So this post is WAYY overdue! But here it is: The Wolfson Children’s Challenge was started by Paul Wilson. Watch the incredible story behind this unique race here. It is a 55K race with the choice to run as an individual or break up the 34 some miles into legs for a team relay.
This is the third year I’ve participated in the event and the second consecutive year I’ve organized a team. This year, they moved the location to inside the baseball grounds downtown. In previous years, it was held outside Everbank Field.
With this sort of event, I assume at least a few people will drop out due to last minute demands or family emergencies, which inevitably happened. One teammate was stuck in NYC because of the snow storm and another had a family memorial to attend. Luckily, I was able to convince B and our high school buddy John to join the team a few days before the event. John was such a trooper! After working in Saint Augustine the night before until 2 am, he showed up downtown before me! This year, we lacked a pop-up tent, but we made do by arranging our couple of lawn chairs around mine and B’s bags to claim an area. It was close to freezing when our first runner took off.
Amanda booked it, despite rolling her ankle during ultimate frisbee the night before. She passed the ankle monitor/race chip device off to her significant other, Matt and then we quickly found her the beer station.
Once the sun was up, other teammates slowly started arriving. I was most excited for my friend Hayley’s leg. This was her very first 5K and she had been training for it for a month or two. Her sweet husband even showed up to surprise her right as it was her turn to run.
My oldest sister, Anna Laura even came to run the event, mostly because I forced her to. She hates running. And she nearly gave me a panic attack not answering her phone, until I remembered she is a college student and it was 8 am on a Saturday.
My best friend from high school, Hayley, also joined the team and started training a few months before the event. She was so excited to run her first 5K and made great time!
Our fastest runner was my coworker and friend, Whitney. She booked it and ran her 5k in 26 minutes and some change.
I waited all day for my turn and was unsure about what to eat. Because a few people dropped out, John and I agreed to run the extra legs so our team would still complete the 55k. When John started his double-leg, I was getting really hungry but was nervous about eating too much before running. Plus, the weather had really warmed up.
Then before I knew it, it was my turn! The first mile and a half of the course was a little odd. The course took runners about half way around Everbank Field before turning around and running a small loop in the parking lot and then heading back towards and around the baseball grounds. Mile 2 takes you along scenic Bay Street towards the Landing. I had really started to overheat before the breeze coming off the river on Bay Street started to cool me down. I felt great finishing my first leg and crossing the finish line. Seriously, check out this finish line photo:
But as I turned the corner out of the baseball grounds, I was NOT excited to run the entire course AGAIN. Point-to-point relay races, like the Ragnar Relay series, are way more intense but much less boring. The second time around the course I had to tell myself mind over muscle pain and power through. While I didn’t finish with my best time, I did have a fantastic day hanging out with my friends and raising money for a great cause.
What’s the most fun race you’ve ever ran?