The 20 year anniversary of the Idlewild Park 5k was on Memorial Day. This was my first time running this race. I heard that it was a fun race that took you through the part, but I also heard that it was more parking lot than park. The race was presented by Gingerbread Man Running Company. This was their first time hosting this race. My husband volunteered to help mark the course, so he was there at 5:00 a.m. to mark the ground with white arrows and tape off the course. I may be a little biased, but I think it was marked well!!
The start line was on the road going into the park.
We gathered at the start, and waited for the race director (her first event) to send us off. A man dressed in a Civil War themed attire lit a canon in place of the "gun" which was pretty cool.
My daughter Emma decided to run the 5k too. She ran with my husband, who had just gotten back from marking the course not long before the race started. He didn't even have time to change his pants, so he improvised and rolled them up. Once we started, I knew I wasn't going to be able to maintain my pace for very long. I was short of breath. I was not able to get a full breath the entire race. I knew something wasn't right. (2 days later I found out I had walking pneumonia)
With the heavy breathing aside, we headed down Castle Drive, which had a little bit of a hill to it, then into the employee and guest parking lots.
We entered the park at Old Idlewild, ran past Soak Zone, over the slick bridge (since it had poured down rain the night before) into Raccoon Lagoon, and then a small piece back in the main parking lot. Then it was past Hootin' Hollar and finishing outside of Storybook Forest.
(Abe Lincoln looks on as racers cross the finish line.)
I made it to the finish and had to lean against a tree to catch my breath. This was the first time I wanted to quit, but I didn't.
Awards were handed out, even to the kids who ran the 5k. The top 3 in each age group in walking and running received a medal. It was fun to watch and be a part of. I'm glad this race continues and that Gingerbread decided to host it.
This was a fun race to run, especially with family and friends. For this being Sarah's first race as race director, I thought she did a really great job. I'm sure I'll do it again next year. And with a 4th place finish in my age group, so I'm hopeful that I'll do better next year.
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