This morning's Girls on the Run 5K was really fun! I would definitely like to do it again, and hopefully be a little more involved in the coaching/training part of it for the fall one.
I got downtown a bit early. So I sat in my car and waited. It was windy out, and pretty chilly. At one point, I got out of my car to see if I could go to my assignment, but everyone was still setting up. So I went back to my warm, sun-heated car. The weather was shocking from yesterday's summer-like temperatures.
After some more waiting, I got back out and checked in at the buddy station. The people there said I was to find Megan, the buddy coordinator, and see if she wanted me at Loveland or Southgate (schools groups). I found her and she put me at Southgate. But no one was there yet, so I went to get my bib number...then went back to my car again! Brrr!
After getting out of my car for the last time, I waited for anyone to show up to Southgate.
Eventually another buddy did, Stephanie. So we chatted a bit until everyone arrived. She just did her first half at the Pig. We talked about running and doing the Columbus marathon. After the coaches and rest of the girls were there, we both got assigned to a girl named Jessica, because two of the other girls didn't show up (and hopefully weren't stuck in traffic - it was apparently getting pretty hard to get to the parking lot).
Here we are before the start – Jessica sandwiched by Stephanies!
Jessica had not ran in a 5K race yet - only at practice. She was very excited! She had an ankle brace on from having broke her ankle. She has to wear it when she runs, but apparently it doesn't hurt anymore which was good.
We started right by Paul Brown Stadium.
After many pictures from the other volunteers and parents, we filed into the start line. Megan had told us there were over 700 girls...and if you figure each has at least one buddy...that was at least 1400 people. In a very tight space. In fact the entire race was tight.
When the race started we walk-jogged to the start line and finally got into a very easy jogging pace. It was so very crowded. The streets weren't open all the way, and at some points we were on sidewalks, so there was a lot of bottlenecking. We ran slow with intermittent bursts of speed to all get back together again after filing through the crowds. While we ran we chatted a little bit. Steph and I learned Jessica is in 7th grade, loves running, plays basketball and has 4 older siblings and 1 or two younger ones - !!! We passed the 1 mile marker and she was grinning ear to ear and felt good. The course went around Paul Brown stadium and back down a little hill before we approached the 2 mile. All the while we were fighting the traffic, dodging people who were walking or running 6 abreast.
Then, right after the 2 mile marker, it opened up...and Jessica took off!! Steph and I kept looking at each other and laughing, thinking, Oh OK, well here we go then! It was hilarious. I was all out running just to try to keep up with her, still dodging people. I started to fall back from the two of them, maybe about 15 - 20 yards. I thought maybe they were gone and hoped I could find them at the end. But then they pulled off to the side and walked. When I caught up to them, I told them by all means not to wait for me that I'd find them at the end. But it turns out that Jessica needed to walk a bit. So we did. A bit. And then we were off again!! Ahhhh! :)
We ran pretty hard. And then we were getting close to the finish. Jessica needed to walk again and asked where the finish line was. We pointed out a traffic light in the distance where we'd turn right, and then the stadium was right there, so that was it! She said she wanted to start running again at the corner. I suggested we could start running slowly again and then sprint to the end when we got to the corner. She liked this idea...and took off! So much for starting off slowly! I was laughing so hard, while trying to breathe and keep up.
It was an all-out arms-pumping run across the finish line! Jessica did great. She was really happy and said she can't wait to do it again next year. We grabbed our free t-shirts, some water and cereal, and then stood around with her dad and brother for a bit. Then they left, so Steph and I went ahead and left too.
Here we are after the finish! All the girls wore #1 and got medals at the end. Pretty neato.
Pretty fun thing they have going on with the race. Everyone looked like they were having such a good time. I even saw one girl fall over a pylon, but she got right back up, straightened her glasses and kept going. On a personal level, the whole race environment and doing a quick 5K has really got me in the mood to do a 5K race now! Woohoo!