Michael and I spent the week in Gatlinburg. He told me that I could look for a run to do while we were there. I looked on www.runningintheusa.com and I came across this run and the Color the Smokies run. By the time I saw the runs the registration fees were up to $40-$45 dollars a piece. I checked the Color the Smokies Facebook page and they were offering a back to back weekend special. Both runs for $50. It was such a great deal that I just had to do both.
The first of the two runs was the Northview Academy Beat the Band 5K in Kodak, TN. The proceeds from this run would go towards purchasing new band uniforms. Being a former band member myself, I know the amount of time I spent working car washes and fundraising to raise money for our new coveralls and plumes.
I believe this was a first annual run, but I couldn't tell because it was so well organized. This run was top notch! There were right at 100 participants. Most of the participants were band members and their friends and family. I think I may have been the only person from out of town.
This run started at 8:00 at night, but the sun wouldn't set for another hour and it was still very warm out. The course was a double loop around the parking lot. There was one major hill that we had to run up twice. Two local churches volunteered at the water stations. With the double loop, it made a total of four stops for water. The local fire department had two trucks set up and they had the hoses sprinkling water for the runners to run through as they passed. They did everything possible to keep us hydrated and cool during this race.
I went out too fast on the first mile and quickly realized that I wouldn't be able to maintain that pace when I reached the big hill the first time around. I ran halfway up before stopping to walk the rest of the way. I'm not used to this elevation back home. Just before Mile 2, I passed a few other females and was positioned second female overall. I was gaining on the first female during the final mile, but I stopped to walk the big hill the second time. I figured I could walk the hill at the same pace I could run it. I took several walk breaks on the final mile and the first female was widening her lead on me. We made one loop around the track before crossing the finish on the 50 yard line of the school's football field. They announced my name when I crossed the finish, which I thought was really cool. I don't remember having my name announced like that at a 5K.
Mile 1- 8:15
Mile 2- 9:13
Mile 3- 9:45
I finished in 27:54. The first female was really nice and congratulated me on a great run. I returned the compliment. She was a fast runner and she handled the hills like a pro.
They had the concession stand open with free popcorn and sno cones after the race. The timing crew was the quickest I've seen with tabulation. They had the results ready for the awards ceremony within 15 minutes of the last person finishing.
They awarded the top male and female finishers, which put me in first place for my age division. They also had some great door prizes from their local sponsors including hats, t-shirts, water bottles, restaurant gift certificates, and gift baskets with merchandise from the Old Mill. I received one of the gift baskets with biscuit and pancake mix, grits, and syrup. We gave it to my mother-in-law for keeping the animals while we were gone.
To close the evening, they shot off fireworks. They went all out on this run and ended the night with a bang.