The race featured both a 1-mile fitness walk/run, as well as a 5k. Tons of kids took to the street to participate in the 1-mile event, which occurred 30 minutes prior to the 5k start time. It was great to see young and wise runners and walkers take to the streets.
At last, it was 10 a.m., the start time for the 5k event. The course took participants along the Strawberry Festival parade route. The parade was set to kick-off at 11 a.m. The 5k event started a little bit behind schedule, but that was okay. The start/finish line was at the end of the route, so the parade could get started on time without the potential for participants to cross-paths with parade entries.
I enjoyed the out-and-back nature of the course. At about the 1.55 mile mark, we made the turn around to proceed back to the finish line. There was an aid station strategically placed here with cool, refreshing water. It was just plain hot out there with the asphalt absorbing all the suns rays and beaming them back upon us. On the way back, I focused on the oodles and oodles of parade watchers lining the streets. I continually thought to myself, wow, this town really knows how to put on a party! The streets were lined, at points three and four rows deep, with happy faces of folks eagerly waiting for the parade to start. I appreciated all the encouragement and cheering from the group of spectators, too! Great energy on the streets of Lebanon!
I am aware of a couple races that follow parade routes. The one that comes to mind first is the Starlight Parade run. What other ones are you familiar with (comment below so I can add them to my list of ‘must run’ events)? Having been in parades during my school years (playing in the band), I was excited to get a different perspective of a parade course from the viewpoint of a runner. It felt like I was “the scout”, scouting out the course for the parade entrants that would soon be following suit.
I throughly enjoyed the Lebanon Strawberry Festival 5k event. It is already on my list for races I must do in 2016. Unfortunately, I had to get back to my car and get to Eugene ASAP after the race, or I would have found a spot on the parade route to watch the parade come through. I have solidified my view of the Strawberry Festival event; it is a must do. Even if you don’t participant in the 1-mile fitness walk/run or 5k, you should definitely check out the festivities. As I said before, this town really knows how to put on a party!! And, I am tickled pink to have my very own Lebanon Strawberry Festival event shirt to add to my collection!