This year, there were two options when signing up - timed or untimed. Timed runners were eligible to start in a timed runners corral near the starting line. I've heard in the past that serious runners have gotten stuck behind strollers and walkers and been very frustrated. I opted for the timed option and had to arrive at the race before 8:40 to get in my corral.
Since I wasn't sure about parking downtown, I insisted we leave the house no later than 7:30. The race venue was about 30 minutes from home. We were able to easily find parking, but had to pay $10. The downtown lots upped the prices since there was an event going on. I prefer races that offer free parking, but it wasn't a major inconvenience.
After parking, there were lots of volunteers directing runners to the starting line. Since it was a large race, I expected it to be crowded, but with an hour until the race start, there was plenty of open space. I was able to snap this picture in front of the starting line. I bundled up to stay warm before the race started.
Since my brother, sister in law, and boyfriend were all with me, I didn't do a whole lot of exploring. I did a quick warm-up jog/stretch and then went to take a picture with the inflatable Thanksgiving turkey before taking my place in the corral.
The race started promptly at 9 am. I felt like I started a little slow. I was watching my steps since there were a lot of people and scanning the curb for my cheering squad. After I spotted them, I picked up the speed. There was a band for entertainment around mile 1. I didn't hear much of them as I sped past. Then we made 2 left turns to head down Elm St. I was surprised at my pace - quicker than expected. Around mile 2.5, my cheering squad made another appearance. I was excited my brother brought his DSLR so I could have nice race photos. I also threw off my gloves to them. The sun decided to come out and I was getting warm.
I was laughing at #5395 for photo bombing me
At mile 3, the 5k runners took a sharp left turn to their finish line. From there the race course opened up a bit. We ran through Dealey Plaza and the Design District. I was able to see some of the first place runners during a part of the course where the out and back loop was on opposite sides of the median. I always enjoy seeing the fast runners, it is very inspirational. At the halfway point, my pace slowed some, but I was okay with that because I started out faster than I expected. I began getting a little warm. I was wearing 2 long sleeve shorts, capri length tights and the loose adidas pants. I made notes for my upcoming half marathon that will likely be similar weather.
The last mile had 2 tough hills - the last one right before the finish line. I saw my cheering squad for a third time right before the finish line. I tried to smile but my legs were tired.
I crossed the finish line and my official time was 1:15:46. I was very happy with my results. After the finish line, volunteers handed me a water bottle and a banana. I gobbled down the banana quickly and headed to the meet-up spot that I arranged with my brother and boyfriend. We snapped a few quick finisher pictures and then headed home for a turkey lunch at my parents' house.
I'm glad I started my Thanksgiving day with a run. It was the perfect dress rehearsal for my half marathon on December 8th. Would I do it again? Maybe. Definitely if I can find some running buddies to do it with me. My brother was sad I didn't tell him there was a 5k option. I told him he has 12 months to train for the 8 mile course.
Anyway, today begins my taper week and then the Dallas Half next Sunday. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Do we have any other trotters out there?