After a short ride to the city, we were parked and headed to Chelsea's apartment. Jeff, Steff, and a few other friends of Chelsea's were already there, including Lauren who was doing her very first 5k! We dropped off our stuff and started heading towards the start, just a little over a half mile from where we were.
|On the warm-up walk to the start.|
The 5k route started on the "north shore" near PNC Park. Surprisingly, there wasn't as many people there as I thought there would be- around 1,600. We took some group pictures, saw some other bloggers, and then made our way to our respective starting positions. There weren't any corrals so I lined up towards the back of the pack.
|The best boyfriend/photographer.|
|Starting line way up in the front.|
Just after 8 am, we were off! The course followed a few miles around the North Shore, crossed the 7th avenue bridge, and ended at the same finish line as all the races that weekend. It was flat for the most part- just a little incline on the bridge. I was trying to PR this race so I only took a few pictures:
|Checking out the elites at the turn-around.|
|Heading for the 7th Avenue Bridge.|
Before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line! With a new PR- 33:32. I was a little bummed because I felt like I was working much harder than a 10:48 pace. But, a PR is a PR. I met up with Matthew and the rest of the gang and got some great pictures.
|Love getting a medal for a 5k :-)|
|All smiles at the finisher chute.|
|Matthew really is a great photographer.|
Overall, this race was a really nice experience. Well-marked course, lots of volunteers, and a cute little medal- what more could you want? After the race, we made our way back to Chelsea's to celebrate with mimosas and doughnuts! We also hung out on her rooftop deck and watched the kid's races come across the bridge- super cool. And we got to enjoy more breath-taking views of the city. It really is gorgeous.
|We were cheering but I don't think they heard us :-)|
It was really great to hang out with everyone. We all chat on twitter pretty regularly but it was good to actually be face-to-face with these awesome people. Around noon, we got word that our fifth relay team member, Lauren, had just arrived in town at the expo. We wanted to go back and get a picture at the Akron booth with everyone. Side note, Lauren had just finished the 2014 International Big Sur Marathon less than a week before and then was running the Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday. She is a BEAST.
Anyway, so Chelsea grabs a maple and bacon doughnut for Lauren and we head back over to the Convention Center. On the way, we cheered for the seemingly-endless stream of kids running their mile race.
|Cheering our doughnut-filled hearts out!|
We got back to the expo and found Lauren and her husband Mark. Again, there was lots and lots of squealing and hugs. She ate her doughnut and we got to hear her story about Big Sur- you should really read it- she's a freaking rock star.
|Two marathons in a week? Eat all the doughnuts you want :-)|
|The whole team at the Akron booth!|
After the second Akron photo, we headed back to Todd's. We had an awesome nap followed by an even better dinner with some of Matthew and Todd's friends who were also running the next day. After a few rounds of five card poker (with cheerios for betting), we said our goodnights- the half marathon started at 7 am so it was another early wake-up call!