race report: pink up the pace {10.3.2015}

Pink Up The Pace is a local organization, founded by breast cancer survivors to help raise funding for early detection of breast cancer in men and women. In October, the group hosts a rather large and awesome 5K in downtown St. Augustine.



Last year, I missed out on the event because I was registered for the Marine Corps Half Marathon in Jacksonville. The races fall on the same date, but this year, I opted to stay closer to home and be part of this cause. Additionally, the two women I run with twice a week, as well as some other friends, would be running, and so I wanted to join in with them.

The expo and packet pickup took place on Friday, October 2. Expo hours were from 4:00 – 7:00, I believe, which didn’t work with my schedule, so I had to get my packet on Saturday morning. I always like to have my bib number in advance, but sometimes, it doesn’t work out that way.

My pre-race meal wasn’t ideal (hot dog, chips and a mini-cupcake at little man’s cornhole event at school), and I also had a very “special friend” show up that night, along with a nasty sinus headache. Needles to say, I wasn’t feeling awesome when the alarm buzzed in the morning, but none of that was a good enough excuse to stay in bed, considering the reason I would be running.

There was nothing to be done but get dressed and head downtown. I got a great parking spot in the garage, and since I slid in right before 7:00 AM, parking was free, which was a nice bonus.

I picked up my bib and t-shirt, and ran into some of my friends.

The race was a point-to-point: the start line was in front of the Visitor Center, while the finish line was between the parking garage and Francis Field. It was a little bit of a walk, but it felt nice to warm up in the chilly weather. I hooked up with my friend D. The plan was for me to pace her, but she had been getting really speedy in race scenarios and I wasn’t sure my legs were up to the challenge.

When we got to the start line, I was very honest with her: I would try to keep up, but she had a goal and needed to achieve it, with or without me. I think she was a little surprised, but I reiterated that she could very easily make the time she wanted, and I wanted her to get it. With that cleared up, we took a moment for the National Anthem and waited for the official start.

From the get go, my legs felt like lead. I kept up with D for maybe the first 3/4 of a mile, but adrenaline sent her speeding off. I was really happy for her because I knew she was going to have an awesome race, but I was pissed at myself for not being able to snap my body into shape. The weather was perfect, there was so much awesomeness around me, and I felt almost like I was squandering an opportunity.

The course was lovely. We looped along the waterfront, past the armory and into Lincolnville. The pavement, on the other hand, was wearing havoc on my feet and ankles. I started wondering if I needed new shoes, or if it was just the uneven terrain and old streets that were doing me in. I stopped paying attention to that, and started focusing on all the spectators and racers.

There was so much positive energy: so many people out for a beautiful run, celebrating life and strength and love. There were pirates in full costume, conquistadors with pink helmets and armor, guitarists, cheerleaders and  all sorts of residents lining the streets. Signs, songs and high fives were in ready supply.

The last half mile or so took us down St. George Street, which was full of cheering spectators, and then up and around to the parking garage.

I crossed the finish line and rejoined some of my friends.

D had gotten her PR, and I was so proud of her!

I couldn’t stay to wait for everyone because we had family pictures about 90 minutes later. I was sorry not to be able to cheer at the finish line, but this won’t be my last Pink Up the Pace by a long shot.

What are some of the touches that make little local races special to you?


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28 Responses to race report: pink up the pace {10.3.2015}

  1. Yeyyy! So glad you enjoyed this race and major congrats to your friend on her PR!
    This was my very first race ever an most of what I remember is tons of people and people re-tracing the course while I was still running who had already finished haha.

    I love that it takes people into Lincolnville. It’s such a cool area that most people don’t get to know!
    Anne@candycrazedrun recently posted…It’s Been a WhileMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It was really nice, and Lincolnville is gorgeous. Those homes! Wow! No one was really messing around on the course, which was good. I think everyone was really respectful and focused on the goal and the event. The pitted streets were awful, but that’s par for the course with an older city.

  2. This sounds like a really nice race. Congrats to your friend for getting a PR! I do enjoy local races as long as they’re well organized – I need to check a few out!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Warning: What NOT To Do When Running in the DarkMy Profile

  3. Yes, race energy is everything! I haven’t done any races in my local area (San Jose, CA) yet, but I’m sure there will be an awesome local vibe when I do.
    Markita@Sweshfit.com recently posted…I work out and gain weight. I stop and lose it. Why?!My Profile

  4. Way to get out there and support both your friend and a great cause despite having a tough run! Those unexpected visitor are really just no fun at all…
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Challenge Yourself Virtual 10K Race RecapMy Profile

  5. Not every day is going to be a great run, but great job trying to put the struggles behind you and enjoy the venue! I love that medal! What a cute idea!
    Stacie Seidman recently posted…Truthful TuesdayMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Bad runs do happen – I have to get it out of my head. This was the first year they did a medal. Honestly, they didn’t need to. It was a nice idea, but I would have been ok with that money going to the cause.

  6. Ivanna says:

    How fun! I love all of the pink! You look like toy had a great time.
    Ivanna recently posted…Here’s the Skinny: Supplementing with Protein PowderMy Profile

  7. Congrats to your friend on her PR! This sounds like a well organized race, and its for a great cause, so I don’t blame you for wanting to run this race again in the future.
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…15 in 2015 Update #2My Profile

  8. I love races with lots of spectators. I feed off of their energy. Sounds like you had a decent race, despite not feeling the best.
    MCM Mama Runs recently posted…Tips for Night Races (and a few thoughts from MCM)My Profile

  9. Marcia says:

    Sounds like a fun race for a great cause. That positive energy is awesome! Congrats to both you!
    Marcia recently posted…Can You See Me Now? Tips for Running at NightMy Profile

  10. I love local races that support a good cause. My work (a hospital) hosts a race that funds certain things and it’s just a nice event 🙂

  11. jill conyers says:

    I love al the pink! The positive energy is contagious.
    jill conyers recently posted…Brownie Batter Overnight OatsMy Profile

  12. Ariana says:

    Sounds like a great race with a lot of awesome energy! What I really love about our local races is the support and energy from volunteers. Not all these races have the budget for all the bells and whistles, but they make them fun nonetheless!
    Ariana recently posted…Rock ‘n Roll Vancouver Race RecapMy Profile

  13. Wow that race sounds awesome. I love running races where there is so much positive energy.
    Nicole@lifeafterheels recently posted…My Holiday Wish ListMy Profile

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