race report: best damn race jacksonville 10k {1.16.2016}

Best Damn Race made it’s Jacksonville debut last year, exactly one day before I was committed to running my first (and probably last) marathon. I was so disappointed to not be a part of the inaugural event, although I did temper the emotion by registering for and running the virtual 10K.

I loved the skyline medal.

This year, I had no such ridiculous 26.2 plans, so I was all in for the BDR Jacksonville 10K. (The 10K has become my absolute favorite distance. The half is a great challenge, but the 10K is where I feel my strongest – they are so few and far between that I snap them up when I get the chance).

I carpooled/caravanned with a couple of friends and we got to the start line with plenty of time to spare. We parked in the open lots at Everbank Field and crossed to Metropolitan Park for the expo tents and start lines.

We met up with some of my fellow race ambassadors at the BDR tent, and spent some time checking out the lay of the land.

We were thrilled to see members of the 501st Legion on hand!

The weather was foggy and muggy and there was a pretty nasty chill in the air. I had started with a long sleeve shirt, but opted to ditch that at the tent and run in shorts and a tank. Due to the humidity, I didn’t regret the decision.

After a final restroom stop, we lined up for the start, and our group made decisions about how we would race. S and I planned to stick together for the duration, and fell into our groove pretty quickly.

I really enjoyed the course.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 10.46.51 PM

With the exception of the big onramp from Water Street onto Riverside Avenue, and that pesky pedestrian ramp to get back over the river, it was a pretty sweet loop: mostly flat and with some pretty and interesting scenery. The fog was incredible.

There were stretches where the runners ahead of us just seemed to disappear in the mist. I don’t believe I’ve ever run in fog so thick.

The water stops were fully stocked with water and energy drinks, and there was one stop towards the end with a nice selection of Gu. I wasn’t in the mood for water, but at one of the last hydration stops, the volunteers called out that they also had Nuun. I approached one of the volunteers, but it seemed that I had gone a couple of cups too far on the lineup: the Nuun was behind me. I shrugged it off. I wasn’t willing to go back and it wasn’t that important. I called thanks and continued on my way, and was flat out stunned when I heard someone yelling “Ma’am, I have your Nuun!”

That’s right. The volunteer had grabbed a cup and followed me down the block to make sure I got the liquid I wanted. I have never had that happen at any other race and I could not have been more impressed. They don’t call them the Best Damn Volunteers for nothing.

I was feeling pretty great coming into the home stretch until I glanced at my watch and realized that I was close to a PR. And that never ends well. I am going to dedicate a post to my race anxiety, but let’s just say it kicked in right on cue. I sent S on ahead – I needed a few seconds to get my breathing (and my nausea) under control.

Fortunately, those seconds didn’t cost me. I hit a PR by the skin of my teeth and was beyond overjoyed that I got to ring an actual PR bell! Such a great feeling!

The after party was in full swing, in spite of the weather!

Runners enjoyed music while enjoying Pollo Tropical, oranges, bananas and brownies, beer, bloody mary’s and mimosas.

I love how Best Damn Race has a little something for everyone.

We spent the rest of the morning watching the half marathoners cross the finish line and cheering people on. It was such a fun morning, and I’m so glad I got to spend it with some great friends.

Jamie, Jessica, me and Haley.

This was way better than churning out 6.2 miles on my own and awarding myself a medal in my living room like I did with the virtual last year. I can’t wait for next year’s race!

And I can’t wait to add a version of this flamingo to my medal rack at Best Damn Race Orlando on March 5!


Maybe I’ll be able to chip away a little more at my 10K time!

(If you want your very own flamingo, you have til Friday, February 12, to take advantage of code RUNPUGS for a $5 discount on any available distance in Orlando!)


Have you ever had an exceptional experience with a race volunteer?

Do you have race anxiety?

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16 Responses to race report: best damn race jacksonville 10k {1.16.2016}

  1. Annmarie says:

    How fun! I love 10ks too- it really is the perfect distance!
    Annmarie recently posted…Race Essentials You’ll Fall In Love With & #FitleticLove Giveaway!My Profile

  2. Congrats on your PR! I’ll be doing a virtual 10K this weekend, I really like the distance too. BDR looks like a fantastic race and a lot of fun, plus mimosas?!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Member Survey for Run With No RegretsMy Profile

  3. Congrats on yet another PR!!! You’re doing awesome!
    I’m super impressed that the volunteer ran after you with Nuun! Incredible! Sounds like a great time!
    Also, that Flamingo is awesome. Is there a virtual option to chase after that medal? That might be the motivation I need 😉
    Stacie Seidman recently posted…Thursday’s ThreadsMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      If the race doesn’t sell out, a virtual option might be offered. I’ll keep an eye out!

      I was like “WHY IS THIS MAN CHASING…. Oh.” It was so cool. I wish I had been able to find him after the race to thank him and get his name so I could let the volunteer coordinator know.

  4. Darlene says:

    I love that pic of you running! So cute! I wish I lived in Florida – you have the best races! Mimosas!!!!! So jealous!

    Congrats on the PR!!!
    Darlene recently posted…Thinking Out Loud Thursday: Technology, Training, Winter, Sleep and more…My Profile

  5. Wow, how great of that volunteer to help you out like they did. Maybe that cup of Nuun helped you to secure that PR. Congrats!
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…Baby Strong Workout ReviewMy Profile

  6. Looks like a great time! I love the 10K distance too and you are right you have to snatch them up! I am doing the ZOOMA virtual 10K this weekend 🙂 great job lady!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…Do you feel triumphant?My Profile

  7. Great photos – I love the one of the bridge with the fog. Looks likea fun race! I need to do a 10k this year for real. Ive done them but mainly as just fun runs. I’d like to get as close to 60 min. as possible!
    Patty @ Reach Your Peak recently posted…Watt Based Cycling TrainingMy Profile

  8. Ariana says:

    I love that the volunteer followed you with Nuun!! I’ve never experienced anything like that on a race course before, but I am always so appreciate of anything they do regardless. Congrats on your PR!! 😀
    Ariana recently posted…Overtraining? Or Under-Recovering?My Profile

  9. How fun! I love race volunteers, and that is so awesome that they made sure you stayed hydrated!
    Lex @ Flecksoflex recently posted…NYC Birthday WeekendMy Profile

  10. Angie says:

    Congratulations on the PR!

    I really enjoyed Best Damn Race. The half had a few smaller hills around the halfway point, but nothing terrible. That darn onramp and pedestrian bridge get me every single time I have to run them. I guess I should incorporate bridge work into my training. Running in the fog was fun. It added a fun layer to the race. I was so excited to see Pollo Tropical at the end. I was starving, and all I wanted was food.
    Angie recently posted…Marathon #2 in the books!My Profile

  11. Pingback: friday five: why you should run best damn race + discount code | Runs With Pugs

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