First year of participating in the Virginia is for Lovers 14K. It was really nice to race on a different course. I have now run and can say that I love all of the J&A Racing sponsored races, and stepping away from the boardwalk was a nice change.
Here is our 14k group just before heading out to the corrals
We did not plan the wardrobe match I swear, but we looked like a team smiling and ready to go.
It was really nice that we were able to wait inside the convention center with our families in the warmth prior to our race start. My 10 year old was especially grateful.
Yes it was quite a chilly start but it warmed up quickly and the sun was shinning brightly. We still had a few icy spots which looked like affected the 5k’ers harder than us. I’m sure quite a few of them switch sport for a few seconds sans skates. One area while entering the Amphitheater about took me out for which a loud “whoa” escaped. But with as much grace as I could munster I righted myself avoiding contact with the ground and proceeded to the “hill”.
The path to the Amphitheater was very muddy but the softer terrain during a race was an unexpected delight. Also not having to navigate my way through “group walls” was very nice as this was a smaller race. I could just enjoy my run for which I did not push and kept it steady. Whatever time I finished in would be a PR for a 14K so I had no virtual little shady guy to race against. The only mantra I had to repeat, especially toward the end, was ‘just keep moving’.
I crossed the line basically by myself and smiled hard as I heard my name called. It is always a great feeling and you know for a fact you’ve made it once the announcer very cheerfully proclaims your finish. I give that guy credit. He does that for hours and I have never heard him sound bored. That just proves those J&A folks love what they do and it shows.
So after crossing the line our 5K group runner had a beer on hand and ready for me. That was a nice change. I am usually the first of our group to cross and would have the beer in hand to pass to my sister after she crossed that line.
It was a great race and a fun day for us all. I cannot wait to do it again next year. Oh and this is race #1 on my way to a cooler. After running J&A races for five years, this will be my first attempt to tackle them all in a single calendar year. Gives me something to look forward to. It’s a small thing but to a runner it means a lot.