RUNable Race Review: Ainsley’s Angels Cannonball Roll 5k

RUNable Review: I am going to be honest: this first race review might be a teeny bit skewed because I LOVE AINSLEY’S ANGELS SO MUCH. This organization and what they stand for really gets me in the feels! They roll (literally) by the mantra that EVERYONE should be included. They believe that by ensuring that every single person can participate in endurance events, they can raise awareness about the special needs community. <3 So, it is impossible to have a single negative thing to say when you are running with such a truly momentous cause in mind. Ainsley’s Angels is…
I was thrilled to kick off my VERY FIRST race review with an event that is truly wonderful! To the right is my overall score, averaged from the individual categories above. Did you run the race? If so, add YOUR OWN review in the comments and I'll add up the READER REVIEWS as well! Then read my full review below!

Running Tally: Ainsley’s Angels Cannonball Roll 5k

Price/Value
T-Shirt/Swag
Medal/Awards
Volunteers
Course Scenery
Parking/Access
Race Management

3.8 STARS

I was thrilled to kick off my VERY FIRST race review with an event that is truly wonderful! To the right is my overall score, averaged from the individual categories above. Did you run the race? If so, add YOUR OWN review in the comments and I'll add up the READER REVIEWS as well! Then read my full review below!

User Rating: 4.1 ( 1 votes)

RUNable Review:

I am going to be honest: this first race review might be a teeny bit skewed because I LOVE AINSLEY’S ANGELS SO MUCH. This organization and what they stand for really gets me in the feels! They roll (literally) by the mantra that EVERYONE should be included. They believe that by ensuring that every single person can participate in endurance events, they can raise awareness about the special needs community. <3

So, it is impossible to have a single negative thing to say when you are running with such a truly momentous cause in mind. Ainsley’s Angels is a national organization rolling in over 60 cities and 30 states. The Cannonball Roll 5k was organized by our local Mississippi Chapter and its name is a wink to the host city of Raymond’s history. In 1863, the Civil War’s Battle of Raymond unfolded here as General Grant marched his Union troops through the town on their way to capture the city of Vicksburg. (There’s your history lesson for the day, boys and girls!)

Price

This race ran me $30. (See what I did there.) $25 is about the average cost of a 5k in this area. I occasionally happen across events that offer early bird registration for $20. Mail in registration also wasn’t available for this event so I had to pay an extra couple bucks to register online. Again, AA is amazing, and I was happy to pay $30 to run alongside these amazing athletes and riders!

T-shirt/Swag

Some people might find the t-shirt design to be a little busy, and the color to be a little loud. I’m a little busy and a little loud, sooo

The shirt was “Gildan Soft Style Ring Spun” 100% cotton, one of my favorites, outside of tech material blends. I strategically chose a size larger than I usually wear with full intentions of this becoming my new favorite sleep shirt.

Expo/Finish Line

They did have a table set up to sell their Ainsley’s Angels branded items: shirts, sweatshirts, hats, stickers, etc. (Belinda – you call me when y’all get some more black visors in. I need-need-need one. <3) This race also opted for branded bibs, which I think is always a nice extra little touch.

But what they lacked in a “real expo” they more than made up for in sheer finish line excitement! Simply one of the most supportive, cheering, high-energy crowds I’ve seen from a small-town 5K, or from a large-city 5K, for that matter!

Medal/Awards

Finisher Medals for all participants with a very lovely race branded ribbon in AA’s signature pink. The age group awards were neat; blue (1st), red (2nd) and white (3rd) towels with the AA logo embroidered on one side. I was several placements off from getting one this year, maybe next time!! I love swag and awards that are useful!

Volunteers

There were a ton of folks on course directing runners, so there was no worry of making any wrong turns. (A bonus for the “directionally challenged” runners like myself.) There were also a significant number of police officers stationed at intersections. Thank you local PD!

Course Scenery

The race was held in quaint downtown Raymond, the starting point just in front of the courthouse. The route looped through adjacent neighborhoods and along the campus of Hinds Community College. This event is also held in conjunction with the annual Raymond Country Fair, which consisted of maybe 30 booths of vendors and small-town politicians peddling their local wares, platforms, food and such. (Shopping & running? Yes, please!)

Course Difficulty: LEVEL 2.5

There were a couple hills that almost made me lose my religion but overall a decent route through a charming small-town in the great state of Mississippi!

Click to read the RUNable Difficulty Key
  • LEVEL 1: NO PROBLEM – Mostly flat & even course that’s perfect for a first race or a PR.
  • LEVEL 2: EASY – Small hills or uneven terrain, but nothing too scary for most runners.
  • LEVEL 3: MODERATE – A few more or steeper hills or variable terrain: great training.
  • LEVEL 4: CHALLENGING – Multiple hills and rougher terrain that may take some mental pushing to get through.
  • LEVEL 5: DIFFICULT – Steep inclines and/or the type of terrain that makes your legs hate you, your feet beg for mercy, and your mind think “what were we thinking?”

Aid Stations

I don’t recall a single aid station on course, but I honestly could have blacked out and may just not remember if there was one. 😊 #RUNesia #RunnerProbs

Parking/ Access

I got lost on the way there (see above comment about being “directionally challenged”) so I was about 20 minutes later arriving than I had originally planned. I was still able to park right around the corner from packet pick-up and had plenty of time to get my bib situated, return my packet to my car, visit the porta-potty and visit with all my #RunningBuddies pre-race.

Race Management

These girls right here! They know how to put on an event and truly embody what Ainsley’s Angels represents: inclusion. Thank you, ladies, for a lovely morning of running and inspiration. Shout out also to Rob Oats with SISU Race Timing. It is always a pleasure to run a SISU timed event; their work is top notch.

“Finishing” Thoughts…

Ainsley’s Angels is such a worthy cause, it was easy to give this event a 4-star rating on the RACEable scale. If you haven’t yet, follow them on Facebook and visit them online. You can learn more about the precious young girl behind the creation of this group and find out how you can get more involved! It’s easy to sign up to be an angel runner and help some of these athlete riders #RollWithTheWind! I would absolutely recommend that you add this event to your calendar for next year. Racing along side the likes of these phenomenal athletes and angels will be an experience you won’t soon forget. I hope to see you in Raymond next year.

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