|Pre race group shot|
Some of the highlights included a wonderful pre race military salute and of course the National Anthem sung by a lovely young lady with a beautiful voice. Soon it was time to send off the runners racing with strollers and then the runners were given their start.
The course wound through Jacksonville and past many neighborhoods as well as the main streets of this small town. With lots of turns, this was not a race to PR, but to enjoy the scenery and honor those who serve our country. There were quite a few soldiers running in uniforms and a firefighter in full garb. He looked exhausted by the end from the heat and humidity.
5k races are not my favorite distance and my plan was to run a moderate pace as a training run since I had a 16 mile long run scheduled for Monday morning. My pace was to be around 9 minute miles and that was pretty close to my results. My Garmin showed a distance of 3.23 miles, which did not surprise me considering how many turns we made during the race. I completed the race with a final push to the finish that included volunteers handing small flags to the runners about 50 yards from the finish line. I immediately got a Gatorade and made my way back to the course to cheer on the rest of our group. Tracey crossed the finish line quickly after and then we walked back together to meet the others.
I'm not sure of the race profit, but with growth each year and hopefully some newspaper publicity next year, it will continue to be well supported. This race had some wonderful swag including a red tech shirt, drawstring bag, water bottle, and of course the flag at the finish line. Nice post race food was provided including bananas, Power bars, Gatorade and water. I know I am forgetting some food, but there was more than plenty for this race distance. There also were age group awards two deep for 0-17, 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50 and up, both male and female. I would definitely recommend this race for the honor of running with so many service men and women. For a $25 registration fee, you get alot of bang for your buck.
Next year we hope to have an even bigger group going from the neighborhood!