Good thing I don't write my race reviews in advance!
I had planned on the Grape Day 5k to be my first race after giving birth. Small, easy to get to, and where I got a PR last year. And since I haven't been putting in the miles, a 5k seemed like a good start before jumping into half marathons.
Yesterday morning we all got up, got dressed, and got out of the house. We cut it a little close to the start, but had enough time grab a couple of thundersticks and head over to where people were just starting to line up. My cheering squad took their place on the sidewalk.
Now, take a look at Thatkid's face. Doesn't look like much of a cheerleader, right? In fact, he looked downright sad. When I asked what was wrong, he started crying. "I wanted to run the race with you," he sobbed.
And there went my plans of really racing this 5k. Because I want to encourage him, and I definitely love the fact he wants to do something active. And so I let my 3 year old bandit his first race.
Now, to be fair, I wasn't really expecting him to do the 5k. So it was more like him being a support runner - like marathon runners have!
And I was right in my estimation. He made it almost a mile before he looked up at me and said he wanted daddy. So we moved over to the side and I called Thatboy to meet up with us. And I continued the race on my own.
I was a little relieved he didn't want to race the whole thing, because it's not exactly a flat and easy course!
The first mile runs down Grand Ave and back, turning onto Broadway. That part is nice, flat, and fast. Of course, once you turn onto 7th Ave., all bets are off for that second mile. It's one hill after another on 7th and 5th ave. The last mile takes you back out to Broadway/Grand which is a welcome relief after the hills.
Around mile 2.5, I got a phone call from Thatboy, Thatkid was crying again. He really wanted to finish the race with me. So we planned on a meetup point about a quarter mile from the finish. When he saw me, Thatkid came running up to me, and together we raced toward the finish. I was planning on giving him my medal, but they insisted on giving him a medal of his own -nevermind that he didn't run the whole thing, or even register for the race.
One of my favorite aspects of the race is the beer garden at Vinz after. Since the boys couldn't come, I went to go drink my beer by myself, but found myself at a table with another solo runner. There's something so nice about the camaraderie of runners. He and I drank and talked about our experience that morning, our running histories, and other things that no one in their right mind wants to talk about except other runners.
I know I've said before how much I love small, local, races, but I'll say it again. The field was much larger this year than last year, but so far the race hasn't lost its community feel, which makes it one I want to run again and again. Despite slow times, steep hills, and unbearably sticky weather!