However, with runDisney volunteering and Thanksgiving, it didn't leave many options for runs. There was a local run that didn't seem too appealing, and this one. I'd never done a trail run before (well, except for Tacachale a few years ago, but I didn't KNOW it was a trail run until I was actually running...), so I decided to give it a try.
If you live in north or central Florida, chances are, you've heard of Silver Springs. They are the home of the Glass Bottom Boats! My mom said that she used to take me and my brother all the time, but I have absolutely no recollection of this place. There is also a water park connected to it called Wild Waters - I remember that, because of a church field trip when I was maybe 11? I had a huge crush on a boy I went to Sunday School with. I hung out with him all day that day. Sigh.
Anyway, Silver Springs is in Ocala, about an hour away from home for me. The drive was uneventful and I got there with plenty of time to spare. I scored a pretty close parking spot, maybe 5 rows away from the entrance to the park.
|My parking spot in relation to start line - the flags demarcate the race route|
|Welcome to Silver Springs - I'm standing in the middle of the race route right now|
|Packet Pickup area - it was never super-busy|
As part of the Real Florida Days Autumn Festival (which was going on at the same time as the race), the State Park Rangers had one of their horses out for everyone to touch.
Soon, though, we all headed to the entrance, which was the start line.
|When there's no corrals, I just hang out in the middle and to the side|
|Peacock Sapphire Sparkle Skirt|
|Route marker up ahead, turn left|
|#306 sure looks like she's having fun though! (And, girl, you have GOOD LEGS!)|
|Everyone was walking on the side of the trail, rather than deal with this sugar sand|
|Why is there a decimal?|
|The "K" signs were much smaller, though|
|Watching her deal with the sugar sand was especially funny|
|No decimal this time|
|At least there was a good crowd who stuck around to cheer us in|
|Fancy photo (from Friends of Silver Springs Facebook Page)|
There was a video of all the runners coming through the finish line, and you can see that I have ZERO FUCKS to give at this point. I'm practically stomping my way to the finish line!
Anyway, I drank some water and headed over to the post-race party tables. There were very nice and very sweet older folks (Friends of Silver Springs members) manning the tables.
|She looks like she's picking her butt|
|I like that Blue Highway told us what was in the sammiches|
|Bagel, Fortune Cookie, Italian Sub|
|Better view of Italian Sub|
I passed the entrance to Wild Waters on the way back, and I was sad to see how old it looked. I'd only been once, but the memories I had were good ones. It's set to close for good next year, sometime around Labor Day. I'd like to go back one more time, but I doubt that will happen.
|Oh, Wild Waters... How far you've fallen|
The curved area in the photo below is a promenade or porch that has shops on one side - touristy shops, fudge, ice cream, that sort of thing, but also informational stuff, since it's an actual "Park" now. I didn't go in anywhere, but did sit at one of the tables outside to eat my race food. the sammich was good, but had some sort of spread or dressing on it that had sogged up the bread.
There was some sort of festival or fair going on, as there were lots of tables set up. More of what I saw earlier before the race - plants for sale, a guy with snakes, some chalk art competition or something. A really weird mix of stuff!
I was happy to see that the World Famous Glass Bottom Boats were still running.
|These boats have windows on the BOTTOM of the boats so you can see down into the springs|
|Nostalgia shot - in case this view disappears in the future|
Anyway, this was painful to watch. You can't tell from the one pic I posted, and I decided against posting the videos I took, because I remember being these girls, but damn - dance like you mean it, girls! There was so much "I don't give a shit" in these performances, it was painful to watch.
For instance, the girl on the far left - see how she's got her hands out and really tucking her knee in? She wanted to be there. All of the other girls should look exactly like her, but none of them were giving it their all, so it was all half-assed, going-through-the-motions.
I stood through a few different groups - some of the younger girls were cute, there were 2 older girls who were owning it - but all in all, not a glowing review of that dance studio. "Come to my dance studio! I'll teach your girls how to vaguely sway in time to music!" Yeah, no.
|I remember being a girl like this, at Fame, then at St. Pete Dance Company - I loved it!|
|This one's a keeper|
I wear it on my middle finger instead of my ring finger. Many years ago, my fingers got super-fat and I had to have my ring resized. It cost over $200 because I went up like 2 or 3 sizes. Now that my fingers aren't nearly as fat now, I refuse to resize it back down - I paid for this gold, bitch! So, I wear it on my middle finger. I've explained to my husband why, and joked that when I get to the weight I want to get to, he can buy me an anniversary ring to fit on my ring finger.
Crisis averted, I needed to go get some lunch. I could tell that I was on the verge of passing-out-hungry, so I found a very close Wendy's and grabbed a Frosty and a Kid's Meal.
|Post-Race Vanilla Frosty|
|Seriously? What if she got hit by road rubbage or something? This is SO NOT SAFE!|
|I took this photo to tease my daugher - she also loves the LJS|
|Greasy, so bad for you, but so good!|
|Somewhere between Ocala and Home|
Once home (and wearing my ring again), I checked out my goodie bag and it's contents. I got a shirt, a bunch of old Silver Springs and Wild Waters promo items, all inside a reusable Publix grocery bag.
|Regular (not tech) t-shirt|
|Granola bars from the post-race table|
|Old school neoprene sunglass holder|
|Fresh new Publix bag|
|Hand-clapper noisemaker, nail file, lip balm, pen and coaster|