Last year, I served as the Event Chair for the first ever Run for Mercy 5K. I didn't run the actual event, so I was excited that this year I would be doing so. This event benefits Mercy Ministries.
I've been helping to plan this race for months, and I lost a bit of sleep the past week or so as I thought through all the final details leading up to the big day. I was up at 5am on Saturday to head to the park to get things rolling.
My friend Paige rode with me since she was volunteering and running, and we were totally glad to be together. The park we held the event in is right on the river, and the fog Saturday morning was crazy. It definitely felt like Halloween! Meanwhile, my sweet friend and coworker Whitney was working to get the van with ALL of the race stuff defrosted and to the park. (Of course, the first frost took place the night before our event.)
We met up with the rest of the committee of volunteers who helped plan the race and got busy setting everything up. Registration. Vendors. The course markers. And so on. Before long, the runners started showing up.
Registration went SO smoothly. As in, there was never a back up in the lines. We definitely nailed that this year as far as I'm concerned.
We had a lot of fun things like inflatables and face painting for the kids, and Maggie from Maggie Moo's came out (as well as Ozzie from the Nashville Sounds).
Whit and I recruited our daddies to come out and help as well. We couldn't have done it without them!
My little sister also came out to run (and of course beat me since she's way faster than me at short distances... although she only beat me by 15 seconds this time!)
Most of my team of friends... unfortunately I couldn't find about four of them for our group picture. I have the most amazing friends in the world, and I'm so thankful for their support they show me and an organization I believe in.
Before long, it was time to start the race. I started out at the front of the pack. I love this picture because like five people on my team are in it with me.
Nearing the end and still feeling good even though I was running way faster than I thought I was capable of doing. Ultimately, I finished in 23:36... a full minute and four seconds faster than my previous PR. I was thrilled!
After helping to give out awards and the big prizes, we cleaned up and left the park. It's crazy how quickly the event goes by, especially when you consider that we planned it for months!
Some of my friends and I grabbed some sushi after the event and enjoyed some more time together.
My team won the Team Spirit award (we were SO decked out in pink!) - the award was a yummy pie that we enjoyed at lunch!