Wednesday, February 25, 2015

RunDONNA 5k Recap

DONNA 5k and Family Fun Run Jacksonville, FL
Field: ~1400
Spectators: Minimal on course, but there's a nice crowd at the start/finish. The participants are rather festive and encouraging throughout the race.
Start/Finish: Prime Osborn Convention Center, location of the expo
Course: Loop course through downtown Jacksonville and along the river
Schwag: T-shirt and running ribbon medal. I love the shirt logo this year. Too cute.
Other: Along with the family fun run the RunDONNA 5k is a great way to get family members and spectators involved in the weekend who might not be ready or want to run in the longer races on Sunday. It also includes a costume contest. Need I say more.
Coming into the finish with my #BreastFriends Holly B and Krissy!
Though I frequently state my dislike for the 5k, I do like races for fun with a group or a good reason to look like a complete nut and this race had both. Last year, the RunDONNA Ambassador team ran the 5k together in silly chaos and this year I expected no different. With the race taking place on Valentine's Day, I was quick to decide (like October quick) that I would dress as a large Conversation Heart if I reached my fundraising goal (last year I wore a Bridesmaid's dress when I hit it). I am also nothing if not competitive, so when I heard they'd added a costume contest, it was on. I mentioned to a few that my goal was to look like a giant, running pinata. I'm not sure if they thought I was serious or not, but it's safe to say a simple slogan on a t-shirt wasn't going to be enough for me. After that it was just a matter of designing construction and crushing my fundraising goal.
With some of my favorite running buddies, Krissy and Donna, on race day.
As race day approached, I was stressed. No, not about that whole shin splits thing and if my body was ready for 30+miles over the weekend. I was stressed about my costume. While I had smashed my fundraising goal (Thank you all again!), I was having serious issues finding a box big enough to be the base for my heart. Low and behold, mere days before the event, I found one near the shipping department at work. I hurriedly carried it out to the car and promptly found it wouldn't fit. Yes, it was that big! Cue a scene of me attempting to deconstruct it in the middle of the parking garage during the lunch break rush. A true professional moment.
Scenes from heart construction. Apparently fitting it in the car was not
considered heavily enough during the design phase.

As construction began, I emailed the Jayhawk photos for a second opinion. His main concern was that I couldn't use my arms and in the event I tripped (a solid concern with me) I would inevitably face plant. I trimmed it down a few inches (originally it was several inches bigger in every direction causing me to get stuck in a doorway at our house), and thanks to a box cutter and a whole lot of hot glue, the Conversation Heart was born.
Ending up on Joan Benoit Samuelson's Instagram? Year made.
Come race day, I was excited and a bit nervous. I never had a chance to test run the heart and was concerned about it's structural integrity. Would it make it 5k? Would I make it 5k? Would I chaffe so badly that I'd suffer the next day in the marathon? All important questions that quickly faded away when I arrived at the start. The pink. The people. The smiles. The inspiration of the survivor bibs. The buzz of race day. I was pumped to shimmy into that cardboard contraption and attempt to run my heart out (not out of my heart).
During the first mile with my fellow Ambassadors. (Thanks for the pic, Reist. Check out his site for video!)
The race started with some pre-race warm ups lead by former Jacksonville Jaguar David Gerrard. To say squats were challenging in the heart would be an understatement. I only wish there was video of my attempts! Shoulder shrugs we also unique as I couldn't lift my hands above my hips. But nonetheless, feeling adequately warmed up/concerned about my ability to move, off we headed to the starting line!
Rocking some sweet arm circles and shoulder shrugs during warm ups.
The race went well. The course winds it way through downtown Jacksonville and along the riverfront. It was a perfect morning to race (thank heavens it wasn't hot as the heart was not well ventilated) and I thoroughly enjoyed greeting my fellow runners and touring the city. I did have a few challenges on course: breezes were especially difficult, and I couldn't drink at water stops without some help (Thanks for the drink Krissy!).
Cruising by the river with Holly.
Krissy, Holly, and I finished in 32:06, a PR for running in a large cardboard costume for sure and one I'm not in a rush to break. We cheered on our fellow runners, took tons of photos, and prepped for the the long awaited announcement of the Costume Contest winners.
With Marcia, Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillvray, and DONNA Race Director Amanda.
Sadly, I got second place in the costume contest. For reals. Another runner dressed up as a self breast exam and she won. I won a Major Award/snappy pair of sunglasses made in Jacksonville, and I haven't taken them off since. I guess I'll have to go back next year to take the title, but maybe I can recycle the heart for the 26.2 with DONNA Marathon on Valentine's next year! 
Showing some serious game face during the Costume Contest, my major award, award in action.
 Rehydrating post race and milling about the Expo.

Have I mentioned that I love this race and weekend? Do you ever race in costume?


  1. Great writeups on the shake-out run and the 5K! And I'm glad that you got an award for your fantastic heart, even if it wasn't the top prize. I hadn't realized the logistical challenges of transport and running in costume, and I'm glad that you didn't suffer a cardiac event during the 5K!

    1. Thanks Frank! We all got the same prize, so I wasn't too upset. I hadn't ever expected to have logistical challenges with a running costume before. Definitely unexpected.

  2. Love your mad costume skills!! That is so cute and creative, I just cant tell ya how much I love it! You should have won. You ran a great time for a big costume :) I do love the shirt and ribbon.

    1. Thanks Karen! It was comical and fun. We all got the same prize, so I wasn't that upset. The logo on the shirt is too cute. Love it for a family fun run.

  3. Great job running in that thing - I'm super impressed!! I'm going to do my first costume race in May at Bay to Breakers. I have a "sexy Luigi" outfit (from Super Mario Bros) that shouldn't make it too difficult to run in.

    1. Haha, thanks! If it had been anymore windy, I would have been in trouble. That sounds like a perfect running costume! Have fun! :)

  4. dude. you should've won. that is seriously one of the best costumes i've ever seen. i love running in costume- but have never made anything like yours!

    1. Haha, thanks. We all got the same prize, so I didn't feel as bad.


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