First I want to say, what a weekend! Basically a non stop whirlwind of running and celebrating. I am so lucky that I was able to participate this year as an ambassador. It’s a role that I was thrilled to step in to but little did I know that I’d gain some really great friends and experiences.
I ran the 8k on Saturday and the 1/2 marathon on Sunday as part of the challenge series which is now in it’s second year. As a challenge series participant, you run both days and earn medals for both races plus another for the series . We also received a cotton t shirt and a tech tee plus a really cool blanket with the 40th anniversary logo emblazoned on it.
I’ll post the 1/2 marathon recap tomorrow but for today, I’ll tell you all about my first 8k experience!
The race started and ended in Cleveland’s Public Square; an area that has undergone a renaissance in the last few years. Parking was a breeze-we were able to find street parking about 1/10th a mile away from the start. I had a tiny issue with childcare (or lack thereof) and Liam, my 3 1/2 year old joined me in his trusty running stroller. We were able to easily make our way to the start line and enter the corral. Surprisingly, this was a huge race-hundreds of people were there for the 5k and 8k, many of whom would be running the following day as well. I easily found Rachel who was there in her coaching capacity with some clients and got in some pre race socialization.
My plan was to run the 8k nice and easy. I knew that I would be somewhat limited in speed with pushing the stroller so that would sort of be a natural governor. As the race started, I was able to easily navigate around the masses and settled into a comfortable 9.30 or so pace. Liam and I chatted with each other about the construction equipment we passed and with other runners as well. I shared mile 1 with a gentleman running the marathon the following day and had a lovely discussion about the weather and stroller running. Speaking of stroller running, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride as spectators cheered Liam and I on with the giant stroller. I have always loved pushing him and it feels nice to hear some positive feedback!
Around mile 2ish or so, fellow ambassador Melissa caught up and we ended up running together for the duration of the race. I know I say this frequently but the miles really did fly by as the conversation flowed. Soon we were back to public square and crossing the timing mat-official time 46.54 with a 9.27 avg pace.
Overall, I enjoyed my first of two races. I couldn’t have asked for better weather (50 degrees and semi sunny) and a great course through downtown Cleveland. The start and finish were organized and my son loved the Minion characters at the finish line. We had a wonderful time!
More to come later with my half marathon recap!