Sunday, June 5, 2016

Beck 5k Race Report

 Today was the 2nd annual (and my second time running it) Beck 5k run in Palatka FL.

The drive was quick, beautiful and uneventful.

Is there anything nicer than sunrises on an empty country road?
I didn't arrive as early as last year, so I had to park a bit further out - by "a bit" I mean probably 500 feet?  I was still about a block away!

View towards the Start Area from my car
This was an empty lot last year (who needs a Hampton in Palatka, though?)
Since I was later, packet pick-up was busier, and just like last year, they had lots of kids (probably the kids of Beck employees) helping out.  I think it was just as bad as last year (which is to say, bad, but not terribly so).

Still a cluster, but not a big one

This year, we got a cool insulated lunch box as our packet bag. I'm always on the look-out for a good insulated bag! (We got a shirt too, of course, but I forgot to take a photo of it - it's the same blue one as seen in the photos above).

Insulated bag, with zip top and side zip pocket, and water

After returning to the car to gear up, I hit the pottie, which was busier than I expected.

Pee faster, people! We got to run!
Bounce house for the kids
Mass exodus to the Start Line
Within minutes of potty time, it was time to hit up the start line! Glad I can pee fast!

We sang the National Anthem and then we were off. I won't lie - this is a pretty basic race. Not a lot was memorable!

Action Shot! (I didn't finish with any of those people!)
Already near the back, yay me!
And... he passed me
The Orange Shirt Guy was an ARC guy
I missed the Mile 1 marker, but we're already at Mile 2, which is much shadier (so, much cooler!)

Yay, water! And shade!
Also, this is the part of the race where you can see who's on their way to the finish line, because it's the "back" part of "out and back."

Cones? We don't need no stinkin' cones!
The houses that face the river are beautiful, and one of the houses had a Book Exchange.  In that little white box by the sidewalk is a bunch of books. Neighbors can leave books for others to read, or pick up a book to read for themselves.  I love this idea (it's been popping up everywhere in the past few years), but I know that in my neighborhood, my library would be cleaned out by thieves within hours.

Beautiful river-front house and library
Good morning!
Mile 3! That means the finish is around the corner!

Almost there!
This year the ARC cheer squad was right near the Mile 3 sign.

Everyone smile!
I can see the finish!

Here I come!
  Official finishing photo, with terrible time!

My official time was 53:10, which is one of my worst times ever.  I seem to be going slower than I used to be, and it's pissing me off royally!

Once I crossed the finish line, I was given a wet washcloth that had been in a bucked of ice water (not just water, but water with ICE!), and a nice, frosty bottle of water. They also had misting fans set up this year to cool off the runners.  I doubled-back and grabbed another washcloth for my chest (it helps me cool down faster!)

Ice, Ice, Washcloth... wait, what?
Play Misty for me?
It's hard to see, but I'm soaking wet from sweat
I stuck around for a bit, taking fun pictures with my medal. I was happy to see that the fountain was on this time!

Medal Glamour Shot 1
Medal Glamour Shot 2
I grabbed some lunch before I left - they had bags of random snacks, plus some Quiznos and Papa John's Pizza. I only got pizza and a sandwich.

Post-Race refreshments
Pizza and Quizno's Sub
But, before leaving I also scored a grape sno-cone!

I'm a sucker for a Sno-Cone
After leaving, I made my way to the Beautiful Palatka Mall! Okay, it's not beautiful, and I don't think you can even call it a mall.  There is a Penney's on one end, and a trashy clothing store on the other, and the VA benefits office (or something government-related) in the middle! 

Um, are they open?
I think this is where people in Palatka get murdered...
And, as you can expect, the JCP was pretty shitty.  The women's section was about 3 racks, pushed so close together I couldn't fit between them (and if I can't, imagine a bigger gal trying to fit!).  I did score a few O.P.I. polishes on clearance - one was $2, one was $5!

After that depressing shopping excursion, I just grabbed lunch and headed home. Next year I'll just go to Jax or St. Augustine afterward!