There were probably around 150 runners if I had to guess between the distances of 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon and the line to pickup bibs was super fast and easy. When they gave me my bib, I quickly noticed my number...97. Today is my 97th half marathon. Call me silly, but this is a sign that I was meant to be here and that the cold will not stop me today.
I had just enough time to use the restroom, snap a pre-race pic, throw on ALL THE LAYERS, and head to the start area for our pre-race meeting for race instructions about 10 minutes before start time.
I made my first two loops of the west loop and really enjoyed the views. The furthest end at the river's edge was absolutely gorgeous when the sun was rising. I was surprised at how well I was actually adjusting and warming up to the temperature. Don't get me wrong, I was cold, but I didn't feel as bitter cold as I thought I would.
While the central aid station/start-finish line area was the main cheer station, the race directors made sure that we felt the love along the way with motivational notes, snarky little comments reminding us that it is cold, and even notes to point out points of interest such as the river and artwork. All of the love along the way kept me smiling and laughing along the way for sure, so thank you.
It are things like this that show what races are made of. It isn't about the biggest medals or the fanciest courses. It is carrying about your runners and the community. This is why this will not by my last race with Run Awesomesauce and why I will definitely be returning back to their running series again soon.