At the end of March I participated in my first race of 2014. The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation puts on an event every spring. It is a very family friendly event, with races ranging from a kids 1K run to a half marathon. This is the 6th year we have participated in the event. This year I registered for the 10K.
This year was different for the event. The event has been the same day as the OC Marathon for the past couple years and has always been completing against that event. This year they moved the event from the first week in May to the Last weekend in March. it really turned out to work very well, the past couple years the weather has been extremely hot at the event, and this year it was much better. Another big change was the location. As long as I have been participating the event was near the Irvine Spectrum, this year it moved to Irvine Valley College, a junior college not far from the pervious location.
With the location change there were minor changes to the courses. they were very similar to what they were before, but they were run in reverse. it was quite different but not totally foreign to me as the course was near where I used to live and I ran many of the same trails. it was very exciting to be running in an event again, and I felt pretty strong out of the gate. Moving through the very familiar course there was never a moment where I thought to myself “oh jeeze, this is never going to end” and I stuck to my hydration plan (I will write about hydration plans in the future). My friend, fellow runner and blogger extrodinaire Heather was waiting for me in the final stretch and ran in most of the finish (she did not run the event this year and enjoys cheering for her friends and fellow runners as much as running. I finished over a full minute better than last year and beat the personal goal I had set for myself.
After I finished New Mom and Xavier went on the 5K fun walk with my mother I law. They got off and I met with a couple of friends at the finish line expo. After visiting with them I started walking the course backwards until I met up with them and walked in with them, pushing the jogging stroller with the baby in. at the finish line, we got Xavier out and parked the stroller with a couple friends cheering people in and walked across the finish line, hand in hand.
Once again the event was very family centric and you definitely knew about. There was great team representation who all rally for the cause, which is to find cures for cancers that effect children and provide money for research that will improve the outlook for children with cancer.
Overall the event gets very high marks, there were a couple shortcomings though. Over the past couple years there has been a training Program that had provided an opportunity for people to prepare for the event and step up their fundraising efforts and be rewarded for it with additional swag. There was no such program this year and when I ran into people who participated in it over the past years it was the FIRST thing they mentioned to me.
The only other real shortcoming this year was the VIP area. This year seemed to lack the same amount. Of atmosphere as it did in years past, but in years past it was full of people from the aforementioned VIP program.
There are always issues when you are dealing with changes as radical as this event went through. And I think the event was a success and has a great foundation to build on.