Steve, as faithful Coffee Betsy readers know, is training for the Bix 7 with the admirable goal of not feeling like he is going to die when it's over. I'm scheduling some 5K races not so much for speedwork, but more to make things fun. I decided we should run together, partly so I'd remember to keep my pace slow enough for a recovery run, partly because Steve is fun to hang out with.
When we arrived at the starting line, I was a little bit bummed that I wasn't truly racing it. The weather was kind of lousy - cold and really windy, which made for a poor turnout. A 5K with a poor turnout is totally in my wheelhouse, and looking at the times for my age group, I probably would have finished second. But no matter - the point was to have fun, and that we did.
The race started at a park by the Mississippi River, then followed the bike/running path at a simple out and back. It turns out it's a good thing there weren't many people there, because things were getting mighty crowded in the middle of the pack where we were hanging. I wonder if they will have to alter the course in the future.
It was great to be able to go for a run with Steve, something we used to do together a lot, but haven't done much in a long time. It was especially well timed because I'd just returned from a three-day work trip in Charlotte and was gearing up for a week of more trips. A 5K may not provide a lot of time for us to just hang out together, but it was a nice start.
We hit the three mile mark, and my mom and Jack were there cheering for us like crazy. We waved Jack over so he could finish the race with us, and that thrilled him. The three of us crossed the line together holding hands.
The thing that surprised me the most about the race was that it was swag-tastic. We got the typical cotton t-shirts, which featured a cute picture of a running book, but our goodie bags also included Cliff or Luna bars, coupons for free Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, and best of all free tickets to go to a Quad City River Bandits baseball game! They even had finisher's medals, and the volunteer was kind enough to give one to Jack even though he'd run bandit - they must have had plenty. After the race, there were more Cliff and Luna bars, bottles of water with BioFreeze samples tied to them, and all kinds of food. They also had bounce castles and were getting ready to set up craft tables and face painting. I felt bad for the organizers because the weather was so lousy that people didn't really stick around afterwards like they would have. I hope they try again next year and have better weather. I'll be there for sure.