I experienced two personal firsts at the Girls on the Run 5K last Friday.
First, obviously, it was my inaugural time helping out with the program, and it is every bit as impressive —maybe even more impressive — than one might expect.
The party was in full swing when I arrived at Raccoon River Park: a DJ blasting tunes (appropriately, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"); face painting and glitter hairspray; and coordinated funky headbands and tall socks, at least in "my" school's case.
There were school and running chants, and the head coach of my friend's team ran a warmup drill of jumping jacks, tae bo moves, stars and clapping — and as silly as I'm sure I looked, I thought it was hilarious.
With all this and the lovely weather, it would've been hard not to catch the spirit of the event.
Enthusiasm during the actual run seemed fairly high, too. Of course there were a few strugglers, but their buddies and the spectators didn't let them sulk or fall behind too much.
It really was cool to see not just the girls' accomplishments, but also the amount of time and energy that the adults put into getting them there. Warm and fuzzy feelings all around!
Second, less obviously, it was my first brick. I toyed with the idea of driving to Raccoon River, either from work or from my apartment after I'd biked back from work, don't get me wrong.
The spirit of Bike Month ultimately won out — plus the realization that it really wouldn't take that much longer to bike versus drive, with the time spent getting to the garage and dealing with rush-hour traffic.
It wasn't really a brick, in the truest sense of the term, because at least a half-hour lapsed between my arrival and the start of the run. And the run was definitely an easy shuffle.
But hey, if the book club members were impressed that I rode eight miles to a 5K, then hopped back on to get to dinner, I'll go ahead and pat myself on the back. I did end up feeling it the next day, I think, so it counts as far as I'm concerned