After a fun night of laughs, drinks and forgetting how much pain I'm in, we were ready to run a 5K! I have done a few race challenges before, but never a 5k/marathon combination.
Earlier in the week I really wanted to race the 5k but was happy to help my friend Jaimee run her first 5k in awhile. She is the reason I got back into running in 2012, so it had to be done!
We got down to the race about an hour early. Joe was spectating so we could wear some layers. It was breezy and about 43 degrees downtown. Not what I expected at all. We met up with Julia and hung out for a little bit. I looks a head of me and saw Kathleen!!! We had been talking about meeting up at the race for months and I was so excited to finally meet her!
The four of us made our way to the start line. It then saw another Twitter friend, Jen, and I'm so sorry we didn't snap a picture! Yes people, this is why you make Twitter friends.
The course for the 5k would be the first mile and a half of the marathon then turn around. Simple. Plus, there are only three "hills" in the entire marathon and two were in the 5k.
When we started it seemed like it took FOREVER for the crowd to thin out. At one point I looked at my watch and it said we were running a 16 minute average pace. No lie. We also saw a kid fall over a cone and someone lose their car keys. It was an eventful first mile. Even though we were downtown in a state capital, everything was so beautiful. People out cheering, yummy food smells and smiles. I was having a blast. Mile 1: 10:54
Right after the mile one marker you could see the overpass we were running up. Wait, this is the "hill"? Alright!
The sun was blinding and the wind was rough. I just kept talking to Jaimee and telling her how great of a job she was doing. We saw the leaders of the race pass us on the other side of the overpass.
We started to come down and Jaimee was still running! People were screaming that the 5k turnaround was coming up (there was also a quarter marathon) and I almost ran into the sign! Yep, it was pretty graceful. The only bad part was we were going right back up the overpass. I was fine, but I wasn't sure how Jaimee felt.
Home girl did great! She beasted that hill and enjoyed the down that came with it. Mile 2: 10:46.
I didn't carry my water bottle with me so I could take pictures. We got to the water stop and I forgot how hard it was to take water from a stop! After choking on my water I handed it off to Jaimee since she grabbed Powerade on accident. She then told me that she had never ran a whole 5k before. I was so excited I could share this experience with her! We made the turn back down by the capital and we were so excited to see that finish line! Our excitement was almost cut short. I saw the finish line get set up for the winner of the quarter marathon. I screamed at Jaimee "WE NEED TO SPRINT!" and luckily she did. We beat the quarter marathon winner!
5k time: 32:51
Julia did great! We met up with her and Mark and his family at the finishers area.
I was very excited to get to run a little of the course. It would be pretty imperative for the marathon to know about the "hills". It was such a fun atmosphere and they even had the finishers festival open for the Saturday races! That meant beer, gumbo and jambalaya for everyone but me. I had coffee. We just loved everything about race day, but it was time to head back and relax for the big day!