My friend Carrie was looking to run a 5K and during her research she found this race. She asked if I was interested and of course I was, what an awesome way to celebrate Mother’s Day. She invited some of our other runner friends, but they couldn’t make it. The race was on Saturday the day before Mother’s Day in Siesta Key on the beach. FYI Siesta Key was rated the #1 beach in the United States. I couldn’t think of a better way to start off Mother’s Day weekend.
Carrie stayed in Siesta Key the night before the race so she was able to pick up our bins to save us some time on Saturday morning. The race started at 8 am and we had an hour and 15 minute drive to get there. My goal was to leave at 6 am, but we left closer to 6:15 am. Our arrival time was 7:30 am and it worked out perfectly. We actually pulled up the same time Carrie did! We had just enough time prior to the race to get our bibs on, head to the bathroom and grab a spot on the beach.
Carrie, Colin (her son), Chris and I were lined up at the start by 7:55 am. Chris and I decided to run barefoot. I debated, but figured why not give it a try and see how it goes. I have run barefoot on the beach, but never for a race. Siesta Key does not have a lot of shells so I figured this would be a good race to try it out on.
The race started promptly at 8 am and it was an out and back along the shore. I had not planned on going too fast, but when racing mode sets in I just end up going with whatever my body wants to do and that is usually a faster than normal pace. I stayed as close to the water as I could get, because the sand is more packed and it is easier to run. The best thing about Siesta Key was the the beach was pretty even. Usually when I run on a beach I am running on an angle, here not so much, which was awesome!
Once I hit the halfway point I sped up. I was feeling good and decided to push myself . During the last 1/2 mile or so my pace was in the high 7’s. What I loved is that even though I was pushing, it didn’t feel that bad. I also think I am finally learning how to run a race after all the years. I start slow and speed up gradually. Now I have only run two 5K’s with negative splits, but I feel I am finally getting it.
I crossed the finish line in 29:00.2. A 9:21 average pace. I was 41st overall (out of 296) and 7th in my age group, which was 35-42….a strange grouping. My splits were great:
Chris finished a couple of minutes behind me, so I met my 5K goals….get under 30 minutes and beat Chris. Colin came in next, followed by my friend Carrie. Everyone did awesome!!!!
Post race refreshments included Tijuana Flats tacos and of course beer that we brought to the beach ourselves. Chris and I popped into the free photo booth for some pictures too.
After we ate we set up on the beach and spent the morning just hanging out. The kids played in the sand water.
The adults aka Carrie and I, drank a few beers.
We packed up around 11:30, headed to lunch and then headed home to relax. It was a great day with great friends!!!!
Have you raced on the beach? Sneakers or barefoot?