race report: celebration 5k {7.4.2015}

Now that I am part of the running world, one of the things I find myself enjoying is racing on holidays. For some reason, it just seems to set the day off right.

This year, I was very excited to register for the Celebration 5K.

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Generally, I avoid racing in July, because, well, it’s July, but the race started at 7:30 AM, which was early enough to beat most of the heat. I was also intrigued by the idea of the watermelon festival following, and if we’re being completely honest, I was kind of in love with the medal.

We knew it was going to be a rough go. The 5K was scheduled to start at 7:30 AM, and having been at the fireworks the night before, I was operating on very little sleep. On the plus side, the weather was cooperative. Don’t get me wrong: it was hot, but it remained overcast and the humidity was pretty reasonable.

We arrived and found parking right across the street from the race start. It was packed – it seems there was a flurry of last minute entries, and the line for morning-of registration was huge! It was really nice to see so many people ready to run on the morning of such a great holiday.

I also spotted all the watermelons, ready for slicing. This race promised watermelon for post-race refreshments, as well as for seed spitting and eating! I couldn’t wait!

I hopped on line for the bathroom and ran into one of my Instagram buddies, threeboysandmama.

And then we found J and her family. J was running the 5K and the rest of her family would be participating in the 1 Mile Fun Run. I was so excited to see her – she is newer to running and it’s always so awesome to see people fall in like and then in love with the sport.

We said goodbye to our families and got ourselves lined up. The start was delayed by about 10 minutes due to the overwhelming number of last minute registrants, but since the temperature didn’t seem to be shooting up, it was ok. The more, the merrier! We snapped a few pics while we were waiting

Finally, it was time to start. We sang the National anthem and we were off. Many runners were carrying American flags, provided by 1st Place Sports, and it was beautiful to see the stars and stripes flying proudly. I loved it.

J and I planned to run together, using intervals. We coordinated our paces and vowed to just have fun out there.

The worst part of the course is pretty much the first mile. It’s just a straight shot down Baymeadows road, and it feels like it’s never going to end. But, at the end of that mile, there is a left hand turn and the run continues through the shaded neighborhoods behind the main road. There were some families out to cheer us on, and two adorable kids handing out pink lemonade right after the water stop. I normally don’t take water on a 5K, but they were so happy to be helping and the sugar was absolutely perfect at that point of the run.

Also fun on the course? We bumped into Angie from The Places You Will Go. We have been reading each other for quite some time, and haven’t managed to see each other out running. This time, we did, but we weren’t able to get a picture! Next time!

J held up great with the intervals. We hadn’t really talked about goal times, but as we got closer to the finish, I asked her about her PR and realized that if we just kept doing what we were doing, we might be able to get her a shiny new fastest time.

As we approached the finish line, we kicked it up a little bit and slid in with just enough time for J’s PR! Way to go!

I was so ready for my watermelon!

Perfect on a hot, summer morning!

Then it was time for the fun run, so we walked the kids on over to the start line. They had a ย nice out and back course, and despite the sun peeking out, everyone did quite well.

I will definitely do this again if we are in town. It was such a great way to start the holiday and I loved seeing all the gorgeous flags and all the red, white and blue.

Do you try to run races on holidays?
What’s your favorite post-race treat?

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23 Responses to race report: celebration 5k {7.4.2015}

  1. Congratulations on your 5k. I bet that watermelon was so refreshing afterwards. So much better than a banana.
    lacey@fairytalesandfitness.com recently posted…When Medicine Doesn’t Work : Tuesdays On the RunMy Profile

  2. A race sounds like the perfect way to start off the 4th of July! I’ve never race on a holiday, but always wanted to do a Thanksgiving race!
    Anne@candycrazedrun recently posted…My First Trip to Physical TherapyMy Profile

  3. Larisa (0to26point2) says:

    Looks like a super fun race and great medals. Thats awesome that you helped your friend to a PR.

  4. Mrs.BarBelle says:

    What a fun race and a fun medal! I’m all about the bling when it comes to races ๐Ÿ˜‰ And yummy food at the end, watermelon looks great.
    Mrs.BarBelle recently posted…Back to School: Part 1My Profile

  5. Watermelon seems like the PERFECT post race snack! More races should get on that…
    I love holiday racing. I usually do my town’s 4 on the fourth. But I had to skip this year after the hornet incident…
    Congrats to your friend on the new PR! So exciting!
    Stacie Seidman recently posted…Truthful TuesdayMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      The watermelon was perfect. At Mr PugRunner’s race on Saturday, they had watermelon and mango! I’m not a mango fan, but people were loving it! Fresh fruit is awesome at the end of a hot race.

  6. Yay for a new PR for your friend! Achieving a PR during the summer is always so hard to do, but definitely rewarding!
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Weight Watchers Ice Cream ReviewMy Profile

  7. Angie says:

    I agree about that stretch down Baymeadows. I was trying to maneuver around people the entire time, but couldn’t because of the other lane of traffic.

    I need to be more observant during races! I guess I zone out and focus on running that I don’t notice much. Plus pushing that darn stroller was not my idea of fun. I am going to attempt to do a race each month this fall and winter so I am sure we will run (pun intended) into each other again. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Angie recently posted…I am back!My Profile

  8. Looks like a fun race! Gotta love watermelon at the finish. Congrats!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Race thoughts and Race Recaps link up!My Profile

  9. Toni says:

    Great job on your 5K looks like fun! I love the medal and that they had watermelon at the end.
    Toni recently posted…Weekly Workout Wrap-Up, Fall Marathon Training Week 1My Profile

  10. rachel says:

    Great job with your 5k! I love n a hot day… perfect for July 4th after race treat! ๐Ÿ™‚
    rachel recently posted…Farmbox DirectMy Profile

  11. Love the fun 4th of July clothes and a great way to start the holiday before all that cooking out.
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