Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary 5K Recap

Run for Animals

Vanessa and I crossing the finish line. I swear we didn’t coordinate outfits.

Earlier I mentioned that if a race benefits animals in any way, it’s pretty easy to convince me to sign up. That’s how my friend Vanessa conned me into running the Poplar Springs 10th Annual Run for the Animals. 🙂

I had to work Commencement yesterday so I might have let out a bit of a groan when my alarm went off at 6:30. It really is cruel to get up at that time twice in one weekend. But I got over it pretty quickly because I was looking forward to running with Vanessa.  It was foggy and drizzly outside, which secretly thrilled me because it’s actually great running weather.

We met Vanessa and her husband Jon at their house and finally got to meet their adorable English bulldog puppy Thurston (I think Joe now has dog envy). We headed over to Wheaton Regional Park, which holds a lot of memories of my childhood. It sure looks different from when I was a little rugrat, although I was happy to see the carousel and train were still there.

Jon and Joe weren’t running so they hung out with Thurston (who was soaking up tons of attention and meeting lots of other dogs) while Vanessa and I ran. Overall the course was great. It was pretty flat for the first half of the race or so. It went through Brookside Gardens which is gorgeous this time of year (I’m looking forward to my friend’s wedding there in October — I’m the maid of honor!) and back into the park. It was a pretty scenic trail. Vanessa and I stuck together for the race and I had to laugh when we closed in on the finish line. Jon, Joe and Thurston were there yelling for us to pick it up and finish strong. We gave a last kick and finished somewhere around 32 minutes (I messed up on hitting the start button on my Garmin so I wasn’t sure what the exact time was). A race really blows by when you’re busy chatting the whole time.

There was a ton of food at the finish, including chocolate cake (best post-race food ever)! But we had our minds focused on brunch.

We went back to Vanessa and Jon’s house to hang out with Thurston for a bit before heading to Pacci’s for brunch. We all ordered drinks (Bloody Mary for Joe, mimosas for the rest of us) and chicken and waffles with home fries. It was delicious but there was so much food! We were all ready for a nap at the end of that. And that’s exactly what Joe and I did when we got home: nap for two hours.

Like an idiot, I didn’t take a single picture the whole day! I blame sleep deprivation. But it was a great race and fun to run it with one of my oldest friends! (Old as in how long we’ve known each other, not old as in Vanessa is a senior citizen.)

What fun things did you do this weekend? What’s the best food you’ve had at the end of a race?