My wedding anniversary is October 19. This year, we combined our 33rd anniversary celebration with running the 2 Bridges 5k, part of the 7 Bridges Marathon in Chattanooga. We did the race back in 2012 for our 27th anniversary. At that time, my husband wasn’t really into running and only did it as a gift to me. For the past year, he has been into CrossFit and frequently runs in his workouts and has joined me in several races. I didn’t have to pull his arm this year. Yay!
Chattanooga is one of our favorite places to go for a weekend getaway. The concentrated downtown area is pedestrian & bike friendly. You can get to anywhere you need without getting in your car. For suburbanites like us, that’s a nice change!
It was a beautiful weekend, cool but sunny. Thank goodness for experienced early morning race packing because Sunday morning of the race, the temps really plummeted and especially before sunrise, it was COLD. We wore every piece of cold weather gear we brought, and with the exception of gloves, everything stayed on!
All the races (Full, Half, 5k) began and ended at Coolidge Park in the North Shore across the Tennessee River from downtown Chattanooga. The 5k crossed Veterans Bridge and Walnut Street Bridge and wound through Battery Place and the Bluff View Arts District. It was truly a beautiful course. The sun was coming up over the river as we went across Veterans Bridge. Walnut Street Bridge is unique in that it is only open to pedestrians and non-motorized traffic. The views from the bridge are fantastic!
In 2012 when we originally did the race, Finishers Medals were only given to the Full & Half participants. 5k’ers received a t-shirt and water bottle. T-shirts and water bottles are fine and all, but 7 years later I know what I want from a race and I want a medal! I also know that in big races with hundreds/thousands of runners, I am not going to place in my age group, so Finishers Medals are now a requirement for me. Judge if you must, but I am what I am. Fast forward to 2018 and I guess the organizers figured out that many runners like me want that medal, because now the 5k is included. It’s not as big as the others, which is understandable, but it’s pretty sweet!
The only glitch of the race was in the shuttle service from the host hotel to Coolidge Park. A shuttle was scheduled for 6:10 a.m. but never came. Some folks decided to walk or Uber. I had the phone number of one of the race officials and took a chance and left her a message. She immediately called me back in a panic. No one knew the shuttle hadn’t arrived. The old school bus ended up picking us up and getting us there with 15 minutes to spare. The up side was we didn’t have to stand out in the freezing cold for over an hour. Our little forgotten-about group was thankful for that! I can’t imagine the work involved in putting on a race of this size & we all took the glitch in stride. I’m just happy that I had the phone number of someone in charge!
I love doing 5k’s. The majority of the ones I do are small and local and can easily fit into a weekend morning. But sometimes it’s really fun to go somewhere else for a race-cation, especially if it’s with someone you love celebrating your commitment to each other and to keeping yourselves as healthy as possible!