What: Vermont Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k
Where: Williston, Vermont
When: Saturday May 9, 2015 at 9 am
I woke up, made myself some scrambled eggs and toast, and pounded 32 ounces of water as soon as I got up, because the weather was supposed to be very hot. I slathered on some sunscreen and Body Glide and pulled my bag together. I was flying solo because Ben needed to do some work on our cars, so I needed to make sure I had everything.
I got there later than I would have liked, and unlike last year, parking was kind of crazy. There were several sporting events going on at the elementary school in addition to the race, so I had to sort of create a parking spot along the side somewhere. Inside the school gym, things were just as festive as last year–Top Hat entertainment was playing music and making periodic announcements, runners had access to real toilets, there was face painting for the kids, and someone in a dog costume giving high fives and taking pictures. The event includes a timed 5k race, as well as a “fun run,” which allows strollers, dogs, bikes, hula-hooping, and whatever else one might want to do. The timed runners started first, and everyone else started about 5 minutes later.
During the Race:
We lined up right on time, and the weather was sunny but not too hot. We had a moment of silence in memory of loved ones who’d passed away at the Respite House, and we were off. The course was exactly the same as last year–winding through a field behind the school and looping through local neighborhoods. It was mostly flat, and very well marked. There were volunteers with water at almost every intersection, pointing the way to go and offering drinks and encouragement. There seemed to be less community spectators this year, but that didn’t affect me much.
On the whole, I ran a really strong race. I kept looking at my Garmin and going “slow down, slow down, don’t burn out,” but I never really did. There was a glorious long, gentle downhill in mile three that I really took advantage of, and then a slight uphill to get back toward the school. At the 3 mile marker, I was starting to be pretty spent, but I was able to kick it up quite a bit when I approached the finish line and saw 58:xx on the race clock. I knew I was going to PR, and wanted to finish as quickly as possible, so I gunned it in for an official time of 28:55, which is a 22 second PR!
After the Race:
I was kind of shaky, and very hot, so I grabbed a bottle of water from the bucket conveniently located right past the starting line, and walked a few circles around the area. Once my heart rate came back down, I went into the gym for some snacks. Like last year, the spread was generous and varied–bagels, bananas, apples, coffee, cookies, granola bars and donut holes. Each runner also got an awesome fold up water bottle and a cotton t-shirt. Members of the Jiggety Jog Club (those who’d raised $1000 or more, like me) got a nice periwinkle blue t-shirt, while everyone else got yellow.
I went back outside to stretch and eat and enjoy the sunshine while the rest of the runners, walkers and bikers finished. At 10:15, they posted the official results and started the awards ceremony. I was 4th in my age group, just like last year! They gave medals to the top overall male and female winners, as well as to 1st and 2nd place in each 10 year age group. They also recognized members of the Jiggety Jog Club with certificates.
I said it last year and I’ll say it again–this is an awesome race. The volunteers are incredible–so encouraging, helpful, and honestly grateful for your participation. The amenities (other than parking this year) are awesome–real toilets, music, activities for families, and great post-race food. I also really liked getting a water bottle this year, and the t-shirts for Jiggety Jog Club members were a gorgeous color; the yellow for everyone else, not so nice. I wish it had been a tech t-shirt rather than cotton, but I know that for a fundraising event, I can’t expect that. Also, the medals for AG winners were quite nice. All of this for a registration fee of only $20 is pretty amazing, and I love that it supports an organization that does such great work. Definitely a race to run over and over again.
My goals for this race were:
- PR (under 29:17)–Check!
- Get an AG award–nope, maybe next year!
- Course PR (under 30:21)–Check!
What makes a race a “repeat race” to you–swag? Course? Volunteers?