May 12, 2012

Girls on the Run 5K results

Birmingham held their inaugural Girls on the Run 5K today, and they did an amazing job creating a cool, cute, and darn fun race. It also helped that the weather was perfect. Not too hot with cloudy overcastness. No blazing sun to burn our eyeballs out of their sockets. We needed that (the weather and our eyeballs) for the 8 a.m. start.


The girls from GOTR had a blast dressing up and spray-coloring their hair. There were about ten groups from around the city and about 150 girls prepped to run. Each team had a dress-up theme: tutus or matching socks and of course loads and loads of ribbons. They all wore race bibs with the number 1, which I loved.

One of the teams had several sets of these socks. Love them.


They started the race off with the national anthem on the loud speaker, which was impressive for such a tiny race, and the anthem always makes the start distinctive and introspective for me. The course was almost perfectly flat and took us by the McWane Science Center and Railroad Park (and BBVA, holla). We even got a legit medal at the end of the race, and I was second overall and first in my age group with a time of 21:36. That's my unofficial Garmin result. Most people ran as buddies with the girls, so the community part of the race was very, very tiny. It was weird to be able to follow the cop car that lead us along the path. Is that always how that happens? I said to someone beside me before the race that it was weird they had parked that cop car there right in front of the racers, and I was worried about weaving around it. Obviously I'm not in the front of a race very often.


We arrived at 6 a.m. to help set up, and they had everything perfectly organized for packet pickup, coaches' gifts, signs, balloons, music, bathrooms, food, and extra fun. It was a pink, green and white paradise for little girls. After the race, they had stations for getting your hair done (bows, colored spray, clips), frame making, and bracelet making. The MC had girls (and boys) out dancing to a million wordy-instructiony-dance songs (the ones where they tell you the moves to do, and magically everyone in the room except for old-school moms like me know how to do them). They had giant beach balls, and at one point the ice cream truck came and gave free ice cream to all of the runners. So fun!

Before runners arrived.

After

Beach balls!

Give me some grub, yo.

Visiting the hair and frame station.

And the YMCA youth center across the street had a health expo afterwards where you could get massages and more freebies and games for kids. 

Even though I only took my daughter to volunteer with me, my son would have loved it just as much. The projects were geared for girls but would definitely be fun for all, and my daughter wants to race with the girls next year. She kept asking me if they practiced to do this. Yup, races take lots of practice. I think I like that better than the word training.

The only other thing I would have liked to see is chip timing, but since the focus for the girls is not on time but experience, it makes sense that chip timing isn't a top priority. Also, they only announced the top person overall and top master (and maybe a grand master -- am I making that up?). Even though I still got first in my age group, it would have been cool to get recognition for being the second person to finish. So bratty I know. It just may never happen again so I wanted to live it up. So announcing top three overall would be cool. 

Shirt: Adidas from TJ Maxx, skirt: Lululemon, socks: Proud Runner, shoes: New Balance 890, bracelet: made at the event, sweatband on my arm: leftover freebie from Mercedes Kids' Marathon, watch: Garmin 210, poison ivy behind my back (you can't see it, but trust me, it's there): free to everyone who is allergic, especially my husband and daughter. Don't worry, I'm in the killing (of poison ivy) process.

Just a note on the running. My mile splits were 6:48, 7:12, 7:07. I started out trying to keep up with the girl in front of me, and that was stupid. I thought I would sprint the last mile, but it came out as more of a hang on. Either way, I'm super happy with the results. You know what this means, right?! It means that I officially give myself approval to train for Boston qualifying. With this race, McMillan told me that I could run just over a 3:30 marathon. McMillan is like the running Magic 8 Ball. If you don't like what it says the first time, just keep shaking it up until you get an answer you want.

Edit: here are the official results if you are looking for those too!