RACE: Girls on the Run 5K
WHENMid-May on a Saturday
WHERE:Marilla Park and Deckers Creek Trail, Morgantown, W.Va.
PRE-RACE: I did this race last year as it was part of the Morgantown Area Grand Prix (MAGP). I enjoyed it. It was my first “big” race with more than 600 runners. It was fun watching all the girls who are part of the program participating.
This year, it wasn’t part of the MAGP, so I decided to run it for fun and asked my daughter to join me.
She had a blast deciding to go out in all pink. I wore my new favorite race shirt, Dash for the Darter, and my black running tights.
Registration was easy, although I was chided by a volunteer about not preregistering. They didn’t have our shirt sizes, so “that’s why we preregister so we’re guaranteed a shirt size,” she said in a way that made me question why I was racing for two seconds.
While my husband disagrees with me, running races is not just about the shirt. I was happy with what I had. I was there to have a good time with my daughter. I wanted the experience to turn her onto running.
After making our way through the crowd, we went to the Goodys hair product tables. There were barrettes, hair bands, ponytail holders, hair-coloring spray … everything a girl could need to get fancy for her race. After picking a few accessories, my daughter went with a nice purple hue to spray on her braid. It kind of matched her clothes, which were the same color as the Girls on the Run participants” shirts.
There also was a pinky promise table in which you pledged to be kind and positive. As a reminder, your pinky fingernail got painted blue. That clashed with my daughter’s ensemble, so we skipped that.
We found another table and made a sign for her. It says “You’re a star,” and had stars all over it. She hung it up on her wall after the race. She’s proud of the sign.
Then we warmed up and my husband gave her some last minute pointers.
Then we were off!
RACE RECAP: The chip-time race started in Marilla Park when through the park and you ran your way to the Deckers Creek Trail. With about 700 people trying to make their way through these streets, it was sometimes congested. We ran, skipped, walked and talked. It was amazing to see the support, not just from the relatives on the sidelines, but also from the fellow runners.
They had pacer pals, who supported the runners and made sure everyone was safe. The coaches were motivating people, as were the parents who ran alongside their child.
The turnout was near where the Walnut Street bridge passes over the rail-trail.
While in Marilla Park and near the finish line, my oldest son decided to race us. He won.
The people with Tri-State Racing called out runners’ names as they crossed the finish. When my daughter’s name was called, I was one proud mountain mama.
The race was a success. My daughter and I bonded, and she’s already looking forward to next year’s race.
So am I.