Sunburst has become my race streak. I’ve run this race every year since I started running. And as much as I’d like to hate this race because of my terrible, awful, no good, very bad marathon experience, I can’t. I would still argue that they need to make some changes to the marathon course or drop it altogether BUT they do a great job at the other distances.
This race is consistently well run from start to finish. The starts are on time. The course is challenging but not overwhelmingly so. The finish line is always exciting. The volunteers and medical personnel are top-notch. It’s not too big and not too small. It’s no wonder I keep coming back year after year.
This was my fifth year in a row running Sunburst. I’ve run every distance they offer except the half marathon which is funny considering how much I enjoy the challenge of that distance. However, I’ve only become comfortable with that challenge in the past 1-2 years and in those years my kids have wanted to run Sunburst with me. Running with my kids trumps running the longer distance. One of these days I’ll check off the Sunburst Half Marathon. Until then, I’ll just keep enjoying the shorter races.
This year I ran the 5K again. Just for fun let’s compare 2013 to 2009 (when I had been running for approx 6 weeks):
2009: 35:07 Finished with a huge smile because I did a better job than my first 5K and honestly, this was the race that made me decide to try this running thing out for real.
2013: 31:01 Finished with a huge smile because I got to run and laugh and talk with my daughter the whole time.
This isn’t my 5K PR but who wants to run races always looking for a PR? After our run we grabbed a post-race fruit cup (love that Sunburst always hands out cups filled with fresh melon and grapes) and we went back out on the course to look for my Dad. He was running the 10K on Saturday and we waited about .5 mile from the finish. We cheered on runners, clapped loudly for the marathon winner and ran my Dad into his finish. And then we all went out to breakfast.
I’ll be back again next year to enjoy the atmosphere, thank the volunteers, clap & cheer for the bagpipers, rush through the tunnel at Notre Dame stadium and finish with a smile on my face.