Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Stroll for Strong Kids Recap

This past weekend was the Annual Stroll for Strong Kids to benefit the Golisano Children's Hospital. Can I just start off by saying that the Stroll is BY FAR my most favorite event of the year! Why do you ask? Well if you never read my first blog post, I am a Strong Kid, so this event holds a special place in my heart. I will be forever in debt to the Golisano Children's Hospital for everything they have done for me and my family, so the least I can do is fund raise for the Stroll. I am very happy to announce the I was able to raise $643.01!!

(My Stroll race bib, shirt and fund raising incentive - a Sandy stadium blanket!)

(Lollipops from the Stroll, and stickers an adorable little boy gave me after the race)

The Stroll for Strong Kids consists of a 5K run and a 1.5 mile stroll to celebrate past and present Strong Kids. Along with the run and walk there are also a variety of other activities that are family friendly, including: bounce houses, sand art stations, temporary tattoo stations, photo booths, temporary hair coloring stations, A Sandy Store, and lots and LOTS of food!

The 5K race had an 8:30 start time, but I was so anxious to get to the Stroll and hit up the Sandy Store first thing I made my mom and Nita go early. We arrived at the Stroll around 7:45 which provided plenty of time for us to walk around and check things out before the race started. Nita needed to pick up her fundraising incentive so we did that first. Next we hit up the Sandy store! I was so excited to buy new Sandy gear (last year I bought an Under Armour shirt and travel coffee mug with Sandy on them). This year I bought a fleece jacket, an Under Armour pullover, an Under Armour Tee and an Under Armour tank (all have Sandy on them, of course)! I spent so much money (and I could have easily bought more), but at least it goes to a great cause.

(I just love these Sandy shirts - isn't she co cute?!)

We took our purchases back to the vehicle before the 5K started, and then walked back to the starting line. The race started a few minutes late, but I think that may have been because there were so many people, and people were still registering that morning. Mom, Nita and I headed near the back of the pack with the rest of the team my mom and I had joined. While we waited for the race to start we took some pictures.

(It was such a beautiful day for the Stroll!)

Mom and I decided to do a 1:00 minute run to 2:00 minute walk interval. We all set our GPS watches, and soon we were off! This years 5K course had to be changed due to construction in the area, but the new route was nice. I will say, I did miss running along the riverside, I really enjoyed that last year! The course itself was rather flat. The highest elevation was 545 feet and the lowest 515 feet.

(Course map, it's a little confusing with all the arrows going every which way)

About a mile and a half into the race I broke away from my mom because I felt like I would be able to set a new PR. I should have had her set her watch to the time interval we were running as well, that way she'd have it set in the event I left her (which I obviously did). We're learning things about running together as we go. Before I knew it I was at the 2nd mile marker which had a water station. My watch chimed, I glanced down... 11:49 min/mile! Yes, I was cruising (at least by my standards)!

Nita and I apparently decided to play "catch me if you can" during this 5K. She started out ahead of me, I passed her around mile 1.5, then she caught back up and passed me again just after the 2 mile mark. I caught back up and passed her around mile 2.5, then she caught back up to me at around 2.9 miles. We decided to cross the finish line together, which was great! I stopped my watch the second I hit the finish line and boom, "Fastest 5K!" popped up on my Garmin! I had done it, I PRed at my favorite event, it does not get any better than that! We got our medals and a bottle of water and went back to the finish to wait for my mom. Nita and I both high-fived my mom as she ran past us to the finish, and she had finished the race in under 40 minutes (which was her goal for this race)!!

After we all finished we walked back over to the car to change out of our sneakers and into our flip flops. We also decided to take some more pictures with our cute finisher medals. Nita and I had fun doing this...

(High five! I look super excited, and Nita is eating her medal)

Then we decided we had better take some "normal" pictures.

When we were finally done with our ridiculous photo shoot, we decided to head back over to the park to enjoy some of the activities and wait for the Stroll to start. We hit up the Tim Horton's for some coffee, and noticed there was no line for the photo booth, so Nita and I jumped in! Then I had mom hop in.


After that, the rest of the Bryce Backer team was under the pavilion waiting for the stroll to start, so we decided to gather for a group photo (which I'm sad I don't have). The stroll started, and we decided to grab some food since we had not had anything to eat since early that morning before the race. There was so much food, but I later found out that they ran out of food before the Stroll had finished. That makes me feel guilty that I took a Subway sub home for dinner that night. Nita, mom and I indulged in the food (hot dogs, Zweigle's sausage, Abbott's frozen custard, fruit and tons of sweet snacks) and enjoyed the beautiful weather while we waited for the strollers to come in.

We finished eating in time to wander over and see all the teams and individuals finish the stroll. It's always so inspiring and heartwarming to see the amount of support there is for this event. Nita and I watched Mel's team come in, and we had to get our annual picture with her!

(The three "mouseketeers")

After Mel came in we chatted for a few minutes, and then decided to head out. On the way across the park to the parking lot, the ladies sitting at the tattoo booth were yelling at us to come over and get a Sandy tattoo. You guessed it, of course we had to!

It's now 3 days after the Stroll for Strong Kids, and my tattoo is still on my arm (I should probably find a way to get it off, or else the doctors I work with are going to think I never shower). It's hard to believe another Stroll has come and gone so quickly. It truly is like a holiday for me because I love this event so much, but I'm already looking forward to fundraising for the Stroll next year!

QOTD: Is there a race event or charity event that you look forward to every year?

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