|Right Before We Started|
6:00 AM I headed over to Virginia Beach to pick up my packet and get ready. The nice part about this race is it starts and ends at the Virginia Beach Convention Center so I got to stay nice and warm until the start of the race. I picked up my packet and went to the lady's room. Then I discovered they had been given the 10 Miler shirt not the 5K shirt so I went to switch that out.
At about 7:30-7:45 I headed over to the start. They had four corrals as a walker and slow one at that I was in the 4th corral. So they had a moment of silence for those military men and women who were deployed this holiday season and for their families who support them at home. (I admit I got teary eyed) Then they had a chorus sing the National Anthem. Then they waved for the start of corral #1, and after each corral we moved forward until it was our turn to go. We started around 8:08 AM according to my watch. It took me an hour to complete the 5K which wasn't my best time but I think the cold, the wind, and my lack of sleep hindered me some. They called out my name when I crossed the finish line which I wasn't prepared for but it was kinda cool.
I forgot to take pictures of our bag of loot...I will have to add those later. It was a reusable bag with my shirt and a Santa hat. Then at the end of the race we got a medal, a hat, and lots of food. I bought a Christmas ornament and another long sleeve t-shirt. I admit the t-shirts and the medals are a good incentive!
A few observations:
- Runners get priority. Which I appreciate because they are trying to set records and they are moving fast but a couple times it felt like we walkers were in the way. That and the runners got applauded we just got waved at.
- Races will have miscommunication. On of the race volunteers told me to get to the left so the runners could be on the right. Then I was told to go to the right so the runners could be on the left. One lady got a bit snippy that I was on the left side but when I explained I was told to be there she softened some.
- Holiday races bring out all kinds of clothing. Imagine Whoville, Santa Baby, Little St. Nick, etc all blended together. For next year I plan on decking myself out a bit more.
- Big races are fun and I look forward to doing more of them including the Shamrock 8K in March.