This morning was the celebration 5k for Girls on the Run of Greater Baton Rouge! After having a blast at the May event, I’ve been excited about this for weeks. Here goes:
Pre-race: Emily and I had preregistered, so we arrived about 30 mins early and picked up our t-shirts and race numbers. We didn’t have to wait in line at all and had no trouble finding the registration tent. The shirts were a fun light blue color. It was pretty cold, so we just pulled them on over our running jackets, ha!
The first thing we noticed was how many more people there were at this event than the one in May! It was exciting to see. After the last race, we both immediately filled out online applications to be running buddies, but hadn’t heard anything about it since. We asked at the volunteer tent, but they said that since we hadn’t been contacted, then they didn’t need us to be running buddies this time. The woman told us that so many of the parents were participating this time that there wasn’t a need for many running buddies. That was certainly a great reason to not be needed!
There was a big stage, exciting music, Zumba dancing, and glitter – all things needed for a girl’s race!!
This lady had the whole crowd dancing! It was a cold morning, so they were all nicely warmed up. Another way to warm up – stand next to the outdoor heaters! Em (who often curses the cold) was very appreciative of the heaters.
They recognized all the coaches, then one of the girls sang the national anthem.
Go time! This race was held at Pennington Research Center grounds, so there was no worry about cars or streets or getting lost at all. The race start was crowded, but there was such excitement that it didn’t really matter.
The girls were so ready! You could just see the confidence and excitement on their faces. It took us a minute or two to actually get through the start. Once we got through, we kept a nice slow pace so that we could talk with the girls and encourage them. It was almost humorous how many of the girls who couldn’t keep their shoes tied! There were at least ten stopped off to the side having their shoes tied. Some of them hadn’t even noticed, so we let them know – falling would sure throw a kink in their racing! There were two water stations with encouraging volunteers, and we walked through the water stops. Something that I really like was that the miles were not obviously marked. I saw the Mile 1, and had an estimate of the other two by feel and time, but no time clocks or big signs. I think that was important for the girls, for them to not worry about how much farther and just have fun.
There were so many people at the finish line. I loved seeing the friends, family, coaches, and teammates of all these girls waiting to cheer them on as they crossed the finish line. My runner (and soon to be graduated and married!) friend Katie was there, and she yelled my name as I ran towards the finish. Every single person that crosses the finish line gets a medal! As soon as we got home, I immediately added mine to my awesome “Believe” medal display.
I support everything that Girls on the Run does for those girls! This was my second race with them, and they are the two most enjoyable races that I have ever done. Showing girls that they can do anything that they put their minds to is something that will stick with them forever. At the end, it isn’t about the race course, but knowing that they had the ability to accomplish something they once thought impossible.
Will I do this race again? YES, YES, and YES!
Would I recommend it to others? YES!
Girls on the Run: “Where the finish line is just the beginning!”