Thursday, November 19, 2015

YMCA Corporate Cup: Second Line to Literacy 5K Race Report

So, who knew I'd be doing my second 5K so soon after my first? Not me!

This particular race piqued my interest primarily because of the free childcare during the race--after the stress of not having childcare for our last race, this was an amazing thought! However, once we did the Jazz 5K, I didn't really think much more about this one--until they announced a discount code! $10 off individual registrations? Sign me up! 

The race was held at City Park on November 14--with the most beautiful, genuinely fall morning. We typically walk to City Park from our house, but after looking at the course map I realized that the race was going to be held much deeper into the park than we normally have to go, so we decided to drive and just park as close as we could. There was ample parking; the race was set to start at 8:30, and we got there slightly before 8 and were still able to park right next to the party/finish line area.

After we arrived, we headed right for the childcare area. There were several tables set up for arts and crafts, and they had 2 bounce houses for the kids. The area was fenced in, and they probably had 10+ people there to watch all the kids. We signed the kids in and got our parent wristbands, and off they went! They didn't even look back, lol.

We wandered around for a bit, chatted, got a (free!) smoothie, and then at 8:15 the second line started that would lead us to the start line! Now, if you're not from New Orleans, you're probably thinking, "What the heck is a second line?" I'll try to explain it the best I can...

You're might be aware that New Orleans loves parades, and loves music, and it's not uncommon for random parades to happen anywhere at any time. The brass band and group of people leading the parade are considered the "main line," and the regular people joining in the parade off the street are called the "second line." So there was a brass band playing music at the race before it started, and at 8:15 they came off the stage and continued playing as the runners joined in behind them, and we followed them to the start line.

Right as they got started; the second line hadn't even formed behind them yet
Since we missed the start of the Jazz 5K, I was excited to actually get to experience the start of a race with (the sound of) the gun going off. It was very walker and stroller friendly, and we had to dodge quite a few people at first. The course was mostly flat, except for a pretty steep dip when we went under the interstate. As we were going down the hill, I thought, "ugh, and we have to come up back up!" But it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I knew it was an out-and-back course, and as we were going down that hill, the first runner passed us heading to the finish line! He ended up finishing in a little less than 17 minutes... whew! He ran 3.1 MILES in the average time it takes me to walk 1!

Marc & I were doing 2min run/1min walk intervals, and were feeling it--it's hard to keep the pace down with all the energy buzzing around! Marc was feeling it more than I was (he hadn't been running much), but I was still having a harder time than usual because the cold air is harder on my asthma. There was a woman doing similar intervals to us, and for a while we were leapfrogging... she'd run past us while we were walking, then we'd pass her while she was walking. We did take a couple of prolonged walk breaks, which eventually put her firmly ahead of us. I tried to catch up to her a few times, but every time I got close she'd start running again.

Finally, I could see the finish line--the time had just passed 45 minutes, so I sprinted the last bit so I could finish in under 46 minutes. My final official time was 45:11, with an average pace of 14:33! Much better than my 52-minute time at the Jazz 5K :D

Overall, I really enjoyed this race and would definitely do it again!

That's Marc & I in the middle--I'm wearing a pink jacket
Finish line!




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