One step, two step. At the bridge’s crest I could see Clearwater’s bay surrounding me as a steady stream of Srirachi bottles raced forward. One step, two step. It was too early to hallucinate—no famed hot sauces here. Wearing green, pointy elf hats and deep red shirts splattered with white font the runners looked exactly like Srirachi. One step, two step. The excitement carried me up the bridge without stopping and now it was an easy downhill jog but soon I knew the flat ground would make me feel like I was hauling twice my weight.
It was my first official 5k! At last Saturday’s Santas & Suds 5K, the block surrounding the Capitol Beer House (official starting point) in Clearwater turned into a convention for fitness Santa wannabes and their Christmas friends. I was in! How could you go wrong with Santa costumes and free Beer? Alcohol aside, there were still plenty of families in attendance because this also benefitted Safety Harbor’s Deaf Literacy Center (DLC)—an organization assisting with American Sign Language (ASL). Christmas costumes, Beer, families, and charity? That’s how you pop a 5K cherry!
Our red and green lot stormed out of Downtown Clearwater and onto the Clearwater Memorial Causeway Bridge with cheers, hollers, and jingle bells clinking. Getting onto the bridge was a bit tight. I zig-zagged around others (secretly gleeful I was fast enough to pass anybody!) and often lost sight of my BF Shoes as he got shoved behind moms running with strollers. Although clouds covered the sky, the view from the bridge was magnificent and the temperature was perfect.
The DLC/ASL volunteers weren’t just positioned at locations to give directions—they were scattered throughout the course cheering us on. I want to say I jogged the whole time but I continued my typical stop-and-go… but still finished under 30 minutes! (Suck on that 2013 version of me). The PBR with a side of bottled water waiting for me at the finish line was practically inhaled by me. Thank goodness my feet carried me swiftly because minutes later the thick clouds broke apart into a shower. Several umbrellas began racing back onto the course to help the families still on the bridge. The surrounding businesses opened up their stores so we could cheer under a shade, but hunger and wetness won out and BF Shoes and I left earlier than anticipated.
Yay—great job team! I can’t believe same-day registrants (like me… I’m not proud of being late) STILL received shirts in my size! It was a very organized and family-friendly event. Thanks for making my first 5k a memorable one. Longer lasting than just a one step, two step.