I know some of you have seen some of the photos on Facebook so please bear with me.
IF you read my last blog then you know this 10K is most special to me. I'm running with my Dunedin Running Club teammate, Jen. Her husband & 2 sons were doing the 5K. She had her Wonder Woman gear on decided to do the 10K.
Pop Quiz! Which one is Jen? (Also a former Hooters Girl!)
As soon as D (She did the 5K) & I got there, Jen & Rob were right there waiting for us. I had to relax this girl as I know she was nervous! Close by, I saw the rest of our Run Club representin'! So....
Group shot with Hooters' Mascot, Hootie!
I ran around getting the traditional race site shots...
The Budweiser Challenge!
Kill the 8 kegs POST-RACE!
The Taps were worked by the Krewe of Alegria.
An all-woman Krewe, they will receive all race proceeds towards the Alegria's Kickin' for Kids program. Alegria’s Kickin’ for Kids has provided shoes and assistance not only for individual families but for other not-for-profit charitable organizations in our community. Recipients of new shoes have been Hope Children’s Home, The Salesian Boys and Girls Club, Metropolitan Ministries, Cornerstone Kids, Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch, Hillsborough County Public Schools and others.
Team ARC, the hardest work team always insuring a fun event!
ARC always gives props to the Racewalkers and even provides a VIP tent for them!
Chris Carbo, ARC Principal, and good friend, calling the runners to the starting line!
Minutes before the sound of the starting air horn!
Jen & I went to the rear of the pack. I wanted to insure our initial pace would be slow and steady. I went over our plan and told Jen we would look so good at the finish line.
The horn sounded and we were on our way.
At about the 1 1/2 mile, we came to the first water station. I told Jen we would hit every one even if we took one sip of WATER and threw the rest in our faces! I asked for G Series and she followed suit. I wanted to insure we did everything right.
At about the two mile mark, I was all over the pace exactly where I wanted us. I kept talking to Jen about her great posture, how it helps oxygen intake, and it showed in her breathing rhythm.
Shortly after, Jen pointed out two runners who had already made the designated U-Turn and were at least a quarter mile ahead. Both were running with hands on their hips. I told her that in football, it's a sign of fatigue and remember that.
We actually had a few inclines where I advised her on how to take them safely with steady small steps and great posture. She knew I had injured myself at "the bridge!"
Jen was doing really well. That made me even more strict on myself to focus on getting us home!
As we hit the 3 mile marker, she told me she felt good but wanted to take a walk break. I told her to take as much time as she needed. ( I knew she wouldn't abuse that break.) 30 seconds later and we were off again. I stepped the pace up for the next mile.
Soon, I told Jen to look who's in front of us...the"hands on hips" runners. "Let's pass them now!" With just a short burst, they "disappeared from our line of sight!".
At mile four, we did another water stop. Jen & I toasted a cup of G2 and we did a 30 sec quick walk!
I knew we had a nice straightaway so I picked up the pace slightly, got a thumbs up from her, and we just kept moving. I saw someone I recognized about 50 yards in front of us!
(I measure everything by football field distances!)
I decided he would be the target before the finish. I stepped it up slowly, and by mile 5, we was in striking distance. I assumed his pace and we cruised for about 3/4 of a mile. I looked at Jen. She started talking her legs into doing the race, "You can do this!" That's when I looked at her and said, "Jen! We own this! Get ready for the glory. We're passing this guy in front of us, sprinting to the finish line, and smiling the whole way in for the cameras!" She laughed, I knew she was just fine, and we rocked it!
**FYI, D was at the finish and took these great shots!**
Our chip times were 1/100 of a second difference!
When Jen & I saw the next two photos, we laughed our tails off...
Remember the hands on hips girls?
Yeah, we left it all out there on the course!
Synchronized Chip Removal!
We're so proud!
I'm so proud of Jen. I loved her spirit, and I'm so happy I embraced the opportunity to run with her. I can't say enough about how good I feel for her performance!
Oh, we clocked a better time than I did at last Saturday's 10K! She did a PR and I did a PB. I figured we would do good as "the bridge" was nowhere to be found on this course!
So, we all hit the Michelob Ultra for a while, hung out with the masses for the post-race party, awards, & raffle...
THEN, we all scrambled to get brunch, shower, change, and head out to...
Raymond James Stadium for the Saints-Buccaneers Game!
We tailgated, partied, shared race moments, withstood a rain delay, and loved life! What a fantastic day with a fantastic group of friends! Yeah, this is how we roll in Paradise!
As always, thanks to everyone for taking the time to read my blog. Just be thankful, I'm not talking your ear off in real time! I've been told I'm an "excitable boy!"