Happy Saturday!! Today was the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure 5K in Roanoke VA. This was actually the inaugural Race for the Cure in Roanoke so keep that in mind when I get to some criticisms of the race. I really hate to have any because it’s a wonderful cause and it was a really nice morning but there were a couple things that need some rethinking before next year.
Since I live about an hour away from Roanoke I got up super early, packed a Luna Bar and a V8 fusion and headed over to meet up with my running buddy. I have to say I was pretty chipper for 6:00am. Of course I was wearing pink. I didnt have a “proper” pink running shirt so I picked up this light weight cotton number from Target last night.
We thought we had more than enough time to make it to Roanoke by 8:00 when the packet pick up ended but due to insane amounts of traffic and no police direction there was a HUGE line of cars trying to get through a stop light and we ended up parking at around 8:15. To be fair they had anticipated 1500 runners and I saw at least up to 3012 on the race bibs, plus family members, plus volunteers. It was pretty big for a local 5K. We made it to packet pick up and we got our numbers and packets. The only thing in said packets was a shirt, a piece of paper asking people to recycle (ironic yes?) and a course map. The pin pictured was handed out at the finish line.
Once we had our packets and got settled we walked around a bit. There were several booths set up with various community vendors. There were 3 races going on The competitive run 5k, the noncompetitive run 5k and the 1 mile fun run/walk. We opted for the Noncompetitive run 5k which I feel like was a good choice. We had a chance to stretch, talk, get our timing chips attached to our shoes and watch the competitive run.
The competitive run took no time at all and it was our turn to line up. There were a few staff members leading stretches which was nice except that one of them was going down into a stretch that is dangerous for people who arent super warmed up. So I thought that was weird. But there were oodles of people in this noncompetitive run which made it really fun. Plus today was just a beautiful day here in VA. Check out that second pic- So nice out!!
After my disaster last week my running buddy was determined not to let me freak out again. My confidence was pretty shaken so we decided to stick to 1 minute of running followed by 1 minute of brisk walking. This might not seem like much to someone who has been running a long time but it was just what I needed for today. One issue we had is that strollers were allowed (both running and non-running). This is fine, but I feel strongly if you arent using a running stroller you should start in the back. There were huge groups of strollers making it really hard for the runners to get around. Also, there was no chip activation at the start. So we lost 3-5 minutes at the beginning because we were near the back. I really didn’t like that.
The first mile was fine until we saw a sign that said “2 way traffic”. It turns out the fun run was joining our course but in the opposite direction. That was not well thought out at all. You had runners trying to get their stride and avoid these stroller barricades and then we had to also smoosh together to avoid the fun run walkers coming in the other direction.
The second mile was a lot better with the exception of a confusing “turn around” at the halfway mark. I will say that this mile was prettier than the first with a creek/river to watch and a bridge and the mountains. After the 2 mile mark there were cones that said 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 etc and it was driving me a little batty but the volunteers were super nice and there were tons of people out showing support. The last quarter mile was fun because there were tons of people cheering at the end and I do love the part where they say my name!
I managed to keep the decided pace through the entire race and even though I didn’t set the course on fire with my speed, I felt great about what I did today. We estimate that we shaved several minutes off last weeks time which made me feel even better! We decided we needed water ASAP and we could not find it. Finally, we asked someone who pointed us to a tent that was on the other side of the finish-line so we had to cross back over. We grabbed bottles of water but passed on the bagels and bananas which were the only 2 options. I LOVE to have an orange after a race so I was a little bummed.
At this point I remember that I wanted a picture of me at the finish so we head back over to take that. That was not my time in the background. I just wanted to throw that out there.
So here is my pro and con list in regards to the event itself:
- This was the inaugural race in Roanoke for a great cause.
- The turn out was awesome
- The volunteers were nice
- The runners/crowd were supportive
- Parts of the course were beautiful
- Getting people into the event was disorganized
- The course was strange in regard to the “two way traffic” issue
- The stroller barricades making it hard for people to get around
- The after snacks were very limited. If you didnt like 1 of 2 items you went snackless
- It was hard to find the snacks/water and there was no direction with where to go.
- The timing chip issue.
I feel that the turnout may have been bigger than what was planned for which is great. I just hope they will make the needed changes next year to make it even better. Overall, it was a really fun morning. After the race we headed over to Wildflour Bakery and Market for lunch. I had a fabulous grilled turkey sandwich with balsamic onions, tomatoes, pesto, and lettuce with a small side of Greek pasta salad. YUM!
We were stuffed but I can never resist a trip to BubbleCake for treats so we headed over to get some cupcakes to go. Nothing is quite as fabulous as a cupcake!
I got a Tiffanys cupcake (so cute) and a black and white cupcake and a toffee crunch cupcake for Bryan. I will be sure to post pictures before I cut them into 3 servings each as per my diet. 😉 Hey a cupcake is still fabulous even in thirds!
We finished the day with some shopping. Macys had some cute summer shirts and lots of yellow accessories-YAY! Overall a wonderful day and maybe the coolest thing was Everyone was Running In Pink!!!!! 🙂