The main selling point for this race was it was free - you just had to sign up. So sign up we did, and show up we did.
Because of the race's location, we had to park off site and walk about a mile to the start. I picked up my packet during the weekend, which included a few freebies and a sample from Lush cosmetics, but Emily picked hers up on site. This is the same place I ran with Maggie a few weeks ago, so I knew the lay of the land. We used the real bathrooms (bonus!) and headed to the start. Luckily, the course was mostly shady, because it was hotter than hell. I was sweating before we ever started.
Per my usual, I started off way too fast. I didn't have my Garmin, but I was dodging people and breathing hard before the first mile. There were tons of volunteers with awesome signs ("You are an animal," "90% mental, 10% physical ... right?," "You inspire me") and the course was well-marked, winding through gravel and mulch paths. By mile two, I had to take a walk break ... major fail.
I wondered how they would coordinating timing, because there were no chips. There was a timing clock at the finish line and a volunteer collected tags from our bibs in order to determine the places. There were some fast ladies there because my 25:55 did not qualify me for a top-five spot.
I took consolation in the post-run snacks, which are quite possibly the best I've seen. There were four different types of nutrition bars, plums, apples, bananas, fresh Einstein bagels, pastries and bagel shakers and lots of drink and shake options. Emily and I both loaded up our bags and enjoyed a few recovery shakes before heading over to my gym to shower up for work. There was post-run yoga that looked like a lot of fun, but we had to get back to our cubes. The location was ideal, and we weren't all that late to work. We would have been almost on time for work if it wasn't for the mile walk to our cars.
Time: 5K in 25:55 (one minute slower than my PR last month at the Karhu 5K)
Pros: Great volunteer support, witty signage, great post-race food, ideal pre-work location
Cons: Unofficial timing, remote parking
Would I race this again: Absolutely, can't wait for next year!