I got to Freedom Park early (6:30 AM) to pick up my bib and chip. They also had a special on Sport Skirts so I got a blue one. I took everything back to my car and got my number on. I took my Gatorade Prime, Handheld water bottle (with key fob, cash, and ID in pocket), and cell phone. There was a building between the start and finish area that was bathrooms. I went ahead and took advantage of that. I met a couple very nice ladies while I was waiting. It turns out one ran the ASC Greenway Half with me and the other will be running several races with me in the future. I sure hope I meet up with them again.
Soon, it was time to start. In this race, the girls start 3 minutes before the guys. I knew they’d catch me in a couple minutes, but I took my place with the girls. The start had a little of an uphill to it. The run is around Freedom Park on neighborhood roads and then ends inside the park by what I guess you’d call a band shell. They had great coverage by the police on all the roads. There were even some people sitting in front of their houses cheering us on. This area is well established and has lots of large trees. So, most of the race was in shade. I wanted to keep a 12 min/mile pace. At the first mile sign, I was at 11:40. I was happy with that. The rolling hills were not large, but enough to slow me down. I did my run/walk intervals although I didn’t always stick to 2:1. As we re-entered the park, I saw one of the ladies I was talking to before the start. I didn’t have enough in me to catch her, though. I knew I was close to 38 min which was my goal. So, I took one short walk break and then kicked it in to the end. My final time was 38:24. I’m happy with that.
At the end, they handed out bottled water and Gatorade. They had bananas and granola bars on tables to pick up. Then they had a special fenced area to get a pint glass and a beverage. I opted to try one of the Skinny Girl wines. It was California Rose and it tasted pretty good.
They also had beer. A band was playing which was nice. I saw the girl I almost caught and she made me remember to return my chip. After hugs, I found the official results and visited the other tents. I got a bagel bite from the Breugger’s tent and then made my way to a bench. After setting things down, I enjoyed the band’s music while eating the bagel and banana and drinking the Gatorade. This was a nice, relaxing setup. Then I made my way back to my car. I had no trouble with parking or leaving. Overall, this was a great race with friendly, encouraging volunteers and spectators.