Sunday, July 1

Race report: Firecracker 5k to support Ronald McDonald Charities

Hubby and I finished the Firecracker 5k, benefiting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida. Great race. Great cause (100% of proceeds benefit RMHC). Great way to start a day!

The start:
Hot. Sticky. Humid.
But there were flush toilets available, and the starting area offered plenty of shade.
Starting line at the Firecracker 5k
The bad:
Hot. Sticky. Humid.

The good:
So. Much. Good.
I'll list just a few of the ways in which this race rocked:
  • Day-of-race registration and day-of-race packet pickup.
  • Flat (if not terribly fast) course.
  • Did I mention that 100% of race donations benefit RMHC?
  • Incredible volunteer support. The volunteer-to-participant ratio was overwhelming. There must have been more than 100 volunteers handing out water, cooking hot dogs, filling juice cups, baking cookies...
  • Yes - baking cookies. One of the goodie tables was laden with home-baked cookies, cakes, and muffins.
  • Awards three-deep for each age group, including separate categories per AG for runners and walkers.
  • Cold towels and a misting station at the finish line.
Just a few of the many dedicated volunteers. Thank you!

The finish:
The after party was entertaining. I (again) wound up doing the post-race Cupid Shuffle.

If there were an Olympic competition that involved racing, and then line dancing, I'd be a gold medalist!
Cupid shuffle with runners and race organizers
And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the buffet... Famished runners could feast on hotdogs, three different kinds of fresh fruit, donuts, muffins, cookies, and a plethora of other pastries. They could wash that all down with water, sports drink, any one of half a dozen different kinds of juice, and beer.

(For those interested, I posted more photos on

The stats:
  • Time: 25:59 (8:23 pace)
  • Overall: 205 out of 1,005* 
  • Females: 34 out of 561
  • AG: 6 out of 95
  • Weather: 80 degrees / 70% humidity at the starting line
*Results are only posted by sex and age group, so both the "205" and "1,005" are best estimates based on the data available. Also, I should note these stats are for "runners." "Walkers" were reported and counted separately even though plenty of "walkers" were in the 27-30 minute camp.

Do you think it's odd that people who signed up as "walkers" clocked 9-10 minute miles?
Does that count as cheating? (I might not be peeved by this if there weren't AG awards at stake...)

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