The shirt that came with our registration fee - heavy-duty cotton, unisex. Too warm, too much shirt for summertime in Texas, so I've already put mine in the donation bag.
On Saturday, we slept in - it was strange to see daylight when we were getting up on a Saturday...normally by that time, we're finishing our run! But we'd signed up for the BCS Realtor Run For Shoes 5K, and it didn't start until 8:30 am, so a leisurely morning was in order. Jeff, Julia, and I ran this race four years ago, when it was held at a different park. We've always meant to come back to it, but for the last couple of years, the race date has interfered with other races we were doing. This year, they moved it to May, and also changed up locations, and since most of us were available, we signed up for it.
This race is the most inexpensive 5K I've run, coming in at $15.00 for early registration. I even took it a step further and mailed in our registration forms, along with a check, because registering on Active.com would have added over $3 in fees per runner, which somehow seems excessive for such a little race. Half marathons? I pay that fee without a second thought...what's another three bucks when you're paying $75 or so? The race is a fundraiser put on by the Realtors in our area, in conjunction with Payless Shoes, to buy shoes for underprivileged children in our community. Great cause and I'm glad we could support it.
As we were driving to the race, a mere five minutes drive from our house, I saw that a hot air balloon had just been launched nearby:
A nice bit of color on an overcast morning...
Jeff and I arrived and walked a couple of .3 mile laps to loosen up, and I ate a Honey Stinger Waffle - I don't normally eat anything before I run, but since this was so much later in the morning (I'm usually running by 6:00 am), I thought I'd cover my bases. I felt pretty decent throughout the run, so maybe I'll try eating one again before another long run.
The rest of the gang arrived:
Diane, Jeff, me, Karen, Cary, and Brian
The race started on time, which was nice because the sun was coming out from the clouds and it was getting really warm. It was 73 degrees with 94% humidity when we began running. There was a 3K walk along with the 5K run, so for a change, we made sure to line up in the front of the pack. You can see Diane and I in the shot below, which was posted on the race's Facebook page:
Well, you can see Diane...and my bright pink shirt!
Diane and I sort-of ran 2:1 intervals, except when we were on a downhill - then we continued to run, even if my Garmin was chiming for us to walk. Don't tell us what to do, Garmin! This route was challenging in that we ran two loops, and the direction we went had us going up a really steep hill. Just to give you an idea, several years ago we tried to use this hill for a hill repeat workout with our running club, and we nixed it after one time because the hill was too long! As you can probably guess, we walked up that hill both times. We hit the .3 mile loop toward the finish just in time, as the sun had come out and was burning down on us. It was about 80 degrees when we finished, which is just plain too hot to be running in.
After the race, we hung around because they were going to be handing out door prizes. This race wasn't chip timed, which is fine with me for an inexpensive fun run, but the organizers had decided to give out age group awards, which meant that they were tallying the results by - well, I'd say hand, but it was more likely abacus, or perhaps slide rule. All I know is that there was a person sitting at the finish line, writing down our numbers and finish time when we crossed, and from that info, they were trying to break everything down into six age groups, with first through third winners, for both male and female, in both the 5K and the 3K. As you can imagine, this was taking a while, so the announcer was stalling for time...he'd call out a few bib numbers for door prizes, and then we'd wait a while, and then more door prizes would be announced. Karen won a gift certificate to a local restaurant:
I went to take the winner's picture, and Jimmy hopped in, saying he was a winner, too since he'd be going to dinner with Karen!
So we waited and waited, and the sun was burning down on us - really, we were mostly waiting for door prizes but they were going really slow with them. Finally, after about 45 minutes of this, the announcer said that they were halfway through with tabulating the finisher results - ARGH! I swear, we all literally threw our arms up in the air in defeat, and that was it - we left. It was already 10:00 am; we were hungry and Blue Baker was right down the road.
I don't mind not having chip timing for a fundraiser 5K. I'm fine with just running and contributing to a good cause. But if they really want to have finisher age group awards, they need raise the entry fee by a couple of bucks and have chip timing. Other than that snafu, this was a nice little race - they had water on the course, friendly volunteers were at every turn, and it was a pleasant, if hot, way to spend a Saturday morning.