I was super excited to see that I had enough of a break in Bandtober to take on the Pink Up The Pace 5k. This breast cancer awareness event is in its 15th year, and is known for its support of local breast cancer patients and survivors. Since I was unable to participate in another breast cancer event later in the month, I was grateful to register for this one.
Registration + Expo
I made sure to register in time for the t-shirt and medal deadline. No matter the cause, if swag is available, I like to have it. Both Friday and Saturday promised to be super rushed, and so I had my race plans scheduled to the minute. I would be at the Pink Up The Pace 5K expo when it opened at 3PM on the dot, collect my packet, and then make it home in time to serve dinner to the band, watch some of the football game, get home, and pack my race gear for Saturday. Done, done, and done.
Race Day Arrival
The 15th Annual Pink Up The Pace 5k moved to a new location for this year: St. Augustine Beach instead of downtown. This was a move made due to construction, and I don’t know that it was convenient for anyone. The race promised shuttles from parking lots closer to downtown, as well as some access to public lots and some business parking. I had to leave almost immediately after running, so I left home at 5:30AM in order to get a spot with an easy exit strategy. In fact, I was the first car parked at the available restaurant, and I was so relieved!
I hung out in the car with a snack, then wandered over to the pier to use the restroom. Happily, I ran into a few buddies, and we chatted for a bit. I collected my bib from the car and then returned to watch the sunrise.
Races like Pink Up The Pace 5k always have fun pre and post race happenings. In this case, there was music, coffee and snacks, and Funky Town Fitness led a little warmup class. That’s always so fun to watch.
The pink fire truck is also a staple at this event. It’s perfect for photo ops, and the amazing annual survivor photo.
The Pink Up The Pace 5K
The race was scheduled to start at 8AM, so at 7:45, runners and walkers started to organize behind the start line. There were a lot of people, and not quite so much room in this location. As we waited, the announcer informed us that the cone truck had been delayed, meaning the course would not be ready for runners on time.
In fact, we ended up waiting until 8:25ish before we were finally clear to head out on a safe course. It was an unfortunate hiccup, and led to me needing to adjust my goals. I’ve been having some issues with my foot and while it doesn’t hurt, my toes did seize up while standing. So I told myself to take my time, pet all the dogs and high five as many spectators as I could. And that would be that.
The course is a familiar one, leaving the pier and winding through the beach neighborhoods in what is basically a three mile rectangle. The last stretch is about 3/4 of a mile back up A1A to the pier. It’s simple, quiet, and straightforward. There was a water stop along the way, some musicians playing for the runners, and spectators cheering things on.
The Finish Line
While I didn’t run the time I wanted, I did make it back to the finish line and collected my medal. Yay!
I was short on time, but I wasn’t going to waste a beautiful ocean backdrop for photos.
Sadly, there is some awful erosion from the year of storms and king tides, so there was no going down to the beach this time.
I really do love the Pink Up The Pace 5k, and I am looking forward to seeing it back on its home course in St. Augustine. There is so much more history and crowd support, and more room to accommodate the huge crowds.
I was glad to be back at a start line again, especially for a race as wonderful and important as this. And even though I couldn’t stay to celebrate for long, I did treat myself to an iced coffee and cinnamon roll at the marina for all my hard work.
Do you run any breast cancer races in October?
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