This IS the happiest 5K on the planet (as advertised).
Last year was NOTHING compared to the fun I had this year, as I was able to participate with my family. Whenever I go running, Hannah asks to go with me. I always tell her we can run together when she's older, or when she's in the jogging stroller. I have been so excited to be able to do this with her (and with Adam and Paige as well). It was also amazing to have Addison and Amanda with us. The more the merrier.
We got to the run at about 8AM and found bathrooms, traded shirts, and got situated with the jogging stroller. Paige was very anxious to be in a giant crowd (ten thousand people) and having to be strapped in her seat. Hannah was super patient, and was very excited to be there. Since there was so many people, it took us about 30 minutes to start running and it was pretty congested, but it didn't take us long to fan out and get our groove.
Last year we did the run in about 24 minutes. It was fast and fun, but this year, with inexperienced runners and the kids we decided to just take it slow and enjoy. It took us about 45 minutes but we were able to enjoy everything, and take a good pace for the kids. Every time we hit 1K they would blast us with color. We'd let Hannah get out of the stroller and run through it. It was the cutest thing. Hannah loved it and kept wanting to do it again and again.
By the end of the race we all had giant smiles on our colorful faces. Hannah wanted to start from the very beginning and do it all over again. Although it took several loads of laundry, and lots of scrubbing and soaping to get clean, it was more than worth it. We are all looking forward to participating next year, and every year after that, together as a family. The family that plays together stays together, right?
It was very cool for me to share in an activity with my family that has become such a positive thing in my life. Since Paige was born and I began to run, I've wanted to share that part of me with my family in a more intimate way and it was wonderful to do it with them. I was especially grateful to Adam, who always supports my running, and who has a bum knee, but still participated (even though he was in pain the rest of the day). I can't wait until next year!