When my grandma accepted my invitation to come visit me the weekend after Thanksgiving, I knew I needed to find some kind of fun run or walking event we could do together so that she could really get the feel of what my running life is like. I found the Believe! 2012 event in a nearby city, which included a 1 Mile fun walk on Saturday morning - it was perfect! So I registered us both and picked up our packets early that week.
Looking at the weather forecast on Friday evening, we realized it was going to be much colder than my grandma had expected, so I loaned her quite a few of my cold weather gear running items (including my compression pants that fit her like normal pants - she's tiny!) to layer underneath and on top of her outfit for the next morning as well as a scarf and hat set. After watching Spirit of the Marathon, we both headed to bed early because it had been a long day of traveling and we needed to get up early the next morning for the race.
Saturday morning dawned clear and cold at 29°! We headed out about 7am, and after parking a few blocks away in a designated lot, Grandma and I walked to the City Square where the start & finish lines were. There was quite a bit of activity for a relatively small race, and the race mascot was out taking pictures with everyone, so of course we grabbed a quick pic with him. We cheered on the 10K runners as they started their race and watched the kids to the Santa Chase, then lined up behind the 5K runners to start our walk.
While we waited at the start, Grandma kept telling me that if I wanted to take off and run then I should, but I reassured her that I wanted to do the race with her, and we'd go at whatever pace she felt comfortable. So off we went and we were quickly left in the dust at the back of the pack with the families with kids walking, which actually made for a great race. None of us realized that it was actually quite a hilly course - with one monster hill (for our area) on both the out-and-back portions! Just as we were finishing the 1 Mile, the speediest 10K finishers were coming through, so that was fun to see and cheer them on to their finish.
We didn't stick around very long after we finished because even though it had warmed up considerably with the sun rising, it was still cold! So we walked back through the square and stopped in at a small cafe we'd seen earlier to grab some breakfast and coffee to "refuel" after the race and warm up. Grandma was a fast believer in splurging on a post-race breakfast!
It was a fun and well-organized race and next year I think I'll do one of the longer distances - I'll just need to remember to train for those hills!