A Running Glance:
Things I loved
- Patriotic themed event & medal
- Knowledgeable and kind race-directors
Things I less than loved
- NOT a dog friendly event (I didn’t know and TOTALLY broke the rules!) *gasp*
I can’t think of a better way to spend a portion of Memorial Day Weekend than by participating in a 5k to honor the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. In its second year, the Run to Remember offered a 10k, 5k and 1 Mile Kids’ Fun Run. Defining Moments Events selected the Wounded Warrior Project as their charity of choice. This non-profit organization is on a mission to honor and empower our nation’s wounded warriors. They have assisted hundreds of thousands of warriors, their family members, and caregivers in receiving access to programs and services that meet their unique mental, physical, and economic needs, free of charge, for life. I personally think it’s so important to properly care for our military members; these brave souls put their lives on the line for our freedom! What a great way to give back!
$25 for a 5k is a great price. $25 for a 10k is a STEAL! Especially one with a custom designed finishers’ medal! Race day registration was only $30; you can’t beat these prices, folks! Besides, you can’t put a price on FREEDOM!
The t-shirt is Gildan brand, “SoftStyle Ring Spun,” and 100% cotton. The logo is predominately large across the front of the shirt and depicts a serviceman centered in a circle of stars. The back is covered in sponsors’ logos, a fairly traditional occurrence among race shirts. Y’all know I’m partial to smaller logos on the front of the shirt, but this one was still nice. I loved the patriotic look, and the light blue was a great color choice.
The finish line atmosphere was lively with lots of participants milling about enjoying post-race cupcakes, pretzels, fruit, and drinks. There was a “photo-booth” area set up with patriotic props to be utilized by selfie-ers (Did I just make up a word? Yes. Yes, I did.)
Plus, the Hog-Wild BBQ & Family Festival was moved to Memorial Day Weekend this year and was happening one street over! This annual event hosts a BBQ cook-off and benefits five volunteer fire departments in Lincoln County. So, you can do ANOTHER good deed while enjoying delicious BBQ. (Ain’t life so hard, sometimes?)
The medals featured a camouflage ribbon, while the medallion itself was in the shape of an American flag. As always, DME’s medals are super high quality, and the design was definitely appropriate for the day!
At all races in the “Ole Brook Run Series” the overall male and female in both the walk ad run divisions are given a certificate for a free entry to their next DME race! That’s pretty nifty, especially if you’re fast! In theory, you could run FREE all year. 😉 #Motivation
Age group winners received a pin depicting their ranking (1st, 2nd or 3rd) to place on the ribbon of their medal, which is a nice touch instead of receiving a whole second medal or trophy.
I was registered to RUN the 10k but unfortunately, I was suffering with my annual sinus infection. Instead of copping out and not showing up at all, I talked myself into switching to the 5k. At the last minute I decided to bring my favorite 4-legged “running buddy,” Nora the Explorer. (She totally pirated the race! Not only was she not registered; pups weren’t even allowed! I’m such a rule-follower, so I was MORTIFIED when I realized what a rebel I was! Thankfully, the RD was very gracious and didn’t give us too much of a hard time.)
Nora didn’t really know what to think about “walking,” but thankfully she caught on pretty fast. (No pun intended.) Despite the reduction in our normal average speed, we managed to place 2nd in our middle-aged-lady-age-group! Nora’s first (and possibly last) win!! WOOHOO!
There were plenty of volunteers on-course and at the finish line, including some adorable kiddos handing out medals! 🙂 Packet pick-up was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
The course began at the Military Memorial Museum, located inside the historic old train depot. There we found a wealth of information and artifacts about the area, its citizens and ties to the military. There were photos, artifacts and personal items of area veterans, plus displays of military equipment dating back to WWI. It’s a really neat place; be sure to include it on your itinerary the next time you’re in Brookhaven, especially if you’re like me and have a family full of history buffs and enthusiasts!
Course Difficulty: LEVEL 2.5
The 5k course was easier than I remember the 10k course being from the Cupid Shuffle back in February. Maybe the worst of the course was cut out, or maybe it was just that I was WALKING 3 MILES instead of RUNNING 6. *SHRUGS* I didn’t make it TOO EASY on myself, despite being sick I rucked the 5k with a 20-pound weight while carrying an American flag … all while being led by my #JackRussellTerrorist. I should really reevaluate my hobbies. (Ha. JK. Running and racing is THE BEST!)
I noticed at least two water stations along the 5k course, both stocked with cool offerings and friendly faces.
There was plenty of parking available in downtown Brookhaven, with very easy access to the start/finish line area. And did I mention there was BBQ??
BTW – Nora asked me to give this race TWO PAWS UP! (She clearly disregarded my 5-star rating system. Guess she’s a rebel like her Mama. ;))
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, Defining Moments Events is truly an awesome event management company. Jennifer and Steven McMorris work so hard putting together the “Ole Brook Run Series” events while supporting multiple causes, and their community. I’d highly recommend checking out their website or Facebook and running or walking one of their upcoming events. Next up in the series is the Splash Dash in July, which will benefit the Brookhaven School District through a school supply drive!! FYI – I’m registered and, I have not one but TWO SUPER SOAKER WATER GUNS currently in my possession. Consider yourself warned!! 😉 (PS – Seriously, I hope to see you there!)