This past weekend was the Run for the Dream 8K and Half Marathon. For the third year in a row, I headed back to Williamsburg, VA, with a great group of ladies, for a fun girls’ weekend.
As is our tradition, we hit up the grocery store for food when we arrived. This year, we also picked up food to cook for dinner. Great plan. However, how much food can seven women eat?
This weekend was HOT. Hotter than it has been all year. We’ve had unusually cold weather so I was not acclimated to the heat. That, combined with my heartrate issues, combined with the fact that I have a triathlon next weekend meant that my plan for the weekend’s races was “Start slow, then back off.” I was going to listen to my body and just do what felt right. If that meant walking 90% of the race, then so be it.
Saturday morning arrived bright and early for the 8K. Apparently, when Carrie’s alarm went off, my reaction was to groan. Why do we do this again?
The race start was lovely. The company managing the race is DMSE, and the director is Dave McGillivray, who also manages the Boston Marathon. He gave a lovely speech, talking about the victims at Boston, but also discussing the Wounded Warriors, who are a big part of this race.
The anthem was sung by two young kids. The anthem should always be done by little kids. Even if they don’t get the notes quite right, it’s still pretty awesome.
We had a good time during this race. Our group divided up based on speed and a bunch of us ended up running the first half at intervals, then just giving up and walking. It wasn’t worth the risk in the heat. So it made for a nice workout with friends.
And of course, it ended with beer and sandwiches and fabulous medals.
We finished near the team representing Wounded Wear, and they were amazing. 8 or 9 soldiers running in full gear and carrying a stretcher with a 185 pound, fully dressed dummy. They would stop and rotate out who was carrying the stretcher. They also had a giant American flag. So very impressive and so very moving.
Race two was even earlier than Race One. I donned my Team SunRype gear and we headed out. Given the heat, I decided to take my gear picture before, rather than after the race.
My legs were really heavy today, even though I had been “good” the day before. This makes me wonder if I ever have a Goofy in me. This was only an 8K and half. I can’t imagine doing a half and full. Of course, I’m slightly undertrained right now, choosing to focus on tri training and not running quite enough.
All along, I had been saying that if I walked this entire race, that was okay. I just wanted to finish healthy. It was definitely hot, but thankfully, not too humid. But even with that, I think we started walking around mile 3 or 4 and just powered through to the end. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that slow of a race, and definitely not my personal worst. I think it was even better than last year. I certainly felt better than I did last year. (Which is impressive, since it turns out I was fighting the beginnings of a cold.)
One thing that really impresses me about this race is the course support. The volunteers are amazing, but the medical personnel were fabulous. I didn’t encounter them closely, thankfully, but all through the race, especially at the end, there were bikers and medical carts rolling through. When the carts passed, they would ask if everyone was okay and give a thumbs up or thumbs down. It was awesome to see how closely they were checking on people. They were also carrying cases of bottled water, if anyone needed more than what was supplied at the water stops. It was really fabulous.
And more beer and sandwiches and fabulous medals at the end, of course.
As hot as it was, I loved this race. If you asked me what I would change, it would be the heat and the hills. But well, the race directors can’t do much about that. I’m sure I will be back next year. Considering registering early to save money. Might as well try to “legacy” the race, even if there is no bonus bling for doing so, right?
(Maybe I should talk to the race organizers about that…)