Belleair Sunset 5K Recap

February 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm

[note: if you came here looking for Secret Society stuff, scroll down…it’s at the bottom after the recap]

Yesterday afternoon the whole family headed to Belleair, a small nearby town, to run the Belleair Sunset 5K.

Belleair 5K course

We got there plenty early and grabbed a great parking spot right next to the park where the after-party was going to be held.

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We all walked up to the Town Hall where they were having race packet pick-up. I really love small, local races. They are so low-stress…no big lines, everybody is friendly. It’s fun to discover local parks and communities that otherwise we may rarely or never visit even though they are so close by.

We picked up our numbers and race shirts. They had beautiful long-sleeved tech shirts, even in youth sizes!

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Since we had arrived so early (always a good idea, in my opinion), we walked back down to the park and the boys played on the playground for a little while.

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I wore the old IRunMommies skirt and the visor to represent.

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I’m so grateful to have a husband and family who support this hobby and value an active lifestyle as much as I do.

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As the start time neared we walked back down to street (like two blocks) to the Town Hall which was right in front of the starting line.

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Another good reason to wear the uniform (or at least part of it)…one of the Belleair/Indian Rocks Beach IRunMommies recognized me and introduced herself. It was great to meet you Jenny!

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We were almost wearing the same shirt. She and her husband were running the 5K with their two little boys in a double stroller. Go IRunMommies! Just wait Jenny…they’ll be running the 5K on their own before you know it.

Everyone began to crowd towards the start…

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Chad’s instructions to the boys were that they were to stay behind me and let me pace them.

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Their usual racing strategy is to run as fast as they can, which usually lasts for about 100 yards, then walk….then run as fast as possible again, walk, etc. Chad wanted them to keep my (slow) pace and see how far they could go without walking. He actually had some sort of fantasy that they could run the whole 5K. I was guessing they’d be begging to walk by a half mile. Who do you think was right?

We made it .42 miles before the first walk break.

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The course was beautiful. We ran/walked past some gorgeous houses and the Belleair Country Club golf course.

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Chad revised his earlier instructions and said that when we were walking, he was to lead the way. He walks faster than me.

I loved when we passed this display that one of the residents had set up…all the past years’ race shirts!

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At the end of the golf course we came to the waterfront.

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The weather could not have been more perfect. It was just beautiful.

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Jenny told me that this part of the course is also part of the Iron Girl Half Marathon course. Can’t wait to run it again in April!

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Just past the one-mile marker was the hydration station. The boys just love throwing those cups.

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The homes along the waterfront were amazing.

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The mile two marker was just after an out-and-back turn-around and Mack was very gratified to see that there were many runners/walkers behind us. He has a very hard time not being competitive.

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You could tell that the community was very proud of this event. I loved the intimate local feel of it.

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As we came back around to the golf course again, I told the boys that we were in the home stretch. Only half a mile to go.

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When we hit 2.8 miles I told them that we were going to dig deep and run the last .3 with no walking. They were struggling, but they hung in there. I knew that just past the last turn was the finish line, so I told them that as soon as they could see the finish line they could go all out and run as fast as they wanted. Mack bolted…he is that tiny royal blue dot far ahead. Cal also picked it up at the end.

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All my finish line photos were blurry, but that gray blur below is Cal coming into the finish.

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We finished in about 41 minutes (we crossed the start about 30 seconds after the clock started), and I’m sure that is our fastest family 5K yet. This was our third 5K as a family. The first was the St. Pete Times Turkey Trot 2011, and the second was the Boley Center Jingle Bell Run 2011. I was so proud of all my boys!

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Time to celebrate! This was the best race after-party that I’ve ever participated in.

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“Free” beer and wine, including Shock Top, Amber Bock and Michelob Ultra.

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Snow cones (not free, but still awesome) for the kids!

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All the food, which was included with the race entry, was great. Chips, popcorn, bananas, pasta bar, wings and fries (best wings I’ve ever had), hot dogs…

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funnel cakes…

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and an incredible dessert bar.

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This is maybe 1/2 of the total dessert bar, and all the desserts were home made!

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There was live music and vendors, and everyone seemed to be having a really good time.

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I would highly recommend this race. I overheard one of the organizers say they had over 800 runners! Not too shabby, in my opinion, for the little community of Belleair to bring out more than 10% of the volume that Competitor’s Group was able to assemble for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half.

We headed home, all feeling great about the event. I took the boys home, cleaned up a bit and changed clothes, and then went to my Secret Society meeting.

We had a pretty low turn-out for this conclave, so we kept it low-key, but classy.

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I wore my comfy pants. It had been a long day.

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We didn’t observe many of the usual rituals, since the mystical rites require at least eight participants. We did, however, perform a few ceremonial practices.

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I can not divulge the meanings of these manual signs, and I am perhaps revealing too much by even showing them here, but what the hell.

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That’s all I have to say about that.

Now I shall sift through over 300 photos from the Turtle Hurdle obstacle course/mud run that the boys did this morning and attempt to get that written up for the blog. It was epic!