For the sixth year in a row I found myself toeing the start line at Sunburst. This year my oldest requested to run the 5K with me again so we were all set for a three-peat in that event together. Then (as I mentioned last week) she found herself unable to run.
That’s okay because I was able to talk my middlest into coming along for the trip. This was quite the sacrifice on her part because it meant giving up a morning of sleeping in (and when you’re 13 that is a serious sacrifice). AND it required her to do some physical activity – something she is perfectly capable of but prefers not to do (or abhors… take your pick).
Still on race morning she was bright and sunny! My dad was running the 5K this year as well and decided to hang out with us so we had three generations running together. I’m not going to lie, that was one of my favorite parts.
E surprised me by running nearly all of the first mile. I told her that if she kept at that easy pace she was on track to have a great race. (She had looked up her previous 5K time the night before and was hoping to beat it.) She was cheerful and we were all enjoying the beautiful morning. (Caveat: it was a beautiful morning to run a short race – if I was in the half or the full I would have been HOT.)
Then the hill of Sunburst hit. It’s not as big as the hill in the 10K but it’s one of those hills that feels never-ending. I remember the first time I ran it and turned the corner to see we were STILL going up and then wanting to cry. We walked up the hill and after she took some time to recover, she would run in fits and bursts. The easy, breezy pace was gone and so was the somewhat consistent running.
She rallied when we got to the bagpipers – BAGPIPERS!! how many races have those in the last half mile for a boost?
And then I played a few mind tricks on her to get her to run the last .25 even though she was complaining mightily and said she could NOT do it. She did 🙂
I really enjoy Sunburst. The courses are pretty and have just a bit of a challenge to them (though I do have a few rants about the marathon course). The community is very supportive – there are always people out cheering you on and lots of sprinklers to run through. This year they had to move the finish outside the Notre Dame football stadium because of new turf replacement. I was afraid the finish would feel like a let down compared to running through the tunnel and out onto the field. However, they created a fun finishing chute that was lined with spectators – it was a lot of fun!
As always this race is well-managed and has great volunteers. Post race food is one of my favorites because Meijer takes the time to cut up lots of fresh melons. This year they also had chips & salsa from a local Mexican joint and some popcorn. Nice additions!
I’m sure I’ll be back to keep my race streak alive. Thanks Sunburst for another fun year!