Race Re-cap: Fleet Feet (Sacramento) Free Holiday Classic 5k

11:07 AM

A free race...what's the catch?

Oh yes, no catch at all. Just donate an unused, unwrapped toy to The Salvation Army. Easy enough! 

Our local Fleet Feet offers this free 5k and I am all about anything free! As per the usu, I throw it out there on social media and to fam/friends if anyone wants to join me when I do a race. This time, my favorite people decided they'd join me - Poppa Bear, Momma, and the Bestest!

It's these types of runs that keep my faith in running. I don't always get into the spirit of runs, but this one deserves the extra effort. Fun, holiday socks for the girls (Thanks Target) - Poppa Bear wasn't having any of that. And of course warm clothes (preferably red for Christmas, duh)!.

Family photo before the race. [Bestest is an adopted daughter]
This was a very minimal, but had all the essentials. There was a timing clock, which I wasn't even expecting. Race day registration consisted of signing a consent form and writing your age (eek). No race bibs, just you and your legs! The start had a huge blow up thingy (great description, right) that read "Finish" for when the race ended. The mile markers were huge and each one seemed to have some type of holiday decoration on top of it. The course was fairly simple, although there were some decent hills that I wasn't really expecting.

For living here all my life, I really don't know all the cool running nooks and crannies. The run was held at what is know as "Sutter's Landing". I literally run over here once, if not more, a week. However, right where the race starts/finishes is exactly where I turn around on my routine runs. This is right where a paved path ends and a gravel path starts.

The race essentially goes for 1.5 miles on the levee, then you run down the levee (safely) and run by the river for the last 1.5 miles. However, that last lovely 0.1 of a mile is all up-hill, so fun I tell ya! I've never run over here so it was fun to try new terrain. The legs felt a little off, since this was my first run post marathon. I was glad to be out there running, but my body didn't like it much. After tackled the last hill and finished the race, my chest hurt (asthma kicked in big time) and I felt like puking. I dry heaved a few times (TMI) and tried to get a normal breath going. Once I felt good enough, I was off to find the others!
5K collage style

Mr. Garmin clocked me at 27:50ish. Compared to my regular times, this was super slow. But no expectations. After I finished the race, I retraced my steps to meet up with the Bestest & Momma, whom I knew were running together. As I made my way back through the race (out of all the other runners ways, in case you are frowning right now), I first ran into the Bestest. She said she wanted to finish strong and knew I'd give her a hard time if I saw her walking. Am I that mean? Ha, probably! I cheered her on and give her a free high five. Then I set on to find Momma and run/encourage her for the rest of the race.

I knew Poppa Bear probably wasn't going to do the whole 5k from the beginning. He's been limping lately, so he was going to go on feeling and turn around whenever he felt like. He ended up doing the kid's run, which I believe was 0.75 mile. So, just as expected we get to the 3 mile marker and Momma sees the last up-hill. She says a lovely little curse and decides that she's going to run up it and finish strong. That is EXACTLY what she did. We were laughing and smiling as we finished together, as you can tell from the pictures!

Excited to kill that final hill w/ Momma!

Ending a race as you always should, with a smile!

The Salvation Army had plenty of treats post race - coffee, OJ, donuts, and pastries. Lovely volunteers were serving water cups right near the finish. There was a second SA truck in the race area, where they had a table set up for all the runners to enjoy the post run treats. The donuts were flying quickly. I was still recovering from the tough finish and couldn't stomach anything that was being offered.

Fleet Feet also gives away free t-shirts, from previous races, to all runners. I saw a plethora of ones from the Zoo Zoom this year, being handed out - they are bright blue and very recognizable. I chose not to take one, because my closet is bursting with race shirts that I barely wear. I do think it is a fun and efficient way to deplete their stock. All shirts that are left over are donated to the SA, so it's a win-win all around.

Overall, it's was a great 5k to end the year. It was for charity and for our own health, can't get much better than that. As the holiday's should go, this race was spent with family and friends, with the giving spirit at heart. Super cheesy, but it's true! Thank you Fleet Feet Sacramento for doing good for the community and the local running community!

Now I need to figure out where I can wear these ridiculous socks again!

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