My favorite time of year, Halloween, brings about one of my favorite runs-The Evergreen Pumpkin Run. When I began running (2008-09), I signed up for this race with Ethan. I was intrigued because of the location, the Evergreen Cemetery, and because at the end of the race you get to pick up a free pumpkin to take home. I love history! After all I am a history major, so I find it interesting that this is one of the oldest cemeteries in Jacksonville. It’s in historic Springfield with turn of the Century homes, and I love things about Old Jacksonville. I could walk around all day exploring tombstones and wondering what these people’s lives were like. I know, my family makes fun of me too. Anyway back to the race, there is a 5k option and a 10 miler. After running the 5k one or two years in a row, I decided to try the 10 miles. And fell in love with the race.
People dress in costumes, so don’t be surprised to see a T-Rex, a zombie, Forrest Gump, or a headless horseman. I dressed up like a cat one year. That was for the 5k. Some people wear their costumes for the full 10-yikes! At the end of the race there is a costume contest.
The 5k was sold out this year. Two years ago, medals started to be handed out, and runners love bling. The bigger, the better. Go figure. I usually covet the race shirt. One reason I love the Atlanta Peachtree 10k on July 4th. This year’s medal did not disappoint.
Because the race has gotten so big, there are now 2 waves. One for runners 10 minutes and faster at 8:00a m, and 8:05 a m for 11:00 minutes + pace. I lined up at the 9:00 pace flag trying to be optimistic (I had run 16 miles the day before). I’m representing JTC race team after all, so I better try for some speed. The race course can be narrow in some places and the pavement is uneven too. Watch your footing. So the race begins.
1st mile is a lie-8:58 per mile! Pumpkins line the race course, and there are hills! Suddenly at 3 miles, I see the race clock-26:10! If only I was running the 5k. Keep going! We make a right, and we’re out of the cemetery and on part of the S-line trail. At 5 miles I see a familiar face-hi Todd! Then loop back to where I see a lot of runner friends and say “hi!” as we pass each other. Fuel at 6 miles and continue on.
One more 3 mile loop, and done! What a great race, it never disappoints. And the best news! I was 6th in my age group, and since it’s part of the Grand Prix series; more points. I’m still working on top 5 this year. If you’re in Jacksonville for the last weekend in October, be sure to check it out!
Remember it’s not about the destination , it’s about the journey,