Run, run, as fast as you can: but can you beat the Gingerbread Man 5k? The Gingerbread Man 5k is a fun, festive local race, that’s been on the books for ten years! In the past, it took place in World Golf Village, with a 5k, 10k, and mile kids’ run option, but things have changed.
This year, the race moved to the new Silver Leaf community, and only offered a 5k and the Kids’ Run. While I miss having the option of a 10k, we take what we can get.
I registered for this event with enough time to guarantee my shirt size. (I honestly dislike the shirt – it’s a white tech tee, and white tech shirts are 100% not my jam). J signed up later and was able to get her preferred size after the event. Due to some unrelated events, I didn’t have a flat runner photo, but what can you do?
Race Morning + Packet Pickup
I had planned to pick up our packets in advance at the designated third party location on Friday, but life happened, so I told J we would just get to the race early and deal with it on site. We arrived at the amenity center of the Silver Leaf community around 7:15 am, parked, and grabbed our bibs.
Vendors were still setting up when we arrived and we had a few moments to go back to the car, use the portapotties, and meet up with some friends.
We started under the inflatable arch at the SilverLeaf amenity center. The route was pretty basic: we ran to the main road (not very far), crossed the parkway, with the traffic light and law enforcement holding back cars, and hopped on to the run/walk/bike path that stretches for miles through this community.
On the one hand, it’s a great place to run. It’s wider than the usual sidewalk, and specifically designated for this sort of activity. On the other hand, there are no lights (making it not great for pre-dawn running), and no trees (exposing people to the sun and elements). On this morning, the only major thing we dealt with was fog.
Everything was very straightforward. We went about 1.4 miles to a water stop and marked u-turn, and then back. The police were great about holding cars for the runners on the return, too, and I appreciated that.
Then it was back to the arch and the finish line, with big smiles on our faces.
We crossed the finish line, and collected our medals. Volunteers also handed us our gingerbread cookies and bottles of water. As I mentioned, J was able to get her race t-shirt. I had to go check in with the timing crew, as they had me listed in the results as male. That was easily and quickly remedied.
Before we left, we snagged our photos and ate our cookies.
At some point, the one mile fun run started, complete with a sprinting Gingerbread Man, but I have no idea how that went.
I am still a fan of the Gingerbread Man Dash. It’s always a wonderful time, and the change of venue doesn’t really take away from that. The 10K is certainly a loss to the event, and I’m not sure if that’s something that will return in the future.
The new course was decent. It was simply an out and back on the run/bike path along the SilverLeaf Parkway. It involved crossing one major road (with police assistance), which was fine for 250 runners, give or take. That being said, if those numbers increase, the path will probably be too narrow. Also if it’s warmer and less cloudy, the course will be rough as there is zero shade cover anywhere.
All in all, the Gingerbread Man 5k is a winner in this runner’s heart.
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