When I heard about a race that was to take place in the evening, running through the Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands Resort, it definitely piqued my interest. When I learned it was sponsored by my church, and benefits Toys for Tots - well, that was a no brainer! :) And since it was only a week after my last half, I decided that this would be a nice recovery run, so my BFF and I decided to go for it! We even got all dressed up fancy for the occasion - thanks to Stephanie from the ROTE boards for the idea to tack the white fur to my red skirt to make it look very festive!
It was so beautiful running at sunset... I do wish the race had started about 15 minutes later, though. It would have been nice to see the lights in the dark the entire way! The course was challenging (read: hilly) but I was prepared for that as this was part of the course that I ran in the spring for the Fallen Heroes of GA 10K.
Look at this beautiful view of sunset over the lake!! It was breathtaking!!
This light tunnel was my very favorite, aside from the bridge!
After we got done, being that it was supper time, we decided to hit Chick Fil A for some yummy chicken and a peppermint chocolate chip milkshake!
Overall this race was excellent! The scenery was fantastic - but I would have liked to have started just 15 minutes later so it would have been easier to see the lights the entire time. However, then I would have missed the sunset over the lake. The only problem was the finish line. This was not a chip-timed race, and there was a back-up at the finish line while they tried to get our bib numbers in order. However, nobody was staying in the proper order and it was chaos. I wasn't running this race for a "time" so it didn't bother me, but I know lots of people were not happy at all. Also, it took around 5 minutes to get through the finish line and I was cold and getting stiff quickly. Then we had to walk back to the staging area to get post-race snacks, which were plentiful to be sure, but just not easily accessible. I think the finish line problem could be solved by having d-chip or bib chip timing next time.
Two funny things occurred to me while I was in the shower after this race. The first one is that two years ago I never would have dreamed that one day I would consider a 5K race to be a "relaxing little thing". And the second one was that even with all the stopping to take pictures, and the not running very fast because we were just enjoying things, I still beat my first ever 5K time by nearly 2 minutes! :)
Regardless of the finish line issues, I'll definitely be at this race next year!! :)