The name itself was enough to get me to sign up!
This morning, I ran my 2nd 5K. It was at beautiful War Memorial Park in Bay Pines, which is about 20 minutes away from my apartment in St. Petersburg.
Such a beautiful setting for a run. Roughly 2 miles of it was paved, while a section went through a trail through the woods. As the name indicates, the park was made to honor war veterans, so flags, plaques, and other things were there dedicated to former soldiers.
The run itself was fairly solid. I felt great for a mile, but when I heard my time at mile 1, I knew I had come out too strong. By mile 2 I was just about done. I had to take 2 quick walk breaks at about 2.2-2.3 and 2.7-2.8. But by the end, I was able to push it and had a strong finish.
Time : 32:12
I think it's a good thing that I'm slightly disappointed with this. It will continue to motivate me to keep going. The time is somewhat decent, but the fact I had to stop running a couple times is a little frustrating. Now I'm thinking I shouldn't have taken that month off after the last race and over the holidays. Oh well - at least that won't happen this time around - my friend found a recreational running club in Tampa that I will be starting with, and my next race is Feb. 19th, so I can't really afford to take a long break after this one. Plus, with intramural basketball, volleyball, and badminton, I should be staying pretty active.
The coolest part about the race is the NUN! There is a woman dressed in a nun outfit that rides around on a bike cheering people on. And not just cheering. Singing! The first time we crossed paths, she was belting out "You Raise Me Up!" She made the experience amazing! It was fun talking to her for a few minutes after the race.
My last thought is about how close the running community is. I realized it as I was watching the little award ceremony at the end, but the majority of the people that ran stayed about an hour after the finish to cheer on those that did exceptionally well. There were so many conversations happening. I talked to a couple people and we exchanged brief recollections of our race. Everyone celebrated each other's PR's. It was so refreshing! Even as someone who is new to running in races, I instantly felt connected to all these other people. From the old man who said he trained half of the people that won their age groups even though he had no idea who they were. To the 10 year old kid that beat my time by 8 minutes. To the 70ish old lady that kept pace with me for most of the race. To the hot girl that I passed toward the end. To the badass tattooed guy that finished top 3 overall.
Such a close-knit and inspirational community that I am glad to now say I am a part of.
Such an inspiring group - this old man was top 3 for 70-74. The tattooed man first place overall. Woman in the pink with the visor's 2 kids won top 3 for their age group. Man in yellow's 2 kids were 2nd & 3rd in 10 & under. Surrounded by awesomeness.