The Run Like Hell 5k starts and ends in Oakland Cemetery. The race route takes you out of the cemetery, into Grant Park and then back to the cemetery for the home stretch. Stephen and I love the cemetery and it's such an important part of Atlanta history and our neighborhood history, it was an easy choice when I saw that all benefits support the cemetery itself.
When I run with Stephen, we run through our neighborhood, makes sense. And because I'm familiar with the neighborhood, I knew this route would have a lot of hills. However, I was NOT prepared for the intensity of the last half of this race. It was all uphill. I'm not joking. There may have been 50 yards here or there that went downhill, but then it would go right back up with more of an incline.
Here is the official route for 2012. At the bottom of that map you can click "view elevation profile" to see the ups and downs of the course. It was my slowest 5k time yet. Now, part of that is because of how sllloooowww the race started. There wasn't an announcement that the race was starting, people just started running. While the race started, it was like rush hour traffic if you were more than 10 people back from the starting line. It took about a minute for me to get from where I was lined up to the actual start point and THEN it was a walk until we were out of the cemetery. So technically, I could give myself two minutes back - seems fair. My official time was 38:40 so let's say if I had started at a run, I would have finished at 36:40. While the start was a mess, the finish line was even worse. I finished in the middle of the pack, so I'm sure it's when most of the women were finishing and it caused another traffic jam. All women had to funnel down one teeny, tiny little section of the already small road. I couldn't even cross the finish line because of the backup of ladies backed up as they were waiting to get a time card. I'm not even sure why we needed a time card. After the hardest course I've ever run, having to wait in a tiny line like cattle was pretty lame. I was rather frustrated by the time I was done and could call Stephen to come meet me.
Now, I've made it sound like I didn't have fun - that's not true. The best part of the race is that costumes are encouraged. That's right, costumes. Of course I dressed up. The morning of the race it was about 50 degrees, so I wanted to wear pants and I remembered we had some zebra print leggings and that was the beginning of my 80s costume. I had the zebra pants, a bright pink t-shirt that I cut to hang off my shoulder, pink and black scunchie socks, jelly bracelets, a side ponytail with a big scrunchie, a fishnet glove and pink sunglasses. It was pretty awesome. I was proud of myself. I'll never again wear zebra print leggings. So not only was I dressed like a crazy person I was running alone. But I loved it.
Watch the video above if you want to see me run past Stephen. I look like #1 a Giant and #2 super slow. Happy Halloween!