There’s nothing better than a finish line
In 2010 when I was new to running, I ran this race with my son Ethan who was 12 at the time. Ethan was feeling ill and had to walk a little bit still ended up under 30 minutes. We never ran it again. Every January I commented on the iconic race and he said “no way Mom! That was one of my worst races.”
Fast forward 8 years, and since I’m chasing the Jax Grand Prix top 3 spots for my age group and unable to run St Paddy’s Day or Wine and Chocolate 5k(2 of the 10 Spring Races), well time to let bygones be bygones. I signed up as part of the JTC race team.
Unlike 2010, there was no race packet pick up at 1st Place Sports, so because I remember how jam packed it was , we headed out to get to St Augustine before 7:30. My better half went with me to keep me company, and we found free parking on Ponce Deleon Blvd easily. I was surprised. The weather was perfect. Overcast and cool. We walked to St Francis Field and the Ketterlinus Gym for packet pick up. Small race expo but quality long sleeve t-shirt. Where are the crowds? I remember a lot more runners (I checked past results and noticed the finishers were over 1600 in 2010 and half of that number in 2018)! Time to line up!
8:00 a m start. Boom! We’re off.
Down West Castillo Dr to San Marco Ave and past the beautiful Castillo de San Marco and the bay front. The city was just waking up, so very few spectators but beautiful views of America’s oldest city! We ran past the Bridge of Lions to Lincolnville and past Flagler College. 1st mile I was flying at 8:13 pace and trying to keep up with two of my JTC teammates. Yeah…nope! Mile 2…17:04, Not too shabby. And the good news, no cobblestone streets. If you know anything about me, I am a perpetual klutz, so I was worried. All good-the streets were my friend today. Then around the corner and I finished in front of the parking garage at St Francis Field. PR from my other race by 4 minutes! Yes!! Not a 5k PR but still happy-8th in my age group. No medal, but smoothie king for runners along with other Recovery treats.
I can’t say enough about the quality long sleeve cotton shirt. Nothing like relaxing after a long run, marathon, or Triathlon in a comfortable shirt. I wish more winter races opted for these type of race shirts.
38 years of running strong! It’s a RRCA certified race and usually you see some fast athletes. Today was no exception. We had some Hanson Brooks Race Team members racing with 5k time of 14:00! Now that is fast!
Race course was gorgeous. And flat, so the course is designed for fast times. Too many runners and the roads can become a little congested, but today was perfect. I had room to move and not dodge. The course was also well marked with mile markers and timing clocks.
Expo was small but plenty of massage tables for runners to recover their sore muscles.
Runner’s village was nicely stocked for finishers. I love smoothies at the end!
Packet pickup for out of towners was a bit of a hassle. I was worried about race day pick up and if the race grows to it’s 2010 proportions, it could be a headache. I would love 1st Place Sports Baymeadows to be an option again.
No medal? Maybe that’s why it’s shrunk by half. Just saying. I don’t care one way or the other but some runners love the bling.
Thank you ACRR! It was a blast!
I definitely will be back and possibly bring a friend or two. A great tune up race for the Donna 10k and 5k coming in February.
Remember it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey,