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I guess I can recap this–I didn’t race but I was at there all morning as my husband and some friends ran the 5k, my 4 year old ran the kids’ dash and I ran the 1-mile with my 6 year old.

I’ve said before, I love this race. Such a fun vibe and so good for families. The first time I ran it it was in downtown Oakhurst and the vibe was much… funkier, I think only because everything was squished together and it really felt like a community event. The second time, it was in Candler Park, it was freezing cold and pouring—and I do mean pouring–down rain, and I’m sure it was smaller because lots of people (including me) just didn’t even bring their kids out in the weather. BUT there were biscuits and cranberry apple butter from The Flying Biscuit AND an at-that-time PR so hey, it was a great race in my book. Riiiiight?

The 5K

This year’s race was held at Coan Park, and I think it was great in every way except that the area with all the ‘stuff’ was so far from the start and finish lines. When all was said and done, we didn’t even bother walking back to hear if we’d won any of the many door prizes because it was just so far away (in reality, it was only across a small field, but with all the kids and the activities of the morning, it was just too much to ask). I ran TO the race from the house since I was on kid duty while my husband ran the 5k. I managed to beat my family there and got our bibs. Lots of great freebies and samples at the registration area. It was a small race, so getting bibs and the coveted Pete the Cat shirt was easy. Met up with the father of a friend of my daughter’s–he was running the 5k and I’d offered to watch his kid, too. Found my family and got husband bibbed up and off to the start. The kids played with some sidewalk chalk while I drank my chocolate milk and got all organized from the kid hand-off. Then we headed to the finish area to wait for the fasties to come in.

The first-place finisher blew past us and–no joke–was probably two minutes ahead of anyone else. Yow! Go you, dude! The dad of the girl I was watching was the next of the runners I knew to finish. Next up my faithful marathon training partner Katie came down the path. We were with her husband and cheered her on like mad. She got a modern-day PR and helped pace a 12 year old girl to her own PR and age group win. THAT’S my friend Katie. Then my husband, who PR’d by a good 4 minutes over the last 5k he ran–and on what was apparently a pretty hilly route. He’s a yo-yo runner and I love to see him doing well AND enjoying it. Marla bettered her time from her recent first 5k, so everyone I knew had a great race, with a group of very cute cheerleaders to high-five them at the end!

The One-Mile Race

We waited for the 5k to wrap up so they could start the one-mile race. I had an experience with this that will end up being an entire blog post on how to race, and how not to race, with little kids. The end result of this run with my daughter was absolutely fantastic, but the other .8 miles was pretty rotten.There were tears. There were teachable moments. And at the end of the day, she says she had fun and wants to do it again. I’ll take some of those lessons to my own running and I’ll remember the last dash to the finish and the look on her face. The rest, I will talk about in that blog post. Wait for it…wait for it…

In the meantime, enjoy this look of glee on a young runners face, and notice the crowd support she’s getting. Isn’t that how running should be?

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Next up:

The Kiddie Dash

Standard kiddie dash. Plenty of room for the kids to move and for the parents to watch without being in each others way. They did under 5’s first, then over 5’s. I think probably doing 3 & under, 4-5, and 6 and up would’ve been a little more efficient, but the kids weren’t complaining. All the kids got a laminated ‘medal’ on a ribbon, with the Pete the Cat design. Both the smaller races went off late, so by the time they were over I was pretty done (but I’m sure that’s partly from getting up at 5:30 to do the 8+ miles to the race). It was time to eat.

The After Party

We were a stone’s throw from Ria’s Bluebird, which I’ve wanted to try since I moved to Atlanta in 2000. For some reason we’ve never made it there before, but since we had two families with us who were new to Atlanta it seemed the time had come. It was a great experience–very little wait time (about 30 minutes), considering that we had 10 people and it was 10:30 AM on an incredibly gorgeous Saturday morning. I loved it. I just loved it. Great atmosphere and great food. Great friends. Really, it was a perfect morning. There are generally one or two glorious spring weekends that we get to experience in Atlanta, where everything is just *right.* I’m so glad I got to spend this one with my family and friends.

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My dish: Huevos. I’m a sucker for salsa verde and this was an awesome post-run breakfast.

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What Katie’s husband got: Cajun Eggs Benedict. Doesn’t it look divine?

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What my PR-a-rific husband got: “The World’s Best Pancakes,” according to the New York Times. They were pretty tasty!

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