I ran the first two races of the Kennesaw Grand Prix series in May and June along with the Hero Run 5K in September. I had to miss the races in July and September so I was excited to return for the final race in the six race series, the Garden Gallop 5K. Out of all the years that I have been running the races in the Kennesaw Grand Prix series, this is the first year that I have ran the October race. Bonus: it is a few days before Halloween so that gives me a good excuse for some Halloween themed attire!
To be honest, it was a pretty gross morning in Atlanta. With cooler temps rolling in along with wind and light rain, it was a yucky morning for sure. That didn't stop hundreds of runners from showing up and taking on today's 5K.
I ran a solid first mile - actually, my fastest mile ever. Mile two inside of the park was pretty decent with just a slightly slower pace. I typically slow down a little bit inside of the park because the course is pretty narrow at this point as it is paved trail in the park so maneuvering around folks can be kind of tricky.
The final mile has a bit of a long yet very gradual uphill before the final .2 mile of downhill to the finish line - with a fairly strong headwind, I slowed down a bit in that last mile. Just in case you think I always have glorious race photos with a nice smile and wave, I present to you this gem of me being cold, wet, and focused at mile 3.
One of my favorite things about the Kennesaw Grand Prix series is that the mayor of Kennesaw, Derek Easterling, greets you at the finish line with high fives. How cool is that?!?! Mayor Easterling is such a joy to be around and you can tell how passionate he is about the Kennesaw Grand Prix, the running community, and the city of Kennesaw. No matter if you are first or last, you can always count on Mayor Easterling to be at the finish line with a smile and high-five for you.
While this was the final race of this year's series, be sure to keep the Kennesaw Grand Prix on your radar for 2018. Information will come out in a few months, but the series kicks off in May each year. To learn more about the Kennesaw Grand Prix series and register for their upcoming races, be sure to check out their website.