The Pink Up The Pace 5K is a local race, benefiting breast cancer awareness. Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, we were happy to take part. Pink Up the Pace helps men and women raise money to fund breast cancer imaging, detection, treatment, and support. Needless to say, this organization is well loved and appreciated in our community.
Expo + Packet Pickup
The Pink Up The Pace 5K has a small expo, and I volunteered to get everyone’s packets. The expo was located at a church on Anastasia Island, from 2:30-6:30PM so it wasn’t the most convenient for our group with work schedules. Not to worry.
I got our canvas totes, bibs, and t-shirts (which were super cute this year), and then wandered through the vendors and raffle offerings. I put in a few tickets but didn’t win anything. Boo.
That night, I enjoyed a sushi dinner with J, and laid out my Flat Runner for the morning.
The race started at 8:00 AM, so I picked up J and C at 6:30. Parking can be ugly, and we slid in the garage at 6:57, three minutes before they start charging. Already, we had achieved a huge victory.
It was warmer than hoped, but it was also an undeniably beautiful day. Can we talk about this sunrise over the Castillo de San Marcos?
Since we already had our packets, we wandered around Francis Field for a bit. Pre-race is always a bit of fun with plenty of people, music and photo opportunities. We were sure to get tons of pictures.
There is usually a warm up session with FunkyTown Fitness before everyone heads over to the start line, but we had to use the restrooms, so we didn’t stick around for it. Instead, we got to use a real bathroom, and take our time getting in line at the start.
The Pink Up The Pace 5k Run
Honestly, this was the biggest race turnout I’ve seen since racing came back. It was good to see the support for the cause, but also a little nerve-wracking. We found ourselves a spot in the middle of the pack, listened to a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem, and then we got moving.
The Pink Up The Pace 5k takes place on a tough course. The first mile goes from the St. Augustine Visitor Center past the Matanzas River and Bridge of Lions, and into the heart of residential St. Augustine. That mile is a wide road, but it slopes down on each side from the center and can be tricky on the ankles.
Runners then turn right and head into the neighborhoods and Lincolnville. It’s beautiful, but the course is pitted and uneven, with a combination of asphalt, bricks, and cobblestones. There is plenty to look at, with historic old houses, and some small bands playing on the sides of the road, but you have to watch your footing.
Eventually, you pop back into Old Town, run down St. George Street, and turn left, then right, for the finish at Francis Field.
The three of us got separated early. J didn’t like the crowd and bounded off, and I hovered between babying my leg and needing to go. Eventually, I needed to get to a less curved surface, and left C to find my own path. I ran alone for most of the race, but finally caught up to J on St. George Street. It was nice to finish the race with her, and we made a solid sprint at the finish. Yay!
After crossing the finish line, we moved through the chute to collect our medals. Runners had to walk another 100 feet or so to get to water, bagels, and bananas at the after party. We decided to skip most of that, and go the waterfront for more photos.
Rather than hang out, we chose to celebrate C’s first ever race with breakfast, and of course, we needed to get hibiscus mimosas for the occasion!
Even though it was hard, hot, and my foot hurt, I felt really strong. There was such a great energy to this race, and I loved the crowd support – it’s been a long time since we’ve seen that in our races, and it felt very normal.
I loved the shirts (not pictured) and medals. There were plenty of awesome volunteers and water stops, too. I can’t think of a single thing I would change or improve. It was a perfect day and a great race.
And you know there’s a TikTok!
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