Upon arrival the check-in process was fast and efficient and volunteers knew how to answer all the questions people were throwing at them. The best part about the packet is that it contained a Jamba Juice bell. Any race supported by Jamba Juice is one that I like to be at.
After picking up packets everyone around was in good spirits and you could see the connection of the running community as people hugged and shook hands while catching up on their recent events. Each person had a goal in mind they wanted to go for and me being on the more competitive side of things was firmly in the camp of wanting to place in my age group.
Finally it was time to head to the start line to get the show on the road. Once we were all lined up they did a group warm up session and highlighted why people were there – to support CDH Awareness. With this race the entry fees and donations go directly to the foundation.
Pretty soon it was the count down and people were off. The course itself was mostly flat but at mile 1 you hit the extremely short but extremely steep hill. After walking up that it was back on track and ready to finish up those last 2.1 miles. We were taken through some city streets and then out to Durham road to round out the second mile. The third mile took us back into the park and was accompanied by a nice downhill. As you head to the end of the race people were cheering, taking photos, and telling you good job. Always nice to have great volunteers out there for us runners. Then for the 5k it was finally the finish line and the 10k had another loop to make.
Coming across the finish line I realized I did something I’d been trying to do since October, which was to beat my 5k PR. Felt so amazing to accomplish something at a race filled with fun and friends. Next up I waited for some other friends to cross the finish line of the 10k. It turned out they also rocked the course! One accomplished a 10k PR and first place in age group, and another in overall masters. Good work to them and everyone else at the race that supported the cause and pushed themselves to get out and be active.
After chatting with new people and making new connections we hung around to eat the tasty treats and collect our age group awards. They also gave away free clothing, shoes, and gift certificates to random people in the crowd (or those like us who waved our arms all around and made pointed direct eye contact). Well done, Ladybug Run. I’ll be seeing you next year.
Oh, and my friend Matt hopes Nike donates more free shoes next year, since he’ll want a new pair by then. As for me, I’ll be sporting my new Road ID, which was one of the gift certificate giveaways. And our friend Glenn, well, he’ll be enjoying a free loaf of bread each month from Grand Central Bakery thanks to being in the top overall finishers. Hopefully we’re invited over for sandwiches.