As I wrote earlier and multiple times (!), this was my third time running Donna 26.2 half marathon in Jacksonville.
It was the first time I ran as an ambassador and worked toward fundraising for the race.
I was very happy to be chosen to help spread the word about the race. It’s an exceptional race, from crowd support to the fact that 100% of entry fees and donations go toward breast cancer research and care.
To say I was excited about this half marathon is putting it mildly!
I went into this race knowing a few things.
One, it would be unlikely I would PR. I’d hoped to get to 2:10 and I came in at 2:12, so close. Below 2:09 would be a PR, but this race doesn’t lend itself to that for me because it is such an emotional run. (More on that later.)
Two, I knew I would hopefully get to meet some wonderful new running friends from all around who were also chosen as ambassadors. Unfortunately this did not happen. The only real downside to my race this year was that I did not get to attend the events and meet the ambassadors and, of course, Donna Deegan. These were things I looked forward to, and I was disappointed not to experience. That said, I did get to connect and meet some new runners that I really admire, and I feel I’ve made some new virtual friends that I hope to one day meet in ‘real’ life. I also hope, at some point, to meet Donna Deegan in person, so I can tell her face to face how much appreciation I have for all she has and is doing to help finish breast cancer.
Three, I knew I wanted this to be the race I knew it should be: one filled with remembering those we have lost to cancer and those who have survived.
This race is way more than a 13.1 mile run. You can feel the energy in the air. It’s palpable.
I say this every year and I will say it again: This run has the best crowd support, EVER! There were bubble machines, people standing on their front lawns handing out croissants and waters and Gatorade. People playing bands in their front yards. People shaking shakers. People screaming your name as you rounded corners. It is impossible not to feel energy when you do this race, impossible!
So, here’s my recap, the highs and the lows!