While tailgating one rainy October morning, Becky had mentioned the idea of going to Birmingham to run the Mercedes-Benz 1/2 Weekend. Of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to run and earn some pretty awesome bling (hint: the medal is themed just as you think it would be). This race has been on my list of races to run for a few years, however due to other commitments I have not yet been able to run it. When I saw that my schedule was clear that weekend I was instantly in for it!
As things tend to happen in my life, Becky and I noticed that the 5K was on Saturday morning followed by the 1/2 Marathon and Marathon on Sunday. Ummm, hello, the theme of the 5K is superhero themed - of course we had to run this! We then decided to drive over super early on Saturday morning to run the 5K before checking into our hotel for the day. In true spirit of our pizza lovin' ways, we decided to rock our #TeamNinjaTurtle gear!
Becky and I headed out to the start line area about 15 minutes before the race started and got lined up and ready to go! There were a little over 1000 runners present and it was a self-seeded corral with clear markings of estimated pace. I didn't quite know how I was going to run since I had been up since 4:00am and just rode in the car for 2 1/2 hours, so I seeded myself a little slower than normal.
About a mile in you entered Railroad Park in the Regions Field area of Birmingham. It was such a cute little area for sure that was a nice paved "trail" in a green-space downtown. As we rounded Regions Field at about the half way point, there was a water with plenty of energetic volunteers on hand to cheer you on as they kept you hydrated.
As I hit mile 2, I made the mistake of looking at my watch....I was flying and on pace to smash my PR. As I made one of the final turns just past the mile 2 marker, I spent the next mile running into some nasty wind. I would have given about anything to have that against my back at this point, but it wasn't happening. My final mile a slightly slower than the previous 2, but I still managed to cross with a new PR!
After crossing the finish line, you received your medal and went through a secure 'runners only' area where there were post-race snacks available such as fruit, water, and PowerADE. I love races that do this because there have been times were I have ran a race and spectators have taken a lot of the snacks before all the runners have finished.