Latest reviews by Samantha Andrews
The A Christmas Story Virtual 5k was my last race of 2020. To be honest, virtual races brought a little "normal" to my running routine this year. I also earned many medals for races that I would not be able to run. I ran the A Christmas Story Virtual 5k on December 26, which was also my nephew's 10th birthday. While I could not get him to tag along, I did enjoy running the 5k in my home state of Florida. It was a cold day.
I ran the 5k on a looped trail in Gainesville, FL. My ankles were a bit sore so I decided to run intervals. I enjoyed all the Spanish moss and the wildlife were still asleep. My finishing time was. 39:14.
I received my swag when I returned home after the holidays. The jacket, hat, and medal were nice, especially for a virtual race. The wreath medal is a unique addition to my medal collection.
This Saturday, December 4, I ran my third in-person Enmarket Savannah Bridge Double Pump Race. After running the virtual race last year it was great to build character by running three trips across Talmadge Bridge for the Double Pump 15k. This year was also special in that it was the 30th Anniversary. The Double Pump participants could receive also all three race medals. Let's see how this year's race went.
The expo was held at the Trustee's Garden. Upon entrance to the expo everyone had to present their COVID-19 vaccine card or get tested. After showing my vaccine card, I was able to quickly pick up my bib on the second floor of the venue. I moved to the first floor to visit the vendors, pick up my shirt, and try the free tacos. The expo was small, but was a nice way to meet other runners and get pumped for the race.
One of my favorite things about the race is the ease of parking and it's free. The first race for the Double Pump 15 was the 5k, which started at 8 am. We arrived to the start around 6:45 am to get the best parking spot. I met with friends and another BibRave Pro.
The race has two corrals, one from walkers and the other for runners. While I like this concept, the corrals merge less than a half a mile from the start so the race got crowded really fast. Thankfully, the bridge is the great equalizer and it was easy to quickly start moving. I finished the 5k and this year, we were able to immediately start the 10k without stopping. The 5k was the first trip across the bridge.
The 10k was mentally challenging since it was 2 trips across the Talmadge Bridge. I chose to walk the steepest part of the hill to preserve my energy and make up my pace on the downhills. The view from the bridge was beautiful.
I finished the race in 1:52:52 (official results) with a few extra steps. I also earned all three medals. There was plenty of food and drinks at the post-race celebration. We took the free Trolley back to the start after the race.
Unlike previous years, the Double Pump participants could upgrade their registration to receive all three race medals. I think that option should be automatically included in the Double Pump with no additional fees since we completed all three races. The bling was beautiful and I was glad to be able to run the race this year.
I ended September by running the Back On My Feet Virtual 15k. Back On Feet (https://support.backonmyfeet.org/bomfrunningfestival) is an organization that provides support for individuals who are facing homeliness. I ran the race and donated $250 to support their mission.
I trained for this race with the Garmin half marathon training plan. The training plan consisted of easy runs, progression runs, and strides over several weeks. While I had no time goal in mind, I wanted to finish the race strong.
Since I signed up the 15k, I received a bib, energy gel, and finish line banner for my race swag. The swag arrived a few days before the I ran the race. In the spirit of tradition, I set up my flat runner picture the day before the race.
I ran route that took me from my neighborhood though the City of Atlanta through some of my favorite neighborhoods. The weather was wonderful and I choose a route that moderate hills (which is though to find in ATL). My pace was fine and just when I was about to run out of water I made it to a Fleet Feet. Not only did I fill my water bottle, but I also bought some socks on clearance. I finished the last mile after my impromptu Fleet Feet shopping spree.
I finished the race in 1:50:34 and felt wonderful afterwards. My training has greatly improved every aspect of my running. I am starting feel like I did when I was at the height of my fitness. I enjoyed the run and thankful to support a great organization.
Every month, I donate a percentage of my income to support an organization and in September I choose to support Back On Feet. I earned a race tee-shirt with my donation.
On Labor Day, 9/7/21, I ran the DC Superman Virtual 5k Race. This is my second super hero virtual race. I love virtual races, so I was super excited about running this race. The race swag arrived right in time for the race. I received a pullover, bib, finish line, running pouch and of course the medal.
I even used my swag for my flat runner picture. I really miss my pre-race flat runner photos. This one was a reminder to get all my stuff together for the race.
I ran this race as part of my virtual half marathon training program. The temperature was amazing and I ran a mostly flat course in my neighborhood. Since there wasn't much traffic due to the holiday it was quick, fast run. I finished in 36:47:00 and then headed off for my post-race sweet tea and Labor Day resting.
For both races, the swag arrived the day before the race. The box included the bib, medal, shirt, salt water taffy (my favorite), an exercise band, and instant coffee. Runners were also gifted a Run for Tony bracelet to celebrate the life of Tony Banovich, the late Missoula race director. Overall, the race was well managed and I had a great time running the virtual race in my neighborhood.