This week's Monday Brain Exchange topic is Favorite Races. The question: Name your top 3 favorite events to date. When were they and why are they your favorite?
This was a tough choice -- like choosing your favorite child. LOL. Ok, maybe not. Anyway, I narrowed it down and here they are in order of occurrence. Click on the race name to read the race report.
Run for the Trees 5K - April 25, 2009 in Winter Park, FL
I've run this race every year since I began running, which is only 2 times lol, but I'm going back this year. Last year I ran it in 33:12, my current 5K PR, and had a blast because I had my mom and friends there. One of the things I love most about this race is the focus on the environment. Everyone that finishes the race receives a young tree, and the race awards are also (bigger) trees. It's close enough to home that I can bike there. The course is gorgeous and unique, ending on in the tree-canopied, wilderness dirt road of Genius Drive, a privately owned glimpse of old Florida opened to the public only once a year, for this event.
26.2 with Donna Marathon Relay - February 21, 2010 in Jacksonville, FL
The big selling point for this race is that 100% of the proceeds go towards breast cancer research and care. With such a great cause, it's not surprise that the support from the local community is amazing. I was impressed with the level of organization, support, and spectators in this race. The water stops were ample, as were the GUs and other food items. This being their first year of the relay, the logistics could be improved, but it wasn't a big enough issue to deter from my enjoyment or wanting to do it again. The weather was perfect, I ran a great race, and got to share a marathon with my family. What more could I have asked for? I'm already planning to return next year to run the full marathon by myself.
Gasparilla Marathon - February 28, 2010 in Tampa, FL
This was my first marathon, so of course it makes the top 3. The goodie bags were reusable tote bags, the post race food was great; I loved the pirate theme; and my heavy duty maiden voyage medal is gorgeous and can double as a weapon if someone breaks into my apartment lol I don't think the support and spectators were as good as BCM, and I prefer GU to PowerBar Gels, but it was an amazing experience that I will cherish forever, especially running the last 2 miles with my Dad! :)
Honorable Mentions: Corporate 5K for it's cheer size and running with co-workers; Central Florida Sprint Triathlon for the great goodie bag, course, and post-race food; OUC Triathlon Relay for a killer run leg with the best relay team ever!
As you can see, I don't venture too far from home, but that is all about to change in 2010 :)