New year, new race calendar, am I right?
I had hoped to do an actual New Year’s Eve race to wrap up 2018, but with the Starlight Bridge 5K right before Christmas, and knowing how much of a pain it is to get into and out of downtown Jacksonville once the NYE festivities begin, S and I tabled the idea in favor of the Resolution Run.
This is a local Florida Striders’ race that we have both managed to never before race. Its claim to fame is that it runs along the lovely River Road in Orange Park, providing views of gorgeous residential homes and the iconic river.
That being said, due to construction to fix said road from use and hurricane damage, this would the last opportunity to run on River Road this year. Obviously, that made it a “must-do”.
The race started kind of late (8:30 AM), so we had no need to rush. There was ample parking in the lot of the bestbet (the local poker room, which, by the way, had promised to donate $1800 to the local school with the most participation in the free fun run!), and we had built in time to pick up our packets and long-sleeve t-shirts, as well as use the restrooms located inside. (We both LOVED the shirts).
The temperature was in the 50s, but with the gusts of wind, it was raw and freezing. I mostly regretted wearing shorts, and even though I knew I would warm up while running, I was also very happy to hang out in the car and in the bestbet lobby until race time.
We headed over to the start line with about 10 minutes to spare. It was slightly warmer in the sun spots, and that’s where we huddled until the National Anthem was sung and the race began.
Mr PugRunner had run other races on this course in the past and his one bit of advice to me was to watch the hills. The road was gorgeous but rolled all the way out and all the way back. There were also some pretty treacherous holes and cracks, so I kept my eyes on my feet to make sure didn’t trip or twist an ankle.
We followed River Road for a bit over a mile, before hooking to the right at the water stop for another quick straightaway to a u-turn. And then back we went. At the start, it was really crowded: the road is narrow and with the damage, it made it very hard to pick around people. Things eased up after the turnaround, but there was still some congestion with runners still taking up both sides. It wouldn’t deter me from registering again, though. The views and time of year make it a great 5K, despite the crowds.
Plus, Florida Striders’ gives back to running programs in community schools, so congested or not, I’m always on board for the cause of promoting fitness and healthy lifestyles.
The first medal of the year is pretty fabulous!
And what could be better than running a 5K on a gorgeous morning in Florida with a great friend?
Actually, there is something better. Kisses from this sweet bulldog who ran across that finish line with his stumpy tail wagging and his booty wiggling!
Yes. I am that person who stops running for all the dogs. Thanks to the awesome owners who allowed me to love on this sweet mush. And document it for the blog.
And so begins my seventh calendar year of running and races. It’s still crazy that what started as a “Fine. I will if you will.” conversation with my husband has turned into seven years of lifestyle and commitment. Who would have guessed?
Happy New Year of running!
What was your first race of 2019?
Is running something that’s always been a part of you or something that began later in your life?