Real, in-person races are back, but I am still exercising caution when deciding which ones I’d like to run. J, my running buddy, has been wanting to do a 10K, and we stumbled upon the Sandy Claus Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K.
ONce I saw that the registration numbers were staying pretty low, we decided to sign up. This race has been around a while, but I’ve never actually participated before. The idea of something new was extra-exciting.
Before we ever toed the start line, I was very impressed with the safety precautions set in place. There were separate start times for the distances: the marathoners started at 6:00 AM, the half and 10K at 7:00 AM, and the one mile at 8:30 AM. Runners who weren’t comfortable with the start line had the option for a late start, and could cross the start line up until 7:15 AM. Additionally, all age group winners would be based on chip time, not gun time, to avoid crowding at the start (runners going for the overall win would have to line up first). I thought that was so respectful.
It was an early morning. Packet pickup was scheduled for the morning of, which meant we had to be at the race around 6:15, to park, grab our stuff, use the bathrooms and get situated. It all went very smoothly, and we had plenty of time to get everything done and line up.
Runners got a cute long-sleeve tech tee, and race distance decal, in addition to their bibs and medals.
The sunrise was an added bonus.
Before long, we were off. We left the Nocatee Community Center, passed through a fence, and found ourselves out on the Greenway. It was beautiful: lots of trees and wooden bridges. I confess, the course was a little confusing. We ran to the first water stop, turned right, and continued running. We made our way into a residential area (which was great because so many houses were decorated for the holidays), and then, turned around at the second water stop.
We ran back to the first one, turned right and did a little out and back, before re-running the loop we had just completed. The we made it back to the first water stop, the volunteers directed us to the right for the out-and-back again, but we should have gone left to the finish. We ended up running and extra half mile. Whoops.
On the plus side, the weather was great, the run was strong, and the course was so gorgeous. It could have been worse.
We crossed the finish line and collected our medals! They were wooden, with a bottle opener on the back. It was kind of odd that they didn’t come with ribbons, but we loved them all the same.
From there, we were planning to head to Starbucks for coffee and breakfast on the way home, but the race director announced that post-race refreshments were available so we circled back to check it out.
JetPack Nutrition offered waffles, low-fat turkey chili and some of the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had.
And About Time Creamery was there, with free ice cream! Sure, it was in the 40s, but who can say no to free ice cream? We got the Elf Poop: chocolate with red velvet cookie dough chunks. Yum!
Congratulations to us! J did amazing on her first 10K (plus)!
What’s the best post-race food you’ve ever had? Ever mess up and run extra on a course?
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