Sunday, September 14, 2014

Be The Match 5k - Race Recap

Yesterday Paul and I ran the Be The Match 5k Walk/Run, which is a national series of races that raise money and awareness for the Be The Match Registry (a list of potential marrow donors). You can learn more about Be The Match here.
It was nice to start the racing season with a short run.  I didn't have to worry about being well trained enough to make it through.  I was able just to enjoy the process of racing.  I was also able to test my speed, which I haven't done in a very long time and that was really fun. I will start by saying this happened (and this never happens!!):
Of course, it was just my luck that they were only giving medals/awards for first place finishers.  I have to admit I was pretty bummed when I realized my second place finish wouldn't be winning me any race bling.
Here are my thoughts on the race:
This race was very small.  My last few races have been very large (thousands and thousands of runners), so it was a bit of a shock to pull up to this 5k and see how small it was (which explains my placement).  That said, sometimes the smaller races are the most important races.  These small races can make a huge difference in the funding of small, lesser known, but still incredibly important foundations.  To be honest with you, I'd never considered the importance of a bone marrow donor list.  I guess I'd always figured if someone I knew needed it, I'd be open to the idea of donating.  Saturday, I realized that I would be open to donating to anyone, whether I know them or not.  My husband and I both added our names to the list.  ***This is where I have to give a shout out to my husband.  He found this race, said it touched him, and signed us up.  He was also the first one to walk up to the registry table and add his name to the list.  I love being married to someone who makes me want to be a better person.***
The weather was pretty crappy.  Never a full downpour, but sprinkling and misty the entire time, which made full out sprinting a little scary, especially since the course was totally on paved parking lots and streets.  At the very end I was racing with another girl for the finish (she was very tall and nothing but legs, so not surprisingly, I lost.) and we were pushing each other pretty hard and I was legitimately terrified I was going to eat it.
Congratulations to my husband who ran crazy fast and placed 19th overall and 4th in his age group!  I love racing with him.  And by "with", I mean waaaaaay behind him.
1.  Awareness - From the registry tent to the numerous speakers, the purpose of the race was very clear.  Often times you can run an entire race and not really be sure what the foundation is you are supporting.  Be The Match was so well represented.  Before and after the race, even in the rain, there were numerous speakers giving testimonials about what the bone marrow donor list meant to them.  Hearing one woman describe have survived cancer because of an anonymous donor was very touching.
2.  The size - I can't lie, it was fun being in the front of the pack!

3.  Options - The race was extremely family friendly, with several options for participating.  There was a 5k timed run, 5k walk, 1k run, and a tot trot for kids.
1.  Post race refreshment - Where was the water?!?!  Please have water available immediately at the finish.  I know 3k isn't that long, but when it's 100% humidity, dehydrating is easy and I don't want to have to walk around to find the waters.  We did eventually find a table full of waters and bananas, but they weren't near the finish line and we had to pass a table of muscle milk before finding it. 

Paul looking really sad because he had to walk around for minutes before finding a post-race water. 
2.  Garbage - This is our personal pet-peeve and it's true for many races.  PLEASE HAVE RECYCLING BINS AVAILABLE.  I can't tell you how disappointing it is to see regular garbage bins filled with plastic bottles.
Overall, it was great to be out racing again and I'm happy we started it with this race.  Getting a nice confidence boost as we head towards bigger and longer races was great. 

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