It was so nice not having to wake up early for this race! The race start time was 8:00 and the start line was only about 10-15 minutes from my house! I met up with friends to carpool to the race....and Holly got free parking downtown with her work parking pass! Holly's husband also came along with us girls because he was running his first 5K!
We parked and walk right to the start line with plenty of time! Hey Dan Evans! He was on the mic talking to all the runners as we passed by! I stopped to take a picture of the start line and he stopped and posed for me! Such a cutie!
We even got a glimpse of the medals! Even the 5K runners get a medal at The Biggest Loser RunWalk Race Series!
Then it was time for some pictures in front of the start line! Anyone who knows me knows that I have a 2 (or more) picture rule. You never know when a picture will turn out blurry so I make sure to take several just in case!
Holly's husband was taking pictures with my phone and her daughter was taking pictures with her phone. We got a few shots and then all of sudden Joby (Holly's husband) turned the phone around and took a picture of himself!
We all cracked up laughing....which led to Holly finding this awesome picture of us on her phone later that day! I love these candid shots!
After pictures we headed to check out the rest of the race area. We ran into Jackie Evans (season 5) who was headed towards the start line!
Then we went in search of our Sole2Soul Sisters! We had enough people running to form a team and so we got our very own tent! It even had a banner with our team name on it...that we got to take home at the end of the race! Awesome!
We also got a great group picture before the race!
And we met up with Larisa too!
Finally it was time to head back to the start line! I was so happy to be running this race with Holly again! Remember....we had just run the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon together the weekend before in horrible weather conditions. I told her my goals for this race were to run more than we walked, to run around an 11:30 pace, and to finish around 2:30-2:35. She was all for my goals!
At the start line there weren't any corrals but there were pacers holding sticks with their pace on it. We lined up near the 11:30 pace. The race started in waves with about 1-2 minutes in between each wave. While we waited to start the former Biggest Loser Contestants kept us entertained! They even threw Mardi Gras beads to us!
In no time at all we were on our way! The weather was absolutely perfect running weather! It was sunny and the temps were in the 40's!
We hadn't even conquered the first mile and there were photographers! I was excited because this race gives you FREE downloads of your race pictures!
The first 3-4 miles of the race I struggled like always. I just have to keep reminding myself that I WILL get into my groove! We were running strong though...every time I glanced down at my Garmin we were in the 10 minute pace range. I would tell Holly we needed to slow down and we would for a bit. But then we would end up speeding up again!
Around mile 5 I really started getting into my groove. I was running faster than my intended 11:30 pace but it felt good. So I quit talking about slowing down and just went with it.
I fueled right around mile 5 too. I had Huma Gel in my hydration belt and Honey Stinger Chews. I had never tried Honey Stinger Chews but Abby and Sarah said they loved them! Sarah was kind enough to give me a pack and that's what I used during this race. I LOVED them! I will definitely be buying some of these to alternate with my Huma Gel!
I felt great this entire race! I did get a little tired towards the end but Holly kept telling me that we were making great time and if we kept going we would come in under 2:30! That gave me the motivation I needed. I REALLY wanted a good race!
Around mile 11 I knew that I had a chance to PR if I could keep up the pace. I broke ahead of Holly around this time because she needed to slow down. She had been dealing with sinuses and a cold and was having a hard time breathing. My body wouldn't let me slow down with her....and neither would Holly. She made me run on!
I LOVED the last part of the course! It was awesome running towards downtown Mobile and in some familiar territory. I really loved running on Dauphin Street past some of my favorite restaurants. And I loved seeing the RSA Tower ahead of me!
Mile 12 came and I knew I was going to be really close to a PR! I was so tired. I wanted to walk. I wanted to be done. But I also wanted that PR! I wanted it bad! So I kept pushing. I didn't give up. I made my legs run!
Finally I saw the finish line! I knew I was close! I ran as fast as my body would let me!
I DID IT!!! I PRed by 2 minutes!!!! And I PRed on back to back race weekends!!! My official time was 2:21:14! I was soooo excited!!!
Holly came in shortly after I did! I am so grateful to her for giving me the push I needed to PR! She ran with me the last time I PRed at the Seaside Half Marathon last year too! She is my pace partner and my PR buddy!!! ;-)
After grabbing our bananas, water, and clemetines to refuel with we headed towards the stage to hear the band play. That's when I spotted my runDisney friends Kristin and Joe!!! I was so happy to finally meet them in real person!
Joe was dressed up for the Mardi Gras costume contest! He played his trumpet during the entire race! And yes...he won the costume contest too!!!
I also got to hang out a little with Gina from Season 14!
Overall this race was amazing! I did compare it to Panama City Beach several times...but it did not disappoint! The route was amazing! It was much better than the out and back route in PCB. The only thing it lacked compared to PCB was having the former contestants out on the course. But they were all at the finish area. I really hope to run this race again next year!!!
The Biggest Loser RunWalk Race Series is amazing! I highly recommend these races to beginning runners to seasoned runners! There is something for everyone!
And my PR will definitely help me remember this race forever! :-)
QOTD: Do you like to wear costumes in races?