May 10, 2014
The Mayfaire 5k is hosted by the Lakeland Runner’s Club and it is held during the Mayfaire Art Festival. I’ve already registered for the race but I’ll need to get there early so that I can park and so that I can get my bib and t-shirt.
Lakeland is about a 20 minute drive for me. I am able to park easily in a nearby public garage. I have plenty of time to get my bib and walk back to the car to put my shirt away. I even have some time to mosey around the area and listen to the band and check out some of the festival.
The race starts out on the street in front of Lake Mirror. Runners are gathered and it is a lot more crowded than I expected. There is a big turnout for this race. The race director apologized because they are running a few minutes behind. Some of the roads didn’t get closed quite on time and they were unable to get the timing mat out. Once they get all that squared away, we’re able to get running.
The course is mostly on the street. We head out and turn so that we’re still moving around the lake. I thought we’d be on the sidewalk around the lake but we’re not. Given how many runners there are, I am glad by this because it would be Disney style crowding on the sidewalk!
Since we’re mostly in the city, I have no idea where I am running. I am following other people. I don’t know the city of Lakeland that well, especially the downtown area. I rarely come to downtown Lakeland so I really have no clue where I am. I know that I’ve run part of this course before because it is also part of the course from the Child of the Sun 5k. But, that part of the course isn’t until the second half of this race so I’m just checking out the scenery as I run.
There are some high school bands and spectators along the course cheering for the runners. And, the water stations are well supported. It’s always so nice when a race is so well supported. It makes me smile (even bigger) when I run by people who are cheering for me and giving me high fives and this course had a lot of that. I was even wearing a Raw Threads “Run for Wine” shirt that had 13.1 on the back. Some spectators sitting on their porch saw the 13 on the back of my shirt and yelled “run faster number 13”. This made me giggle.
The street is lined with the vendors for the art festival. This part of the festival is closed for the evening but I note that there are A LOT of vendors. It’s nice to see so much support for the art community.
The last part of the course was also the hilly part of the course. Lakeland is one of the hillier areas of Florida. I try to run up the hills but I often feel like I’m running in reverse. I keep at my intervals though and try not to give in even though my legs are feeling the burn.
At last I make the turn on the sidewalk around the lake. The last stretch is along this path and the finish line is about 50 yards ahead in front of the stage. I kick it up a gear for the last few yards and cross the finish line in 36:29. Then I make my way over the the refreshment area which is extremely well stocked. There are all kinds of drinks and refreshments for the runners. I grab some refreshments and make a little picnic on the sidewalk so I can cool off. It was humid and I am drenched in sweat. I’ll be happy to get back to the car so I can wipe off some.
This was really a great race. I love that it was in the evening even though that means it was warmer than it would have been if it had been in the morning. It was a great course and it was very well supported. The Lakeland Runner’s Club does a great job with their events and I’m looking forward to running a few more of them because of this experience.
Food: ~$9 (granola bars just didn’t cut it)Gas and tolls: ~$10