The Bridge of Lions 5K is a St. Augustine classic. 2017 marked the 33rd running of this point-to-point race, and I am proud to say that I got to enjoy my first time.
Usually, Mr PugRunner takes on this race while I stay home with little man. We make a habit of switching off events, just because it can be really difficult to find a sitter at 5:00 AM. However, this year, we decided to do it all together as a Summer Bucket List Family 5K.
Unfortunately, the race was scheduled for the day before he needed to leave for my father-in-law’s wake and funeral services (little man I would be following on Sunday), and I wasn’t sure that Mr PugRunner would want to proceed with our plans. He said he wanted to do this in honor of his dad, and so we did.
The Bridge of Lions 5K is a point to point race. It starts at the Fort, crosses the Bridge of Lions and then continues through the neighborhood of Davis Shores. Interestingly, I have never run in Davis Shores in daylight before, so this race was going to be a matter of following the people around me.
We took separate vehicles and parked at the finish line. There was maybe less than a mile to the start line, which would have been a nice warm up, had it not been about a thousand degrees with 180% humidity. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but it was miserably hot, and I was done before we even started.
I found the boys in line for the bathroom and waited for them so we could line up together. There was a great crowd assembled and everyone was excited to get moving and out of the blazing sun. After the National Anthem, we were off.
The bridge portion of the Bridge of Lions 5K is within the first half mile of the race.
The benefit of that is that everyone is still fairly fresh and full of energy. However, after the downhill slope, people lost steam incredibly quickly.
It was a bit of a challenge encouraging the boys to keep up their pace and get through the miles. My thought was that the quicker they hustled, the faster we could be done. I’m not so sure they agreed.
Step by step, mile by mile, we got it done.
T-Rex was impressed.
This was an emotional race. We were out there for Pop Pop, and little man was pretty sure he was proud of us for getting through it, despite the conditions.
There was a nice post-race party in the park at the finish line, with drinks and snacks and music. Little man had to leave pretty much immediately to go take a Cub Scouts swimming test (which he rocked), so we didn’t get to enjoy it, but people were having a great time.
These small local races are always such a treat. They give such a new vibe to regular running routes and it’s wonderful to see the community come out in support. Granted, I would have loved this more if there had been a slightly earlier start, but no one ever has control of that.
Do you race in the middle of summer?