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A few weeks ago I was browsing the event calendar on the Charm City Run site and came across a 5K in Lancaster, PA. I thought it was weird that they were sponsoring a race so far away, but then realized it was the exact same weekend that we would be up visiting Z’s parents! Seeing as how they’re only a 30 minute drive from Lancaster and seeing as how Z and I haven’t ran a race together in almost a year and a half, I went ahead and signed us up.

The race was called “Dash For Dad.” This series of races takes place all over the country and strives to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research and screening.

We picked up our packets while out and about the night before. In it were our shirts:

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As well as a tie! On our bags were stickers that encouraged you to wear the tie during the race to support a Dad.

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Saturday morning we were up at 5am. The race wasn’t until 8 but we had a half hour drive and I wanted to make sure my coffee and light breakfast were properly digested. I love races with a theme so was excited to include a tie in my running attire.

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The race was held at Lancaster County Central Park. Unfortunately I failed to review the parking instructions before leaving. We parked in the first lot we came to (along with a number of other people) and began walking to find the race start. We walked…and walked…and walked. The race time drew closer and closer and we were still walking. Turns out we were no where nearwhere we should have parked (around two miles away to be exact). With an 8:00 start, 7:55 came along and the people in front of us went from walking to running. We did the same.

We ended up at the start just as everyone was headed to the line. I threw on my number, held shakily on by a couple safety pins, put in my headphones and away we went.

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The course was very nice, weaving through the wooded park. There were a good amount of down-hills which allowed me to gain time but on the other hand there were up-hills….ohhhh the up-hills. The one at mile 2.5 was quite a challenge and I somehow survived it.

The last half mile was a nice down-hill which crossed under a covered bridge to the finish line. Z and I kicked it into high gear right about then, knowing that if we did we would beat my goal of a 30 minute or less run.

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The result: SUCCESS! 29:34. A new personal best!

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Remember when I said that I was in a running rut? Well this was just the boost I needed. It felt so great to set a goal and then achieve it.

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(Yes that’s a giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup waiting to cheer people on as they crossed the finish line. Hershey was a sponsor, can you tell?)

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We had to get a picture with Z’s Dad at the Dash For Dad, it just made sense!

As of right now our next race isn’t for awhile, the “Ready … Set … Sniff 5K Run/Walk” to benefit BARCS in October. But now I have a new time to beat!

Question of the day: Have you participated in any races that had a theme?

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