Five Star had their 1st ever Holiday Lights 5k on December 7th. So much fun! The race was held at Veterans Park in Canton, Georgia. The park was all decked out in holiday and patriotic lights (hence the name Veterans Park.) It was beautiful! The best part was the park was closed off to cars during the duration of our race, so we had the entire park, lights and all, to ourselves to run through and enjoy.
The race began at 5:30, just as the sun was going down. The course was a 3-lap loop. We got the opportunity to see the lights under sunset, then under complete darkness by the 3rd lap. Well, maybe not the elite runners in the front, but my 3rd lap was definitely in the dark!
There were lots of lights along the course but my favorite was the tunnel of lights that led to the finish line. The pictures I took are not that great, but you can get the idea of how cool the finish line tunnel was. Speaking of pictures, I chose to take my time on this race and stop to smell the roses (or in this case, see the lights.) I didn’t worry about my running time and stopped several times along the course to take photos. That’s not just an excuse for saying I didn’t place in my age group, either! (wink, wink:)
A very nice surprise was we received Finishers’ Medals when we crossed the finish line. That makes my 4th place AG finish not as painful!
I am typically a morning race person. Get up; get out; get it done; get on with my day. Having said that, the 5:30pm start on this one wasn’t that bad. We were still home in time for whatever Saturday evening plans we had. Besides, you can’t very well have a Holiday Lights 5k with the sun up!
There were lots of kids at the race, which was great, because the atmosphere was definitely fun and festive. One of my friends came with her 8-year old son and they had a ball. Afterwards, she said this race was her favorite of the year. I have a lot of favorites, but agree that this one was definitely at the top. I hope they plan another one for next year. It was unique, fun, and a great way to enjoy the holiday season.
Happy Running & Happy Holidays!