One of the signs at packet pickup, trying to normalize mental illness. From the literature provided, they are trying to break the stigma of mental illness through education and offer all kinds of support services. I'm glad they are here for our community.
It was unusually cold for May - 45 degrees! Crazy, but good for running. Packet pickup was race morning - we got there about 45 minutes before the race started to get our bibs. Jeff took our bags/t-shirts back to the car, while I found someone to talk to:
Can you guess who? Hint: Teen phenom runner...
It was Gus! Gustavo Roman, Jr., the teenager who pretty much wins every race! Such a nice young man, and his parents are very sweet, too. He'll be running for Texas A&M University in the fall, and I bet we'll be seeing him at the Olympics before too long. Very cool to be in the company of running greatness. Also? He won this race!
The route that the race organizers chose was a bit odd - it started with a hill and ended with a hill. At this point, I know that park well enough that I could have designed a better route...and really, it's not just me who thought it was a bit off - afterward, I was chatting with a woman who I see at a lot of the local races (she usually wins her age group) and she thought the same thing.
Trying to figure out the route before the race - it was a bit confusing on paper (one man walked away from the map muttering "complicado"), but they had plenty of volunteers at every turn so there was never any doubt as to where we were going once the race started.
Jeff and I - another Saturday, another 5K!
My outfit - I cannot believe I was wearing not only long-sleeves, but a double layer of shirts, in a race in May. Weird, weird weather!
Before the race began, Jeff and I ran a couple of laps around one area to warm up and hopefully help with my race anxiety. This was suggested in the comments on that post - one person wrote to run a mile as a warm up, and another person wondered if I had to do a full mile...ahhh, that was more my speed. So we ended up running half a mile, and I will say that it definitely helped with not starting out the race on stiff legs, but I still had some heavy breathing in the beginning. But I didn't want to quit, so there was that, at least. Progress?
Just before the starting gun went off - see the woman in the pink skirt/lime green top? She fell down within the first 20 feet - ouch! I hate to see that happen.
The race started and we ran into the park, up a short steep hill, then back out of the park and up a longer steep hill. We walked a bit on that hill - ironically, that was our fastest mile! We were on the sidewalk and following a guy in a wheelchair - it was cool because he was parting the way for us, making the walkers step aside.
After that uphill came a nice downhill - the route had us running with traffic so we were made to stay on the sidewalk. The wheelchair guy was still ahead of us and going pretty fast, when suddenly he took a tumble and his chair tipped over and he went rolling out of it! I think the sidewalk was just barely wide enough for his wheels (they were cantilevered outward, like a racing chair), and he caught the edge of the concrete. Luckily he went off onto the grass and not the street, but still - it was scary to see it happen and I'm sure, not a good time for him. We were the first to reach him and offered help, which he accepted. A couple minutes later he was back in his chair, strapped in, and Jeff and another man got him lifted back onto the sidewalk, and away we all went. I give that guy huge props for not only doing the race in the first place, but continuing on. Had I done a roll on the grass like he did (seriously, it looked like a stuntman roll), I would have been all "forget this, I'm done!" We ended up finishing with him, although he took advantage of gravity at the downward part of the finish line and sped ahead of us - but hey, I'd have done that too!
Afterward, we stayed around for the door prize drawings, but as usual, we were skunked. This was one of my better races for this spring, so I can't really ask for any more, though.