Submitted by Laura Lawson @GrammaHobbit
March 23, 2013: Sandy Hook Run for the Families Virtual 5K, Firefly Actual 5K, Plano Texas
For anyone newly venturing into the world of race events, walking or running, I would highly recommend searching out family-friendly events.
This was my 3rd event, and I chose the evening Firefly event for the convenience of the time as well as how interesting the go-for-the-glow theme sounded.
I was not disappointed. Arriving several hours prior to racetime, it was really fun to see in the increasing darkness the variety of race outfits that people had come up with for the run. Head to toe, with wings and hats and every manner of costuming, the crowd really did "glow"and twinkle and shine!
Because this was a family event, there were groups and individuals of all ages, many kids, a lot of highly decorated strollers and quite a few dogs!
I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the fact that for this race I was not time-chipped and there had been no "dire warnings" that you might be "swept up" if you did not maintain a suitable pace. (For me, the pressure that I put on myself to do my best is enough!)
The music before the race had the crowd dancing and having a great time and certainly getting warmed up in the 50 degree evening air!
I attended alone, but quickly was able to find other women to spend the pre-race time with. Again, I have found that people at a family event seem more relaxed. Certainly there were a lot of very serious, experienced runners, but I did not feel as out of my league as I had at my first run. Actually, people seem to be universally supportive and nice at the events!
I wore my #Run3rd hat and had my #Run3rd and Sandy Hook bib attachments on the back of my jacket. It is always fun to explain #Run3rd to others, and I don't miss many opportunities!
The first glowing runners started out at 8:30pm, and being in the last (the slow!) corral, we started up a bit after that. I have worked hard at trying to control my pace better and was pleased to feel I was maintaining a good, but steady walking pace. I so want to get faster but for now am more concerned with completing the distance. At this type of race, the pressure really comes from within. There were many casual strollers, and quite a few that took shortcuts cutting corners, or even cutting between streets!
The excitement at nearing the finish line was dashed by the realization that the course passed by the finish line, continued a few blocks, then went around a traffic rotary before heading back up to the actual finish. That felt like the longest portion of all!
So another finish, no shortcuts! I don't know my exact time, but I was through the finish, across the field of people, over to the parking lot, and sitting in my car at 9:40! Definitely under an hour and I can live with that! A success for me, honored to be representing #Run3rd, honored to run/walk for the families of Sandy Hook, and very honored to carry the dedications entrusted to me. Those commitments keep me going.
My internet searches show a lot of family race events coming up, and I am looking forward to attending
as many as I reasonably can!