Girls on the Run Spring Into Fun 5K
|April 28, 2012||Posted by Katy under GOTR, Inspiration, Race Photographs, Race recap|
It may have been super hot outside, but my girls ROCKED the Girls on the Run Spring Into Fun 5K this morning!
The end of the season 5K is always bittersweet. I become so close to the girls throughout the season and do not want to say goodbye to them, but at the same time, it is amazing to see the transformation from week one to the final race.
After missing the Fall 5K in December (I was sick), I was eager to run with my girls and have one more morning of fun with them!
My morning started a bit earlier than the girls. The race did not start until 9:30, but I wanted to get in a semi-long run before the race. The race site was about 30-40 minutes from my apartment so I got up at 5:30, drove, and was running a little after 6:45. I ended up getting in a little over 6 miles before the girls started arriving.
There were over 700 girls running today, which makes it crazy to find your teammates. To help, each site makes a sign which serves as a meeting place on race morning. It makes it so much easier to check all the girls in!
Prior to the race, there were a few activities for the girls including a temporary tattoo station. We also did some T-shirt signing.
Every season, many of the sites pick a theme for their team. One group were “nerds” and another group wore cool sunglasses. We decided on rocking the 80′s along with adorable running tutus.
About 10 minutes before the start, the junior coaches lead a group stretch. Getting 700 girls and their running buddies to stretch as a group is no easy feat.
Before we knew it, it was time for me to grab my running buddy and head to the start line. I ran with Kerstin who I have been coaching for the past three seasons. This was her fifth and final season with Girls on the Run. She has grown tremendously not only as a girl but as a runner over the past three seasons I have been with her. It was an honor to run with her!
The start line was very crowded, but after some weaving (it was unavoidable) and bobbing around, the course thinned out by the first water stop.
The course was slightly different from last season. Instead of running through the neighborhoods, we started by running on the street and then going onto the greenway. I preferred this course more because it was slightly more shaded than last year (although not by much).
Kerstin was keeping a steady 10 minute mile pace, going into mile 2 and only stopping for the water stops. At the turnaround point, I saw Maggie (the girl I ran with last year) who was in second place! It is safe to say I went a little crazy! (She ended up finishing second overall- incredible!)
After the second water stop, Kerstin said that the heat was getting to her and she needed to take a few walk breaks. I got the feeling that she felt bad doing this, but I reminded her that this was HER race and she needed to run it how she wanted to.
Towards the finish, we ended up catching up to another girl in our group. The two girls ended up finishing right behind each other, crossing the line in a little over 30 minutes!
I am so proud of Kerstin for running a great race even though it was incredibly warm out!
I am so proud of all my girls! What I love about Girls on the Run is that it does not matter what time you cross the finish line, all that matters is that you have fun and do your best.
This season has been the best one yet. Most of my girls were new to the program and were attentive during the lessons and had positive attitudes throughout the entire season. Every single one of them grew so much in the twelve weeks we spent together. Saturday morning’s were seriously the best part of my week and I looked forward to seeing my girls.
I do not know if I will be returning next season to coach in Jacksonville, but where ever I may end up, I will be involved with the organization in one way or another. It blows my mind how much girls ages 8-11 can change and shape your life!