It was a racing weekend! I wanted to run two of the 5ks that I ran last fall, but one of them was moved back a weekend so they happened to fall back-to-back on a Saturday and a Sunday this year. I've never run two 5ks in a row before, but... why not? It turned out to be a great experience! Running both days kept me on my game all weekend, and the Saturday event was very family-friendly so it gave us all something to do.
The first race was to benefit the PTO of a nearby school. There was a kid's fun run, a raffle, and the school playground was nearby for playing while the grown-ups ran the 5k. The race course started with a lovely plunge downhill, then a picturesque run down a dirt road and back. Coming back up that hill was really hard, and the last half mile of the race was winding trail through the woods. I finished with a time of 24:00.
The second race was to benefit a local adult assisted living center and held near the center, which happens to be on a lovely (paved) country road that I've run in part many times. It was a gently rolling course down and back. There was a bit of a hill at the end too, but not as steep, especially when compared to the day before. I finished in just under 23 minutes (though my Garmin is not sure it was technically 5k... still it was faster than Saturday pace-wise).
When it was all over and I was home and relaxing, I was struck by the generous nature of the events and their sponsors. Maybe it was just these particular races, but they gave away a LOT of stuff. I made a list just for fun of everything we consumed or brought home from both events:
- 1 box of 18 Rabbits organic granola bars, plus 1 additional bar
- 1 box of Emergen-C packets
- 8 Quaker granola bars
- 2 kid's fun run medals
- 2 stuffed animals (kid's prizes)
- 2 metal water bottles
- 1 tote bag
- 2 t-shirts
- 6 bottled waters
- 1 pair Brooks arm warmers*
- 1 $50 gift card to a local running store*
- Half a bagel with cream cheese
- 1.5 bananas
*These were my prize for winning women's first place in race #2
All this, plus the camaraderie, beautiful days, good-hearted race volunteers, and great exercise, added up to much more than the combined entry fees.
I must also note how grateful I am for the running club members that I've gotten to know in the past months. It's so nice to have someone to talk to at a race, and in both cases I ran with or near someone from the club almost the whole way, which really helped spur me on. These people are super kind and supportive! If you like to run and tend to run alone, I highly recommend making at least one of your workouts with a club. I was too shy to go for about a year, but I finally made myself do it and I'm so glad I did.