For the second year in a row, I ran the Margarita Run in Haines City, Florida. This race is down the street from my house and benefits Haines City Main Street. Haines City Main Street Inc.. is a group whose’ purpose is to revitalize downtown Haines City. I happen to live in Haines City, so I have a vested interest in the downtown being revitalized. (For example, can there be a place in which to buy coffee that is not a fast food restaurant?)
I was also lucky to meet-up with a great group of activists and dedicated campaign workers. Karen Welzel is running for the Florida House of Representatives in District 41 against John Wood. Karen came out to this event to show her local spirit and meet with future constituents. It was great to have people to hang out with before the race and I also got this nifty t-shirt.
This race was insanely hot. It started at 5PM when it was 90 degrees with very high humidity. The course is pretty hilly (for Florida) and has zero shade so I knew this would not be one for the record books.
The race started with a lack of bang because the starting pistol would not fire. I felt really bad for the guy who was meant to fire it because it just would not work. After four failed attempts, he went with “ready, set, go.” I don’t know if it was the lack of pistol excitement or the temperature and humidity, but I definitely took the first mile too fast. I felt good running it and thought I might be able to sustain the 9:14 pace. Turns out I am not able to maintain that pace. Sadly the too fast start made me feel like a wilted flower later in the race.
It started to get ugly on each successively more gnarly hill and I started to take regular walk breaks. Like last year, many of the runners missed a turn and ended up coming it at 2.82 miles instead of 3.10. I really did not mind because it is such a new race that benefits charity. I will give the organizers the benefit of the doubt that they can sort it out for next year.
My splits were all over the place. I think it was too hot to really race.
The race director did announce that everyone would get free entries into an upcoming race in November to make up for the miss-hap. That race actually takes place in a park where I run weekly. It has a paved one mile loop which would make it impossible to make a wrong turn.
Even with the wrong turn snafu and the complicated race layout, I really enjoyed the Margarita 5K. The race is local and the money benefits a great cause. I loved that the race allowed me to mix my politics with running. Plus there was free pizza and a vendor selling cupcakes.
Cupcakes and smoothies from Cakes 4 the Memories. J picked up two for us to share (red velvet and margarita) and both were delicious. I recommend stopping by this bakery if you are in Haines City.
All sweaty and smiley after the race.
There were campaign signs around the vendor area.
Have you ever run a race that had course issues? Do you give them another chance or never run it again?