Do you ever have a day where you just aren’t feeling like a race? That was me on the morning of the Lake Run. But, I pulled myself out of bed and got ready for the Lake Run 5K. I thought it was going to be a rainy morning, but it turned out to be a great morning for a race. And, you know what? It didn’t take long for me to remember why this is one of my favorite races and to be glad I rolled out of bed for it.
I saw the 10K runners off and then prepared for the 5K start, which was about 15 minutes later. I usually run the 10K, so I had sort of forgotten the 5K route, as I hadn’t run it in years. The first happy surprise was the fact that the 5K turns off of Highway 43 sooner than the 10K, which means less of a hill to start. I was mentally prepared for that long slog, but in no time it was over and I was running on more level ground. Now, don’t get me wrong. The 5K is still plenty hilly. But, I felt like each uphill was shorter overall than the hills in the 10K (except for where the routes overlap, of course.)
There were quite a few young kids running the 5K, so over the first mile I saw many kids off to the side of the road with an adult tying their shoes. The sheer number of untied kid shoes made me laugh to myself!
One of the things I love about the Lake Run is the community feel. As we ran through neighborhoods, it was great to see people out in their front yards cheering on the runners. That was my big reminder of why I so enjoy this event. Another thing that brought a smile to my face.
With the sun peaking out of the clouds and all the spring flowers and trees blooming, the scenery was amazing. My favorite was the house we ran past that had a huge purple wisteria vine over a trellis and gigantic pink and white clematis vines (already in full bloom) climbing up the stair railings! It was such a cool look. I’ll admit, I had a bit of clematis envy as mine are still so small and not yet blooming. 😉 I really appreciate distractions like that when huffing and puffing up hills.
Another thing I love about this race is the downhill finish. What a reward after all the uphill to be able to “coast” to the finish downhill. A giant balloon arch marked the finish line and crowds were gathered to watch the runners complete their hilly quest. Volunteers were handing out water and then there was a nice cool down walk to the Festival area.
The Festival was hopping. There were lots of vendors with various give-aways, food and drink, a large plant sale, and even some llamas! The community feel continued even after the finish line. Again, I have to say, I really enjoy this race. If you haven’t run it lately – or ever – put it on your list. It is such a feel good run. It is well worth getting out of bed even if you aren’t feeling like it. And, it makes those hills almost likeable! 🙂 Yes, I will be running this one again. I can’t help myself!