Last weekend I race 22.4 race miles! Outside of a full marathon, I don’t recall ever racing that many miles in a weekend. Not only was this a high running mileage, but the trek all over the state of Florida logged just over 550 miles!
So here is race #1 – the Gate River Run 15K
My mom and I have run this race for the last two years and were excited to do it again. It is the Nation’s Largest 15K – so you can imagine that it is a crowded event, but they do a great job at managing the crowd in all aspects – traffic, running waves, expo flow, etc.
Every year we go there is an organization that collects running shoes for the homeless. The second year we forgot, this year – I got my running club and local running friends in on the action! 42 shoes donated for feet that need some new shoes! Thank you to all of you who donated! They couldn’t believe it when I showed up with 4 trash bags FULL of shoes!
I finally got to meet Scott, an instagram friend! He and I ran our first full marathon at Spacecoast, but I had not had the privilage to meet him until now! His wife and children were there to celebrate with him. Such a sweet family! He’s looking at doing an Ultra next season!!
My mom and I hung together for the first mile or so and then split up. Through the neighborhoods, we were offered munchkins, oranges, beer, pancakes and sausages, and a water hose sprinkle! There are also water stops roughly every mile after mile 2, so to beat the heat I took two cups of water: one to drink and one to pour on my head!
During the race I encountered my first Ainsley’s Angels runners! This is an amazing organization that gives special needs children the chance to experience something they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. It also brings awareness for their diseases!
This was a hot race! Luckily the sun stayed hidden behind the clouds for the most part. With the late start of 8:30, the temperatures were already high when we started.
I ran this race with little music (had my headphones tucked in my shirt, in case I got bored). There is so much community support that there is no need to distract yourself from the course.
I finished with a 1:47 time – which is about my average over the last few years. I was saving my legs for the Sarasota Half Marathon on the following day!
Read Part 2 – Sarasota Half Marathon!!!
I’ll leave you with a photo of the “Green Monster”. This bridge is almost a mile long and starts roughly at mile 8.