I was finally able to support Girls On The Run (GOTR) again! I’ve been meaning to forever, but their race dates never seemed to sync up with my schedule. I have done one of their races before, but we didn’t sign up for the actual intent of supporting GOTR. It was when we committed to doing a 5k/month and the GOTR Fall race fit in all of our schedules. I remember it was a cool, foggy morning in East Sac for us!
Also, I’ve interacted with the woman who runs the Greater Sacramento chapter and she’s really sweet — even though she didn’t hire me for a job I really wanted. But to be honest, it was a blessing in disguise, because their division was shut down within three months of the new hire! Whomp, Whomp!
Anywho, they seemed to be a little behind in their planning. We didn’t find out where or when packet-pick up was until Wednesday prior to the race. Thank goodness it was at our local, trusty Fleet Feet on the Friday prior to the race. I was conveniently able to stop by on my lunch and also head home for a quick bite to eat. Annoyingly, I only got four out of the five bibs I needed.
As I drove back to get the fifth bib I saw Firetrucks racing down the
street. There was a fire literally one block away from Fleet Feet. The
swag bag came with Clif Bars, Lara Bars, water bottles, shoe laces,
shampoo, and the shirts.
Another Saturday race! Gotta love these, this one in particular because the gun time wasn’t until 9AM. Probably to accommodate the littles who’d be running this race AND who are the focus of this race. The only distance offered is 5k, which is a long but good distance for the young girls who they are catering too. Sadly, L had been sick all week and I was worried how she’d fare during the race.
Are you aware of what GOTR do for their respective areas and area schools? Their website gives better details, however the idea is that this program allows young girls to train and race in a 5k for free. Thus, hopefully helps young girls build confidence, encourage physical activity, and do good things for their community. I really love what this group stands for and I love to be able to support it and also include J and L, as well.
Since it was our first race as a family, we had to coordinate outfits. I should also say that we invited J’s niece (Lex) and SIL (Caya) to join us as well. They live in the area and J’s niece, Lex, is also part of this demographic. Caya and I had been looking for outfits for us all to wear, but in the end we decided that we’d match, the girls would match, and J would match his shirt color to the girls. We’d all wear black bottoms too. We were going to be a coordinated bunch and I loved it! No tutu’s 😉
Another Saturday race…
I knew I didn’t need to partake in any pre-race rituals, since we’d be mostly walking. 3.1 miles was a lot for the girls to undertake, so we knew we’d be doing our fair share of walking. I still munched on a piece of toast on the way to the race and washed it down with a coffee from the Trade.
We parked at the junior college campus, which is right next to the High School campus, where the race was held. We could have parked in either school’s parking lot, there was plenty of parking for all. As we walked up, there were NO people waiting in the corral.
Since this was for elementary age girls, they had booths for doing their hair and set up a stage to warm the girls up. We snagged some pics at the ‘Start’ since it was empty. L did her first pre-race jump pic at the starting line! Then we met up with the other half of our crew. They had the local high school drum line out there and they performed, then we all followed them to the start line.
Once at the start line, everyone was cramming themselves into the corral. It was really awkward and suffocating, since they essentially moved the entire crowd to the start line at one time. Also, this wasn’t timed like a regular race, no timing chips for finish times.
They started the race and it was chaotic. J had the stroller, pushing is Godson and we stayed with the girls. Everyone was pushing and trying to sprint at the front, so I grabbed Lex’s hand to stay with her and Caya grabbed L’s hand. We were the last ones and it took us awhile to catch up with our group, but we finally did. It wasn’t until way into the first mile, did I realize I needed to start my Garmin.
Eventually, I was able to push the stroller, which I wanted to do to get an extra workout in. The race was really safe for the girls and we essentially went around the big park with a small creek and looped back into the school. The start and finish were the same, just in reverse. A Sac State sorority was out there cheering the girls on in various parts of the race.
The girls were struggling. The hardest part was trying to remind them to stay positive and not sprint when they did decide to run. At on point I carried Lex on my back for awhile to catch up, that was an extra workout in itself. By the time they got to the water station, they were ready to guzzle a bunch of water.
When I had the stroller, I would use the random bridges to veer off course and sprint up and back them. E loved them, he kept yelling for me to push him faster. I also ran into one of my fave Midtown friends, Tara! She’s been coaching for a local elementary school, so I knew she’d be out there. I’m just glad we happened to be near each other at the rally, then saw each other during the race! Of course I snagged a pic with her, sweaty and all! Toward the end, Caya let E out of his stroller and he finished the race on foot and J pushing an empty stroller.
As we crossed the street to the school, we didn’t have much more of the race left. We encouraged the girls to get going and we all finished hand in hand through a huge corral of people cheering. Caya was chasing E behind us and they came through shortly after us.
It was really fun to be walking/running surrounded by so many young girls and their coaches. It was inspiring and I wish all children could experience what GOTR has to offer. The only thing that needs to be changed about this race would be the fact that not ALL of the children participants receive a medal. Only the girls who participate in their respective school’s GOTR program. Lexi and L were really sad they didn’t get a medal, especially when they saw all the other girls wearing and receiving them at the finish.
I looked all around and at the women handing them out, but none of them would make eye contact with me. Which lead me to believe that they were only for their specific teams. As we made our way though the finish shoot and the girls were asking about them, I told them to hang out so I could go investigate. I went up to the DJ to ask, who directed me to someone within the organization. She handed me two ribbons. THAT WAS IT! Ribbons are what other participants got, not all participants, only the ones who went up and ask for their children.
I was super annoyed that the organization wasn’t inclusive of everyone who raced. They should have thought this through, especially when you open your race to the community. These young girls said they understood why they didn’t get medals, but they were definitely sad that they didn’t get one, especially for it being their first race. I was mad, but I couldn’t do anything for them 🙁
We grabbed some snacks — coconut water, water, Clif bars, Luna bars, apples, and oranges — then sat on the curb and hung out. Of course a few post race pics were taken, to commemorate our first family 5k!
|Me slapping Js stomach, since he won’t cooperate with a pic!|
I don’t even have a finish time. I think when I looked at the running clock it was close to 54 minutes. It was killing J and I to be going slow, but we enjoyed the experience. I’m pretty sure both of us had to remind ourselves, multiple times, to enjoy each mile – each moment. You don’t get a ‘first experience’ back. So instead of worrying about our time, we worried about creating a great experience for the girls and E!
We had a crazy busy day ahead of us, so we didn’t hang out for too long. We grabbed all our goodies and our crew and took them home. Our first 5k definitely set the tone for a great weekend!
Do you remember your first 5k?