First off, happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there. Today is a special one for us because it's Stevie's first Mother's Day as a mom.
Stevie decided a few months ago that she wanted to celebrate the occasion at a local 5k she'd found online. Looks like I picked the right one, folks. She's been doing the 21 Day Fix Program through Beach Body and loving it, so she wanted to get back into running, which she hasn't really done since before getting pregnant. So we brought Neale and the jogging stroller over to Cherry Hill this morning for the First Annual Race to Neverland 5k.
Unfortunately it was the most poorly organized race I've ever done.
Look, I hate to bash a local 5k, given that they are usually charity events (this one benefitted two young girls who had lost their mother a few years ago), so let's just call this constructive criticism and hope next year's event goes a little better.
There were only about 50 people in the race, mostly moms and their kids of varying ages, along with a few ringers from local running clubs (some of whom I recognized from the South Jersey running circuit).
Stevie had already registered in advance, but I registered when we got there. I was surprised that race-day registration was $35. There was no music or fanfare of any kind, there were no aid stations on the course, and the only post race refreshments were bottles of water. I don't mind a no frills race, but not when the price is that high.
9am came and we were told the police had not arrived and they needed 10 more minutes to finish getting ready. The only bathroom available was a single portapotty a quarter mile away next to a baseball field, so 5 of us walked out there. On our way back across the field, we heard a siren go off and saw they had started the race without us. We swore it hadn't yet been 10 minutes, but even if it had, it hadn't occured to them to look across the field to see if anyone was using the bathroom and to wait for us.
So we trotted over to the starting mat so we could register our chips, but they were already dismantling it. We tried to cross over it but were told rather brusquely, "you need to start now." There was no explanation as to whether or not we would be timed. So we just started running.
I pushed Neale in the stroller, Stevie ran beside me, and Stevie's friend Heather pushed her daughter in a stroller. The police officer had showed up and was stopping traffic for us to cross the street. The majority of the course was in a beautiful residential neighborhood, and I had fun with the novelty of running with a stroller and taking selfies, neither of which I ever do while racing.
We eventually came back to the same intersection with the police officer and a course marshall and were waved across the street back to the high school where we started. As we approached the finish line, Heather's iPhone only read 2 miles. At the finish line we explained that the course wasn't marked and the course marshall had sent us this way, but the same man from the starting line told us in the same tone as before, "no one else had a problem." Ok, so we're either lying or you're calling us stupid. Great.
We headed back onto the course so we could run the proper length and finished around 34 minutes, a PR for Stevie.
The disorganization and the rude tone of the man in charge left me with a bad taste in my mouth, but when all was said and done we still did a proper 5k distance, which was Neale's first race in the stroller and Stevie's and my first race running together the whole way.
I'd brought along a cooler with champagne, orange juice and glasses, and after running we all relaxed on the grass drinking mimosas.
Once again, happy Mother's Day!