Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Run Donna Marathon and Half Marathon

Miles today: rest day
Miles yesterday: 5.0 miles AM with Mom, 2.18 miles PM
Miles in 2014: 209.10  miles

Both runs yesterday were pretty great. The weather was just about perfect and both the sunrise and sunset were gorgeous.

I even had time to make one of Larry's favorite dinners before crashing and burning in bed around 9:30. (Lame and old, party of one) Recipe here.

So in my little weekend preview of races on Friday, I totally left out a really REALLY great race. Sunday was the annual 26.2 Run Donna marathon, half marathon, 5K, and ultramarathon. Larry and I have run both the half and full in the past and Run Donna was my first marathon experience.

Run Donna is the only marathon where 100% of the profits go directly to breast cancer. We ran the half marathon in 2011 and I was moved to tears for a large portion of the race. The support and energy along the course was incredible. Volunteers constantly thanked runners for their time and efforts and encouraged every last runner. Practically every runner wore signs for someone they knew battling breast cancer or someone they lost. I totally lost it when we were running behind a young boy running in remembrance of his mother. But then you see the joy and feel the hope of the survivors cheering along the sidelines. It was such a special race that I knew that would be my first marathon.
And in 2012, it was. Despite frigid (I mean 20 degrees, which by FL standards equals polar vortex) weather, we lined up and ran 26.2 miles. The course is pretty great. Other than the intracoastal waterway overpass, the course is flat. You run from Mayo Clinic to Jacksonville Beach, along the beach, into really cute neighborhoods and back. The course is really well supported and the finish line was one I will never forget.

It cemented my love of training and running and being a part of the bigger running community. Helping cancer research and a cause that affects so many people I know was just icing on the cake. Personally, Run Donna is an unforgettable race that I hope to do again in the future.

Next year the race will be February 15, 2015. You can check out the info and year round events here.

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