Saturday was the 12th Annual Endless Summer Run put on by Don’s Friends and the Friends of Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine, Florida. There are 2 options for the race: a 5k and a 10k. I signed up for the 10k back in March because the race sells out so quickly (they cap the race at 200 and 250, respectively). I was due for a 5 mile tempo run on my 50k training plan for this week so, fortunately for me, the 10k was exactly what I needed. I have been running most of my tempo runs on the treadmill because the heat and humidity have been so bad so I knew this was a great chance to see where my performance truly stood, fully involved with heat, humidity, sand, and trails.
Both races started together at 7:30, but Stacey (my running partner and co-coach) and I were there by 6:30 for the packet pick-up. By the time the race began the sun was up and the temperature was rising quickly. The 5k and 10k both started in the parking lot, near the Island Beach Shop and Grill, and went immediately out to the beach. The first 2 miles (1 mile out and 1 mile back) of the 10k and most of the 5k is on the beach. As you come off the beach you cross the boardwalk and head out across the parking area to the trails. The trail sections were alternated with sections of road as you wind your way back through the park. The trail was by far my favorite part. I loved that it was a hilly, single track escape from the monotony of the road. The race ended very close to the start, back at the parking lot and Island Grill. For the first time, the race was chip timed by RaceSmith and they did a great job updating results as quick as they could.
One bummer to the race was that you didn’t get a medal. The shirt that they gave you was a very nice tech t-shirt, which helped, but doesn’t look good hanging from my medal hanger! I wound up getting 1st place for my age group so I got a medal in the end anyway. Overall, I thought the race was great and would definitely do it again and would recommend it for anyone that likes to race but needs a break from the