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This race was not at all what I had expected. I’ve run other stroller friendly 5k’s, and while they’ve been pleasant and well-organized, they’ve all been pretty low-key. In my experience, most races that allow for strollers don’t attract as big of a crowd because there (generally) aren’t longer race options. This race broke the mold, however, because it not only attracted a lot of participants, but there were a TON of sponsors.

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It was already a little bit warm by the time the race started, so we were grateful that hats and bandannas were included in our swag. My weather app completely lied to me — I was expecting low 70s, but we got high 70s to low 80s, which made it a little tougher. Kinsey had a bit of a meltdown just past the starting line, but she calmed down pretty quickly and was all smiles the rest of the race. I think the poor kiddo just needed a few extra minutes to really wake up.

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Micah wasn’t super interested in what was going on as long as he had snacks and the sun wasn’t in his face, but he was excited to match Kinsey. She decided we should race as a superhero team, since most of our Halloween costumes were superheros. We had two Superman t-shirts, a Spiderman jacket, and a Captain America t-shirt…it hurt my husband’s head to see Marvel and DC mixed like that, but it made the kids happy. 🙂

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Even though we’ve been walking a lot, this was Kinsey’s first attempt at the full 5k, and between the heat and the early hour, she took pretty frequent breaks. The stroller didn’t seem to mind the extra passenger, but holy WOW my arms got sore quickly! A hundred pounds of kids on a dirt trail was the arm workout of the century. Of course, the dirt trail was easier on my knees than concrete, so it was worth the extra arm workout. 🙂

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There was some pretty cool decor on the trail as well. Funny animals were the kids’ favorites, and there was some more historical western decor for the adults.

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There were even some obstacles, although they weren’t required and it was super easy to walk around them if you wanted to.

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Kinsey insisted that I go back and run through the tires once she was done, and she and the boys cracked up when I tripped and fell on my hiney. I guess coordination is one of those things I need to work on. 😛

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As pleasant as everything was, the most surprising part of the race was the finish. There was an entire main street of free stuff! I’ve never seen anything like it at a 5k before. There was free, cold, bottled water at the beginning and end of the race, and you could ask for it on the course too if you didn’t want the gross warm cups of water. That was surprising but once we were off the course, we had our pick of unlimited sodas, energy drinks (Monster, Red Bull, and Rockstar were all giving away freebies), tea/juice beverages, Icees, chips, homemade moonpies in 3 flavors, frisbees, alcohol…we refused a ton of stuff and didn’t make it past the entire street before we had to leave, and I still left with 3 full bags of swag!

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We also each got a race bag (SUPER nice!), a t-shirt, a hat, and a bandanna. Even at the Ironman I didn’t get this much swag! All in all, it was a very enjoyable race and I plan on running it again next year.

Have you run any fun races recently? Which ones would you recommend to others?