I was looking forward to doing my first race as an Enell Ambassador, so I registered for Toledo's Race for the Cure. This is always a huge event, and this year was no exception: The Toledo Blade reported that there were almost 17,000 registered participants.
We are supposed to be getting some special pink-themed gear sometime in October, but I just wore my Enell Ambassador tee with my HOPE Pink Enell bra underneath instead of the Scuba Blue. I pinned my number to the belt that holds my iPhone. I wore my jacket and an extra pair of longer pants over my running capris and brought a duffel with some extra gear. The bag of gear turned out to be an issue.
This was a huge event. There was no bag check. And even though we started right near Fifth Third Stadium (where the famous Toledo Mud Hens play) there was no way I could leave a duffel bag (even one clearly marked with my name and phone number) sitting around unattended without someone getting suspicious and possibly throwing it away in a post-Boston-Marathon-bombing world. I had no one with me that could hold my stuff, so that left me a lot of time to panic about this.
Finally, I talked to some of the Toledo Mud Hens stadium security people, explained my dilemma, showed them that my name and phone number were on the bag and explained that there were no valuables in it, just extra clothing and a pair of flip-flops. They were so nice about it and helped me find a place to leave it, as long as I knew that they couldn't be responsible if it got lost.
I would have been willing to make an extra donation for a safe bag check -- maybe that is something the race committee could consider for next year? Though the logistics of 17,000 participants leaving bags could be a big headache, bigger races do manage it.
|From my vantage point, this survivors' photo looked like just a lot of pink, but it was actually a ribbon.|
The thing about this race is that it is a charity event and a big city festival all in one, and not just a race. I love the way people really have fun with their clothes. I saw women in tutus, girls in tutus, boys in tutus, and men in tutus. I saw a few dogs, but did not see any in tutus. Almost everyone is there to honor a friend or family member who is living with breast cancer, or who died from it, but the event still has a celebratory feeling.There were sponsor booths, so I asked the representative from Dave's Running Shop if they carried Enell. They don't, so I gave him one of my special slap bracelets that I had gotten in the mail a week before with the Enell website. I don't know if they will carry them (they are a small store and don't carry a lot of clothing inventory, especially in larger sizes) but I thought it was worth a shot. I didn't have a chance to have a lot of conversations about the brand -- I was there by myself and everyone's mind was really on the people they were there to honor, and I didn't want to distract from that.
|This mother-son duo in fantastic rainbow tutus allowed me to take their photo!|
The start line is so mobbed that it's not the kind of race where you can get a personal record (PR), but oddly enough, I did have my PR 5K at a Race for the Cure, in 2003, a 27:33.
That was a long time ago. I didn't come close to that time, but had a pretty good race. I crossed the start line about a minute after the start and was able to get enough room to run comfortably fairly soon after the start. I hit the first mile and heard them calling out times -- 11:04. I had to go under 11 minutes for that mile. The rest of the race was fairly uneventful, except that in the last mile I ran into a friend of mine who is a breast cancer survivor, and I accidentally pulled my number halfway off and had to fix it.
|After the race, red-faced and feeling happy.|
I was really happy that I felt good all race long and that I didn't have to walk at all, except when I was fixing my number. I didn't even slow down to get water. The actual time aside, I had fun and enjoyed being part of such a big event. I appreciated being supported, literally and figuratively, by a great brand like Enell.