race report: march to get screened 5k run/walk {3.31.2019}

I received two complimentary entries for my personal use in exchange for my promotion of this event. All opinions are my own.

On March 31, 2019, the March To Get Screened 5K Run/Walk celebrated its 10th anniversary. This year, the theme of the event was to honor the supporters and survivors of colon cancer, as well as to promote the importance of early screening and colon cancer awareness. I have had the privilege of participating in this 5K several times and it never fails to be a beautiful, inspiring and meaningful morning. This year would prove no different.

One big change in 2019 was the venue. In the past, the March To Get Screened 5K took place on Jacksonville Beach with the course entirely on the sand. I don’t MIND running on the beach, but it’s not my favorite thing, so I was excited to give this new route a try.

Packet pickup and small expo area was set up under the Fuller-Warren Bridge, home of the Riverside Arts Market. We had opted for morning-of packet pick up and it was easy enough to find nearby parking. It only took a few minutes to collect our cinch bag, shirt, bib and safety pins, drop off the extra goodies in the car and return to the festivities in time for a quick photo.

Mr PugRunner and little man were going to stick together, and my plan was just to run solo. I wanted to stretch my legs and get a few miles. I met up with K and M, who live in my neighborhood, and we agreed that we had different goals so we would see each other at the finish line.

The weather was gorgeous (cooler under the bridge, but not awful on the course), and it was fabulous taking on a new route. We ran from Riverside Arts Market towards downtown. There was a bridge leading over to the city and the old Jacksonville Landing, but it didn’t feel too bad and I was up and over fairly quickly.

I enjoy running city streets and it was nice to see a different part of downtown than I normally would. I especially loved when we turned into the Landing (with a water stop) and headed back to the Fuller-Warren Bridge along the river path.

The views were gorgeous, but I was feeling strong and didn’t stop for photos. I wanted to get to that finish line and I crossed it with a huge smile on my face!

Did I mention I got fourth in my age group? That has NEVER happened.

I loved cheering on the boys as they completed their race as well.

The post-party was pretty great. There were plenty of vendors and activities for the kids.

There was also great complimentary craft beer from Intuition and free ice cream from Cold Stone. Yum!

I had both.

We participated in the available scavenger hunt, and just basked in the beauty of the morning and getting to spend time together.

It’s always so incredible to be in the presence of so much hope and strength, and being a part of it is truly such an honor.

This year’s event brought in over $93,000 for research and education, free colonoscopy screening and financial assistance to those suffering from this terrible disease, in conjunction with the Borland Groover Clinic. Created by Jan Pratt, who herself beat colon cancer (and lung cancer several years later), March To Get Screened is an effort to save others through early and regular colonoscopies. Read more about her incredible story here. Donations are always welcome, and you may contribute here.

Thank you to March To Get Screened, the staff and volunteers for a wonderful event! We will continue to Wear Blue in support of all the survivors and colon cancer awareness.

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