Today Jasper ran his first 5k. About 2 months ago a running bud sent me a text her favorite runner was coming to Austin. Desi Linden and Ryan Hall were coming as part of a small 5k series. It was a mystery to me why this race got such little promotion. Anyways, I told her I would definitely do it. It was more of an event than a race with cooking demos, lots of restuarants vendor booths, and snacks at each water stop. I don’t think either of us intended to race it but rather we wanted to get autographs and celebrity watch. When Jasper said he wanted to try a full 5k, it seemed like a good one, with it not being competitive.
After a long work day and tons of traffic, I picked Jasper up from school and we endured even more traffic to get out to the far ends of Round Rock to get our packets and get autographs. Jasper brought his yearbook in hopes they would sign it. With the food theme, the packet pick up was at a restaurant, but it was really small, and in a dull strip mall waaaaaaay out. We pulled up and right away saw Desi and Ryan sitting in 90 degree heat with 98% humidity in a sorta sad strip mall. It was a little embarrassing for Austin’s sake, not a good representation of the city. We got our autographs stat. I will say Ryan Hall was extremely nice and relatable. Desi indulged us, but was definitely all business and was either very shy or just not as into these sorta events, which like I said, seems hard to get jazzed up about sitting in the sun at a strip mall, so I couldn’t really blame her. Also, no one really seemed to know who they were since the race wasn’t promoted that heavily. Desi was super tiny and thin in person and Ryan Hall was quite tall. I went in the restaurant, got Jasper and I food and waited for some runner friends to have a beer with. When they arrived there was no one really noticing Ryan and Desi at all. We wanted to ask them to join us but we didn’t want to seem like stalkers. I even avoided going to the restroom when I saw Desi go in because she would probably think I was stalking her since I asked her for 3 autographs. Beer with friends is always good though, and Jasper was really good and got his yearbook signed.
It poured race morning. I got up early and ran on the treadmill but the rain let up, so we went. The park that hosted the race was a sloppy mess. Which was a bummer because there were so many great food tents, and a sunny day would have been better but at least it was still happening. Jasper wanted to start right in front. Since this was so casual, I thought it was fine. Desi as Ryan were running which I didn’t expect (although it was clear this was a run with the people sorta thing for them). Jasper took off like a wild banshee and was in the very front. I suspected he’d do the classsic kid racing style of sprint like mad,the walk,then repeat, and I was right. But sprint number one lasted a while, and we ended up by Ryan Hall. We chatted for about a half mile. Once again, he seemed so normal….we talked podcasts (he’s a serial fan!) and kids in running. Jasper did great, doing walk/ sprint and finishing in around 30 minutes. Pineapple shaped medals were a touch.
The food tents were fun, and I was grabbing bites, but then the sky opened and it poured, so we rushed out.
This was a fun event. It was expensive….$50 each. But the food really was worth it and if we had stayed we would have gotten more. The packet pickup also had food, and I missed it but there was also a tent with beer and wine tasting. The celeb element was really cool. I felt sorta bad for them spending their weekend in round rock, tx, but part of me also say certainly they’re appreciative that there are actual fans of American marathoning out there. I’d do this one again if the celebs were back, hope for better weather, and not not really think of it as a race but more of an event.
And best of all was later at a birthday party, hearing Jaspy telling his friends he ran 3 miles and it was awesome. 😁