On Saturday, December 3rd, several Stroller Warriors (myself included) participated in the Merry Fitness 5k in Jacksonville, NC. This race supported Girls on the Run, a great program that "encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running." It was a great event and there were so many children (boys and girls) donning capes and jingle bells.
I had planned to jog with my stroller, but my friend Kelley offered to watch Reagan while she waited at the finish line with her camera at the ready. I rarely get this opportunity, so I jumped on it. She caveated with this statement: "If I watch her, you better run sub-22." My most recent non-stroller PR was 22:11, and after nursing the calf injury I recently sustained, I was doubtful that I could accomplish this task.
Baby-sitter, photographer, cheerleader!
The run started at 9am and there were quite a few racers. We lined up close to the front and took off at a faster pace than I expected trying to get out of the crowd. I ran part of the first mile with my friend Jessica, but soon enough, she pulled ahead and stayed there. We ran around a familiar look (we often do our group workouts at the site) and were happy to see a familiar face at the halfway water station. I had been warned by our group leader that I should not be surprised when a child beat me. I didn't really take that seriously, but I'm glad for the warning, because around the 2.5 mile mark, an 11-year old girl running with her father, sailed past me as though we were sprinting through the playground. She continued to pick up the pace and won first overall female! Jessica followed shortly after and I pulled in 10 seconds later at 3rd overall female (10th overall) in 21:43. This was by far my best race since I left the Marine Corps.
Paige Horvath (age 11) finished in 21:17!
Thrilled to see a 21 on the clock, I was happy to finish!
Me and Jessica post race...sucking wind!
Trisha Keegan pushing her son
This was my friend Amanda's first 5k and she rocked it! Already looking for her next race:)
Amanda and I pre-race...no way were these antlers staying on while we ran.
Steph Geraghty, our fearless Stroller Warrior leader, in her Santa attire
And of course, my little reindeer! Can't have a post without including her:)