Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Race Review: Run Wild for Autism 5K

A pre-race shot
A few weeks ago my Auntie Marie told my sisters and I about the team that our Auntie Lowella was putting together for the Run Wild for Autism 5k, in honor of her son, Alex. Oh, by the way these Aunties (as seen in the photo above in the top right and bottom, respectively) are actually my great-aunts to all you non-Filipinos and they're like my age, so calling them "Auntie" has always been a little funny to me.

We woke up bright and early to make the drive up to Baltimore. Because we didn't pick up our race packets beforehand, we had to get there early to pick them up onsite. The vibe was nice, as it wasn't one of those huge corporate organized races. You can tell it was locally supported and organized because even the Maryland State Troopers were running the 5k showing their support! We got there sooner than expected, but enjoyed the beautiful scenery around us. The start location was outside of the Maryland Zoo and unfortunately we didn't run through the zoo.  The landscape that we did run through was gorgeous nonetheless. There was a 1k walk/fun run option as well as the 5k (each started at a slightly different location). When we were called to start, I put in my headphones, turned on my Runkeeper (they didn't have timing chips, but I think they were manually tracking the time) and I was on my way.

The race took place in Druid Hill Park, which was pretty hilly. The course didn't have super steep hills, like here, but they were the gradual hills that kick your butt! You don't realize why you're calves have been burning until it's too late! We started off the first mile or so in a wooded area which provided some much needed shade as I was starting to get really hot!

The second mile of the race took us around Druid Lake, at which point the sun was blazing! The run around Druid Lake also offered some really great views of Baltimore City. I wanted to stop to take a picture, but I wanted to stay on the task at hand! By this point, I had lost my sisters, but I maintained my pace because Jill usually sneaks up on me at the finish. I would later learn that Jill's too small shoes would be her downfall. I finally beat her! Woohoo! Although she was handicapped!

The last mile brought us back to the woods (and back to the shade!), and the finish line was almost in sight; however, we had to go up one last hill! Ack! I ran up the hill and made it around the corner to the finish line and I made it under 40 minutes (which was my goal)!

I met up with the family after the race as we gathered some water, juice boxes, fruit, and granola bars as post-race snacks. There was a table that was offering free informational and children's autism  books, which I thought was great! Jill was going to give her books to her friend that works with an autistic child. What a great idea, pass it on!

Overall, I would say it was a terrific race that helped me prepare for the Army 10-miler that I am doing next month. Good times with family for a great cause!

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