felt good! At 5 k the course looped back and the wind, although not a big issue, was at our back. I wasn't too concerned about time, however, being a runner, I was thinking this might be the makings of a 10 k PB so I poured it on a bit more. The last k felt fantastic. The volunteers cheering, my time looks promising, PB here I come, and then... what's that?... the finish line!... it can't be... it's only about 9k... zoom past the smiling lady at the finish line and applauding spectators. Race over, time 48 minutes, 43 seconds... distance 9.4 kilometers... 0.6 short of the advertised 10k. Have to wait for another time for a PB. Oh well, it was a great day and good karma abounded.
The whole event from start to finish was idyllic. Hats off to the organizers and volunteers for a job well done. The
volunteers were plentiful, enthusiastic, happy, and extraordinarily encouraging. Aside from the short course, it was an amazing event! Oh... did I mention the food? Fresh fruit, bagels, vegetables, cookies, coffee, juice, and cheese. A nice touch. I will be back.
A big thank-you goes out to Debbie who, unable to run, made a generous cash donation to Welcome Place. My thoughts go out to Debbie and her family.