The race started and ended at Medieval Times. It is a bit of a hike from my house, but the race course takes you through Give Kids the World village so it was worth the drive. Parking at Medieval Times filled up quickly so we had to park at a shopping center about a mile up the road. It wasn’t bad at all because they had plenty of shuttles bringing people to the race. Within minutes of parking out cars we were on a (heated) bus and on our way to the race.
I used this race as an excuse to wear my new Holiday Minnie Mouse ears that I had picked up the weekend before. I probably won’t be doing another holiday race, so I went all out. I got a lot of compliments on my outfit and enjoyed being silly for the morning.
Holy cow there were a lot of people there! I picked up my bib and shirt when we got there and then dropped my shirt in a friends car that was parked there at the start. That was one downside of this race – since I couldn’t get out there ahead of time to get my race packet I had to do it that morning. I asked if they would be there after the race for me to get my shirt and they weren’t sure, so I had to get it then. I lucked out that I had someone’s car to put it in, otherwise I’m not sure what I would have done with it. Not a deal breaker by any means, but a little bit of a pain.
The actual race start is at the Walmart next door to Medieval Times, so a couple of minutes before the race we all walked over there. The race started just a couple of minutes late but it was due to them waiting for everyone to get over there. The race course took us behind the Walmart, up the road to GKTW Village, through the Village, and then back out the way we came. Over a mile of the course was through the village and that was definitely my favorite part. Since the race started at 8 am there were a lot of families out getting ready to start their day at the parks. It was fun running by and high-fiving all the kids. It also reminded you of WHY you were there.
I started out near the front of the pack so that I could hang out with Andrea before the race started. This also meant that I started with a group of folks that were WAY speedier than me. What does that mean exactly? Well, it means that I ran my fastest mile EVER (which is awesome) but that I pushed it a little TOO much (not so awesome). After the first mile I started running my intervals because I was in the village and wanted to enjoy it (and I needed the break). I saw my friend Kelly, who was volunteering, about halfway through the village and she got this wonderfully silly shot of me.
When I got back out on to the main road I realized that if I didn’t slow down too much I could actually get a PR (personal record). My fastest 5k was run back in January 2013 and I was due for a new PR. I tried not to think too much about it and just went. I crossed the finish line knowing that I either got (or missed) a PR by just a few seconds. I found my friend Andrea and found out that she PR’d as well. On the walk back to Medieval Times we both figured that since we started in the front we must be right about our times and were pretty excited about the PRs we snagged.
We spent some time hanging out waiting for some friends to finish and got some snacks. It turned out to be a beautiful morning and I enjoyed spending a bit of time outside. We took a few more pictures before all heading out separate ways. Andrea had another race that evening (the extremely went Wine and Dine 1/2 marathon) and I had a top secret adventure to go on (more on that later this week). It was a great race for a great cause and I’m so glad I participated.
GKTW ended up raising over $200,000 with this race. Isn’t that amazing? Next year I plan to go all out and do a bit of fundraising. I may even start a team. Do you wanna be on my team? 🙂