A Running Glance:
Things I loved
- SO. MANY. DOGS. <3
- Great shirt and doggie goodie bags
Things I less than loved
- Misplaced water stop
- Medal misunderstanding
We wiggled AND we waggled all the way to the 5k finish line! If you’re looking for a unique way to support your local shelter while spending a little quality time with #MansBestFriend, then this is the 5k for you!
At only $20, early bird registration for this 5k was a doggone good deal! The price increased to $25 a few months before the event, and race day registration was $30. They even offered a Labor Day sale where you could snag an entry for the bargain-basement price of only $18. Knowing that the proceeds were donated to the Mississippi Animal Rescue League (MARL) truly made this fee nominal. To date, MARL has helped find homes for over 58,000 animals, and they work tirelessly to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.
This t-shirt is my new go-to. Its 91% polyester/ 9% cotton blend results in a fabric that is SO soft and paper-thin. I’ve never seen one of this exact style, called “Signature Textures,” the Bella+Canvas brand is familiar, however. The front features the WW logo large and centered across the front, while the back has the names (not logos) of the sponsors organized neatly down the center in tiers.
Now, let’s talk SWAG of the canine variety. Thanks to the Flowood PetSmart, Camp Bow Wow of Ridgeland, the Crooked Creek Animal Hospital, and the Animal Emergency Referral Center, we received an obscene amount of treats, toys, chews, leashes and more. Nora thought the PetSmart goodies bags were the best! They contained several plushies, ones I don’t typically buy because she destroys them. (R.I.P. – literally.) But, she loved every minute of it. Thanks, everyone!
The finish line offered the usual water, Gatorade, bananas and even oranges. The area was chock full of local businesses giving away awesome puppy dog swag!
The medals were all the same, a gold circle with the Wiggle Waggle logo etched in the center on a solid red ribbon. Nora and I were speedy enough to pull first place in our middle-aged lady age group. (The age groups were in 10-year increments.) Nora was also awarded a “dog tag” medal for being the “Cutest.” (Isn’t she though?)
I mistakenly thought that this 5k gave out finisher medals to ALL participants, human and canine. The website simply says, “Medals awarded to dogs and humans.” My brain interpreted that to mean everyone received a medal, and I actually told Nora (along with many others) that they could expect a finisher medal! I was thankful that Nora and I were lucky enough to earn one. She is RUNable’s official pace dog and probably would have finished even faster if not for me holding her back. She’s speedy and just loves to run, medal or no medal.
There were ample volunteers at the finish line and directing participants at the turn-around. MS Race Timing did a stand-up job, as always.
The course is actually the exact same route I use for the monthly $5 5k. We began on the road in front of the JC Penny store, took a right onto the parkway and continued for approximately 1.5 miles before turning around and returning to the start/finish line.
Course Difficulty: LEVEL 2.5
The parkway offers several rolling hills that earn it a Level 2.5 on the RUNable difficulty scale. This course is great training! In fact, our training group met on the opposite side of the highway for years to run hills for just that reason.
There was only one aid station on course, and it was positioned about 1/2 mile out for the start line. I would recommend placing the water stop at the halfway point; this is more customary and expected at races. Or maybe next time, set up two water stops to ensure all of the two-legged and four-legged participants remain optimally hydrated.
Participants were able to park in the JC Penny parking lot, which provided plenty of very convenient space for everyone. It was especially nice to have my car so close by so I could drop off all of those puppy treats instead of carrying them around post-race. 🙂
This is the second year that Sherrie Broadus has organized this fun family affair. I hope she and her partners continue to promote the important message of animal welfare on such a fun platform. The Wiggle Waggle 5k was truly enjoyable for the entire family, furbabies included. Big thank you to Sherrie and her team! See you in 2020!