2016 was a year of firsts with my first 10k and my first injury to sideline me. Yay and boo! Here are the stats of what I accomplished this year:
Miles raced – 61.6 (3 10ks, 2 4 milers and 10 5ks)
Virtual miles raced – 9.3 (3 5ks)
Untimed miles race – 6.2ish (Color Run and Dirty Girl Mud Run)
10k PRs set – 3 (Each race got progressively better – 1:37:19 to 1:30:47 to my current PR 1:27:34 in the Big Peach Sizzler on Labor Day)
4 miler PR set – 53:37 (May the 4th Miler Be You on May 4 at Brook Run Park)
5k PR set – 37:24 (Hot Chocolate on January 24)
Finally getting a sub 40 5k not in a race called Vinings Downhill when the temperature was above 70 degrees – Rise Up and Run 5k on September 10 (also known as the 5k I ran with a metatarsal stress fracture)
Yearly course improvements – All 3 exact course repeats attempted were improved (DeKalb Decatur 4 miler was 2:10 better, Hot Chocolate 5k was 3:46 better and the Vinings Downhill 5k was 1:11 better)
Coldest race – Hot Chocolate 5k (feel like temperature of 15 degrees at the start). I’ve lost my Florida girl card as I would rather re-do this race than re-do my hottest race which was…
Hottest race – Peachtree Road Race (feel like temperature of 80ish degrees at the start and I sweated off my body glide between the Marta station and the start)
Favorite medal – Hands down, it’s the Orlando United 5k medal I earned virtually. This medal represents being lucky enough to run 3.1 when 49 others will not have that chance. As a former resident of the City Beautiful, I was heartbroken when I woke up that Sunday morning to the news of the shooting at Pulse. We had plans to attend the Braves game that afternoon and the moment of silence for Orlando nearly broke me. By mid-week, word was out on social media that there would be a 5k with a virtual option. Less than two weeks after that horrible night, I ran my 5k at the same time people were running the actual race in Orlando. The outpouring of support from the running community was tremendous with this race as the Final Mile Race Management team were able to announce that over $100k was raised, beating the Orlando Magic’s donation. And still more people continued to sign up virtually. Getting my shirt and medal in the mail took a long time and it was because so many people supported this event.
Favorite race shirt – My first Peachtree Road Race shirt wins this category. This is a coveted finishers shirt and the design is voted on and no one knows the final design (other than the lucky volunteers who pack the shirts) until you get it when you finish. The design I loved the best was the winner and it looked amazing on the blue t-shirt.
Best course volunteers – The Thanksgiving 5k was amazing. I heard so many Happy Thanksgivings from volunteers and other runners and the volunteers were cheering us on every step of the way.
Favorite overall race experience – The Atlanta Women’s 5k is just a fun race and this year wasn’t super cold. Seeing so many super strong women, including the last year of the stroller division is wonderful. At least I won’t be passed by a stroller in 2017, but I also made it over 2.5 miles before being passed in 2016. I love their finisher medal and getting a rose at the finish. This year’s medal also doubled as jewelry! Also, cheering support is phenomenal. This year we had a T-Rex in addition to people in the neighborhoods and super excited volunteers. One of the huge male supporters of the Atlanta Track Club also comes out and cheers everyone on with much enthusiasm.