Since we didn’t have our sights set on any spring races, Kimberly and I signed up for the Fleet Feet Sports Store to Store Run. Why not? A free event and a new route seemed like a good break from our usual Saturday morning loops around Apex. I can’t speak for Kimberly, but I wasn’t entirely sure what we had signed up for – no routes were posted on the event website, no start time, and very little other information. Oh well, I figured we’d be in for an adventure.
I picked up my packet at the Morrisville store on Friday because it’s close to my office. By packet pick up, I mean a bib in a plastic bag – a bit wasteful, I thought. My bib was number 5, so I was certain this would be a super small event. Maybe we’d be the only ones there! The people at the store didn’t know much about the event either, but I assumed we’d be trekking through at least part of Umstead State Park (yay!!). I texted Kimberly to let her know it wasn’t worth the trip to the store, but she went anyway and ended up with a new pair of Brooks Levitates.
We got to the store around 6:45 am, enough time to check in, peruse the sale racks (event participants got 50% off) and use the restroom. Evidently the run was to start at 7:30, but that’s the time when the store organizers started talking about event logistics. There were probably about 100 runners headed to one of two stores. It was super chill and our expectations were low. Kimberly and I grew impatient with all the talking and decided to get a “head start” when the first group headed out. This was our mistake. Neither of us had grabbed the cue sheet (who needs that?!), so we inadvertently followed the group running the 13 mile route instead of the 11 mile route. I didn’t mind, but was concerned about Kimberly, who has been keeping her weekly mileage low in an attempt to deal with some glute and hip issues.
The 13 mile route took us out Ridge Road and back, then we turned on the greenway, crossed over I-440 (we’ve always wanted to run on that bridge!) and headed up through the art museum grounds. It was so pretty. We’ll bring Karen and our other running friends on this route sometime soon. From there, we ran on Reedy Creek Greenway and toward the entrance to Umstead on Trenton Road. This is about where Kimberly told me she wasn’t feeling great and planned to stop when we got through Umstead. Then we ran the Reedy Creek trail downhill but had that lovely uphill (no walking!) toward Harrison Avenue, then Harrison to Cary Parkway, a minor detour through North Cary Park, and back to the store. I am so proud of Kimberly for powering through.
This ended up being a great training run and we had so much fun! The sun was out, the weather was perfect, the route was great and Lucky Charms were served at the finish. We loved being part of an organized run that wasn’t a race. We’ll definitely do this one again. Thanks to Fleet Feet of Raleigh for putting on such a fantastic free event!