I ended up at an aid station that fell about a mile before the end of the race, so we got to see the 5k, 10k, and half marathoners run by. It was so cold, but it was a lot of fun yelling for the runners and having fun with teammates. There's nothing like boding over frozen hands while pouring water and cheering. I enjoyed volunteering and seeing a race from the other side. Though I've gone to races to cheer before, I've never volunteered. I definitely will smile and thank volunteers more as I'm running; it made a difference in our spirit at the aid station.
After our aid station was done we had a quick lunch and then went back to the hotel to learn for the afternoon. There was a lot to talk about, but it was good to understand the Rev3/Challenge merger and what the goals for this racing season are. The Challenge races are going to keep the quality of the Rev3 races, and they're going to do a great job combining the "big race" feel with the family friendly atmosphere that Rev3 has always been known for. I was glad to learn that the spirit of the races will remain, though we're racing under a new name and company.
I also picked up some swag from our sponsors for the year. I'm looking forward to another year being fueled by PowerBar and not stinking like chlorine because of SBR.
After we were a done a few of us went to dinner and hung out. I had fun talking to Sarah and Nicole, whom I had talked to a little bit at Rev3 Williamsburg and Rev3 Florida last year. I look forward to seeing them as some races this year. The best part of being on the team is knowing that I'll always know people at the races I go to. Saturday night was a lot of fun, but I still got up and got in a run on Sunday morning!
I had been back in the groove with Camp Gladiator and a little but of running, but when one of the girls that I shared a room with woke up Sunday and wanted to go for a run, I really think that helped me get back into my normal routine even more. Sarah and I ran 6 miles in really perfect running weather, and since then I've gotten my groove back.
I left Jacksonville after some more meeting on Sunday ready to have a fun triathlon season this year. I don't have any goals meant to surpass last year, as I still am ready for a bit of fun versus focus. I can't wait to race some great Challenge races this year and have fun along the way!
It also got me thinking about what my race calendar would look like, and I think I've got some ideas penciled in. As far as Challenge races, I'm definitely going to do Challenge Florida, and I'm thinking I'll do Challenge Atlantic City and Challenge St. Andrew's as a whole trip. I'll talk more about that as I piece it together, but I have some really great ideas if they work out.
I'm also really excited for a 5k I'm running in February. I'm so so excited that Tim has signed up to run his first 5k, and I'm running it with him! I have been waiting for this to happen since I started running, and I can't wait to do it together! We're doing Best Damn Race Safety Harbor, which has free race photos, so I'll have plenty of photos to share! It's going to be so much fun!
If you're planning to race a Challenge race this year, leave me a comment and your email address and I'll email you my discount code for 10% off the registration price. I'm so excited for this season!
Have you ever volunteered at a race?
What races do you have on your schedule already?