I'll let pictures tell the rest of the story - and I have a lot, since my pit crew (Jeff) was on camera duty thanks to the "no men" running rule.
We got to the race early - it was still dark out, and cold - much colder than the weather channel had predicted. We even drove through a downpour on the way, but thankfully that was it for the rain. I stayed in the car, huddled under a towel for extra warmth, until about 20 minutes before the start:
We were parked next to my half homie, Julia, who was staying in her car, too. We chatted through our open windows and texted our other runner friends to find out where everyone was (answer: in their cars, lol).
Runners ready to start - we were WAY in the back.
...and we're off! Jeff didn't see us at the start (you had ONE JOB, Jeff!)(kidding, it's the finish line pictures that count) but this was a cute shot of everyone starting out.
A group of ladies brought umbrellas and opened them up right before the start - I wasn't sure why, but we wanted to get out of their way to avoid getting poked by them.
I wanted to include this picture just to show you how cruel the course was - we came out of the subdivision on the right, could see the finish line arch, but had to run up this hill to mile 3! The last little bit was downhill, but man oh man, this was a tough spot for the last (of several) hills:
This Wonder Woman (there were several at the race) was one of the top finishers; hence the look of effort on her face.
Coming in for the finish and spotting our cameraman, Jeff...
This is where I said "let's kick it!" to Jenny and Shalada...
And this would be us passing the woman who was walking ahead of us. I felt kind of bad about that, but you can see that we did spur her on to run to the finish!
Our finish time was 40:35 - not fast, but that's probably due to all the weaving we had to do. And the talking...wait, this was a race??? Oh well, next time. This was for fun!
The race director handed everyone a rose at the finish line, and then we got our Gatorade all fancy-like, in a plastic wine glass. Funny story - I saw a group of women pose for a picture with their wine glasses, and then they all took a sip for the photo. One woman, sounding disappointed, said "this is Gatorade!" - I laughed...did she really think they were passing out wine at 8:45 a.m.?
There was really nice food at the finish - fruit kebabs and a chocolate fountain (although the fountains were not flowing by the time I got there - Jeff said it was too cold for them. I dipped my fruit into it...still tasty!), and mini strawberry tarts and key lime pie from a local restaurant known for their desserts:
Good eats! Very nice change from the usual banana/orange slices/bagels after most races in the area. We thoroughly enjoyed everything.
We hung around afterward, waiting for the award ceremony. They gave prizes for best costume, along with age group awards. Here's some of the great team costumes:
Jamaican bobsled team!
Wonder Women! (aka Kim and Carrie from running club)
The Old Lady Runners. Most of these women are from my running club, and I knew that they were doing this, but seeing it in person? Freaking hilarious! The candy cigarettes had me rolling - I swear, our next-door-neighbor, when I was growing up, looked pretty much exactly like this weekday mornings when she'd come over to have coffee with my mother...well, she wore slippers instead of running shoes, but otherwise, this was her look! The Old Lady Runners not only won the costume contest, but two of them placed in their age division! Go old ladies!!!
It was great to see so many running friends there:
Caren, me, Karina and Julia
And look who else was there - Joni, my first running club coach!
So good to see her running again!
Joni, in her first race since having a baby last October, placed third in her age division:
Way to go, Joni - now that's a nice comeback!
My finish line rose - a nice memento of a fun day.