1. Packet Pick Up: The race didn't start until 10:30, so it was a much more relaxed race morning than usual. There was plenty of parking on the ODU campus just a short walk away from the race start and we were excited to get to tour the campus a little bit since neither of us had ever really spent much time there. We walked right up to the packet pick up and got our bibs and race shirts that were in a reusable bag (my favorite grocery bags!). They also had packet pick up the night before, but since neither us of could conveniently get there, it was nice that we could get our stuff the morning of the race. We had plenty of time before the race, so we walked around to see what the post race party would offer and put our bags back in the car so we wouldn't have to worry about bag check.
2. The Course: I have been in a weird running place since Shamrock. I just haven't been quite as motivated and running has been down right HARD. For some unknown reason, I figured that running at a race would be better than my normal runs and decided to set the virtual pacer on my Garmin so that I could finally PR. Part of me is glad I did this, but part of me wishes I would have just run to run so I could enjoy the course a little more. It was the warmest day we have had since winter, and I immediately wished I wore a tank top instead of my short sleeve shirt. The course was really neat and wound through neighborhood roads and the ODU campus. There were a ton of cheer squads (I think they were different sports teams and student groups). I really liked running on one of the practice fields! There wasn't a whole lot of shade and I was a big ol' baby and was really wanting to just walk. When we got to the mile 2 marker I was convinced that we weren't getting a water stop (I don't know why because J&A always takes care of their runners. Probably should have looked at the course map haha!). We rounded a bend and I saw a table and got really excited and then got really sad. They were donut holes in the cup! Normally this would be awesome, but I wanted water so bad that I completely skipped the donuts and went right to the next table that thankfully had water. Soon after we passed the mile 3 marker and were headed to the finish line that was on the football field. It was really cool running down the field. As I crossed the finish line I heard my Garmin make the noise saying I got a new record and did a mini happy dance. I finally got a sub 27 5k time!
|Suns out guns out, right?|
3. The Post Race Party: After I crossed the finish line I was given a bag of pretzels, a bottle of water, (I skipped the banana!) my medal and a cup. The finish area was pretty large so I was able to stand off to the side to wait for my best friend to finish the race. I wasn't feeling super great at the end of the race, so I drank my bottle of water and ate some pretzels. When my best friend crossed the line we went over to ring the PR bell. It was in a weird spot that was kind of crowded, but I think they just were trying to find a place where it was easily found at the end of the race and they had the professional photographer taking pictures by it. I think a lot of people were unsure of what it was though because a lot of people were just hanging out by it and we had to strategically aim the camera so we didn't have strangers in our pictures! I skipped the beer at the race (not a fan of Corona or Modelo) but was excited to get my fro yo. They had mini cones of chocolate and cake batter and it hit the spot! I got my pizza soon after and we just enjoyed the tailgate atmosphere for the afternoon. There was a band playing, corn hole, and other games. We ended up staying long enough to get a little bit of a sunburn. Oops! The post race party area was HUGE so we never felt too crowded and it was great just being able to hang out and enjoy the party without dodging lots of runners.
4. The Swag: I thought both the shirt and medal were really cool! And can you ever have too many cups?
|Sorry for this picture.|
My phone only takes selfies so this is actually a
really good picture if you think about it.
5. Other Thoughts: I wasn't really sure what to expect from this race, but I really liked it! Out of the J&A races I've done, I think this one would be the best family friendly one. There was a 1k for the kids before our race and lots of room for the kiddos to hang out. I think there were a lot of people who hadn't ever run in races before because I felt like race etiquette was lacking from a lot of runners. I tried to just roll with it because it was a different kind of event than usual. (There was a charity football game and an ODU football game after the race, so they really made a whole day of it!) It can be frustrating though when you're trying to go and people stop without warning right in front of you. I really did have a great time though and would definitely run in this race again!
Did you guys run in the ODU Big Blue 5k? What did you think? Have a great weekend!
**Disclaimer: I'm a J&A Ambassador and was given a race entry to this race. All opinions are my own. (I wouldn't have driven over 3 hours to run this race if I didn't truly love J&A).