I am always up for checking out new races and of course unique distances, so when I heard about the Westside 8K/5K happening, I knew that I needed to be a part of this. Opening in September of 2017, a good portion of the 8K (and a slight portion of the 5K) were held on the Westside Trail.
The race started at the West End neighborhood of Atlanta. Parking was at Lee + White Development which provided a great space for parking and was also conveniently located to MARTA for those wishing to use mass transit.
There was a fairly major wreck on the interstate just less than two miles from the exit for the race that backed Momma K and I up a good bit. This is exactly why we always leave for races early and plan ahead for traffic issues. The delay wasn't too bad, but it was a little stressful for sure. Despite being at a near standstill for about 10-15 minutes, we got to the race with plenty of time to spare. We got our bibs and used the restroom with still about 30 minutes before the race start. I am glad we got there fairly early still because the line for bibs got long fast and wasn't moving quickly.
About 10 minutes before start time we were able to head down to the road for the start. I was running the 8K and Momma K was running the 5K. Since both races started together, we were able to head down to the start together.
The first 1.5 miles of the course kept the 5K and 8K runners together until the water station on the Westside Trail where 5Kers turned left and 8Kers went right. The additional 3 kilometers for the 8K was spent on the Westside Trail doing an out and back to Washington Park before rejoining the 5K for the final mile and a half.
As I rejoined the 5K, I ran into a bit of congestion in parts that had narrow stretches of road or trail with multiple people across which meant some serious bobbing and weaving in the final stretch. I didn't get too aggravated and just kept running my race because I was on a decent pace and didn't want to mental bomb with this little left to run.
I crossed the finish line just about 30 seconds or slower than my goal. I always tend to slow down my pace in the hot and humid summer months but I was still aiming for a pace around my 10K pace which I did. After finishing I cheered on Momma K and my sweet friend, Michelle, from high school.
Since it has been quite a few years since I ran an 8K last, I smashed my PR! Hey, a PR is a PR, so I will take it.
There was a pretty good sized post race party with a number of different vendors along with some light refreshments, however the big party was happening inside of Monday Night Garage! I have not yet had the change to check out Monday Night Garage, and WOW! It was so spacious inside and had different areas to enjoy your complimentary post-race beer (for those 21+) or orange juice. There is a great space for kids to play and the theming throughout was amazing. The awards were held in here which was perfect because everyone could relax and unwind in the air conditioning and celebrate their accomplishments.
My favorite part about the post-race party? Getting to be one of the first ones to check out Big Peach on Wheels which made its race day debut today. What is that exactly? Well, it is basically a "food truck" but of all things running. Granted they can't bring every single item from the store with them, but they have a variety of shoes, apparel, socks, goodr sunglasses, and other running accessories. I scored a new pair of goodrs in a color that I had been having a hard time hunting down, so it was a win-win for me!
I am so glad that I was able to run the Westside 8K today. I was able to check out a different part of town and the newest stretch of the Atlanta Beltline, met up with some friends, and had a good run. Even though it is a little bit of a haul from home, I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the Westside 8K in 2019.
I love to run and most importantly I love to have FUN while I run....I am the "Funner Runner"
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