Race Recap – Race To Stop MS 5k – April 7, 2013

This post is 5 months late, read the previous post to see why. (Now it’s 10 months late. Oops!)

I decided to get to the race an hour early, I’m usually early but not quite that early usually. I arrived in Coral Gables just as they were setting up their booths to hand out the race bibs. So I picked up my race bib and walked around a bit. A guy was walking around trying to get people to take a survey and they would get a neat bag that is good for cycling so I decided to take the survey. It took about 5 minutes and it was about an MS medication, I had just met someone a few months before that actually has MS so I learned a little about the disease that morning. I put all my stuff back in my car and prepared for the 8am start time. A late start in my opinion, I’m used to 7-7:30am start times since the weather here is so hot & humid by 8am. I lined up and was a little bit nervous since I had never run this course, but had biked a part of it a few years before.

Starting line.

Starting line.

Starting out it felt like every other 5k I’ve done, I started out really quickly, but this time I didn’t stop to walk at all. Finally I was running like I have been doing in my training runs for awhile now. Passing so many people really gave me a confidence boost, but what was better was the mile timers that showed me I was really going fast! The course led around a golf course and then through a neighborhood. First part of the race was done in the shade of all the lovely Coral Gables trees but the second half was sun glaring in the eyes to the finish line. When I ran through the finish I knew I had PR’ed but what I did not realize was that I had won an age group award! Never did I think that I would win any medals besides finisher medals. But after I walked around a bit, drinking water I decided to go look at the stats they were posting on the wall of the nearby City Hall. I was shocked and overwhelmed when I realized that I had placed 3rd in my age group!!! Best running moment ever. Only thing that sucked was that I couldn’t share the moment with any friends or family. I’m hoping that one day my family shows up to see what joy running truly gives me.

Coral Gables City Hall

Coral Gables City Hall

My super dorky finish!

My super dorky finish!

Picture of my 3rd place medal.

Picture of my 3rd place medal.

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Race Recap – RunWild 5k – February 9, 2013

This was a race that my aunt had recommended to me soon after I told her that I was starting to run. She told me that they had great sponsors and it was for a good cause. Plus a day at the zoo afterwards sounded like a pretty good incentive also. I hadn’t been to the zoo in a couple years so I said, why not. I even got a couple of my friends to sign up, new runners! Maybe I talk about running a lot on social media and got them excited about it but I’m really glad they came along. The charity this race benefited was the Chapman Partnership, check them out to see how you can help the homeless.

So the morning of the race started out very eerie, the city of Miami was covered in a dense fog. Some people actually described it as Silent Hill-like. After arriving at ZooMiami the fog had mostly lifted and my friends set off to pick up their race packets. The line for race packet pick was extremely long and hardly moving. The race actually started 20 minutes late so that everyone would get the chance to start at the same time, otherwise half the participants would have still been waiting to pick up their race bibs. Running on Miami time, I suppose.

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I bid my friends and aunt farewell and raced on. I know, I really should’ve ran alongside of them but I really wanted to PR on this 5k, unfortunately it didn’t happen. Probably due to the fact that I did my longest distance run on Friday morning, 12 miles, training for my half marathon. Now I’m positive I will be able to make it 13.1 miles in March. I was okay with my finishing time but I did realize that I started out waaaaaay too quick, beating my fastest mile PR at least. Dodging walkers and children at the beginning slowed me down a bit but after the 1st mile, there was no human obstacles. My finish time was 26.39, I was 168th overall and 6th in my age group. Everyone got a RunWild medal at the finish line, there was also a lot of good sponsors too. As soon as you finished, there were many volunteers handing out plenty of hydration such as water, Vitamin water and Coco Vita. I had some Alpina blueberry greek yogurt with granola on top, grabbed a banana, a KIND almond  & coconut bar and headed back to the finish line to wait for my friends. Almost right after I arrived at the finish line one of my friends was crossing, then a few minutes later the other one crossed. It was perfect timing so we all walked around together so they could gather some nutrition from the sponsors. I got a Miami Heat cheerleaders poster for a friend of mine from the actual cheerleader & our group had our pic taken by someone who got our names. Stupidly none of us asked where the picture was going to posted, so we will be forever googling our names to find ourselves. Haha.

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After the awards ceremony was over we took a nice walk through the zoo, getting lost and staying at the zoo much longer than we expected to. But hey, at least we got some time to take pics of the animals that we passed earlier, and some silly pictures as well. Still wearing our race bibs and RunWild medals we decided to get sushi for our post race meal and our waiter thought we had ran a marathon. We told him a 5k at the zoo and he ended up giving us a bowl of free cotton candy? Overall it was a really fun race that I will for sure do again next year.

runwild6                                                                                Veggie sushi

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RUNWILD                                                               My favorite race photo YET!

What is the most memorable place you have ran/walked a race at?

Race Recap – Tropical 5k – January 26, 2013

I apologize for the super lateness in this post, but here it is.

As part of ING Miami Marathon weekend, they have a 5k for ING runners to warm up and everyone else to run/walk the short 3.1 mile distance. Also you get a medal at the finish line, which to me was a big incentive since I have yet to get a medal.  Then again, I have also yet to race a half or full marathon either, but I am currently training for one.

Friday night I laid out all my race gear and checked weather.com, it showed a cool high 50’s morning for Saturday. That meant I would finally get to wear my long sleeve RunningSkirts top with a heart on the sleeve. If you don’t know already, I love all heart printed things, so I was overjoyed at the cool weather. Saturday morning I woke up at 5am, had a quick bowl of Kashi cereal, and was out the door by 5:30am, heading to the beach. The moon was full and peering between the buildings of downtown, made me think this was a sign of a great race day. The start was at the Children’s Museum and the finish line was at Joe’s Stone Crabs in Miami Beach, it was my first point to point race.

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I met up with my friend there, about 10 minutes before the race began and we squeezed our way into the crowd, about 100 feet from the starting line. Excitement began to build as Bart Yasso spoke to the crowd just before the gun went off. Suddenly we were off, dodging and weaving around children and walkers, finally about 1.5 mile out we had a less of a crowd and could relax a little more into our pace. My friend’s calves began to cramp a bit since she had did some spinning the night before, so we slowed down slightly at the water stop. Then was the slight incline of the bridge, I never train on hills, which I know, I know I really should start,  that slowed me down considerably. There weren’t too many spectators cheering us on till we got closer to the finish line, I still laugh thinking about the very Cuban ‘Dale-eee’ sign someone was holding up at the end. Sprinted the last bit and finished with a new PR of 26:11!

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                                                               look at that determination lol

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                             With my race buddy, Ana, showing off our medals. I swear I’m happy!

race2                                                                 Right after, can you see sweat?

race3                                                                                        Close up!

We then walked over to Nikki Beach and enjoyed a banana, bagel and some oatmeal raisin cookies before walking out to the sand and looking at the ocean for a few minutes. It was a great ending to a race, how many people really get to see that after the finish line? Had an amazing morning, running on a great course with a friend. Might even do it again next year as a warm up for the ING half marathon. I’ve already signed up, what about you?

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Have you ever ran a race that ended in a beautiful location? Anyone signed up for ING 2014 Half/Full Marathon yet?