Long Overdue, Part 4: Winter Garden 10K

12 Mar

The second race I participated in during February was the innaugural Winter Garden 10K. Through Facebook, I had found my way to the website for Tri & Run of West Orange, a running store in the neighboring town of Winter Garden. As I learned a little bit more about them, I discovered that they organize several road races in the Winter Garden area.

I saw they were planning an innaugural race- the Winter Garden 10K. Through Facebook, I could see that the race organizers had received a lot of positive feedback from people who had run with them before AND they were providing a finsiher’s medal, so I was in! I can’t remember the exact entry fee for the race, but it was pretty inexpensive, which is always a plus.

The race took place on a Saturday, with a starting time of 7AM. Since the area was a bit new to me, I made sure to get their super early since I always seem to have parking issues. When I arrived in downtown Winter Garden, I realized there was ample public parking and lots just off the main road which was a welcome surprise.

Since parking was such a breeze, I had plenty of time before the race started. It was a little bit colder by Florida standards, so I just sat in my car until it got a little closer to the start time. Another great thing about this race area was that there were some public restrooms available, so I was able to make a quick stop there before heading to the starting area.

This race was a lot smaller than most that I have run, with maybe around 500 or 600 runners. Even though there was only ten or fifteen minutes until the start, no one was lined up. Most were just haning out by the store for some warmth or in the park like squares in the middle of the road. It was kind of nice to see this relaxed approach, as you knew everyone was just there to have fun!

The race started promptly at 7, with runners lining up just a few minutes before. Since the group was on the smaller side, I pushed myself to get a good start so that I wasn’t running too close to the end of the pack. The course made its way mostly through residential areas, which still managed to include some pretty scenery! For typically pancake flat Florida, there were a few hills on this course, which were a nice challenge.

It was definitely fun to try out a new distance. I love running organized 5K’s but somehow get stuck in a rut where that’s all I want to do during regular running workouts. It’s always good for me to try something that pushes me a little further than 3.1!

As I made it to the finish line, I was handed my finish medal and stocked up on some snacks for the road.

I also wandered through some booths that had been set up for a farmer’s market taking place downtown that morning.

This race was a new experience- and automatic PR- that I really enjoyed! It was fun to take part in something new and enjoy it with a more intimate crowd.

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One Response to “Long Overdue, Part 4: Winter Garden 10K”

  1. aftertheivyleague March 12, 2013 at 2:34 PM #

    Great job finishing the 10k! I’d like to sign up for one in the near future too.

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