On Saturday, I ran in the Gamecocks Run 6K. When I first saw the flyer for the run, I was really excited!!! I’ve been a Gamecock’s fan since I can remember. So to run this and support the athletic department was a win win in my book. This race marked the first ever Gamecocks Run hosted by The University of South Carolina (USC) Athletic Department & event producer, JAM Active.
We had an option of picking up our race packet on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Most people that planned on going to the basketball games (yes registration included a free ticket to the women’s basketball game on Thursday and the men’s basketball game on Saturday) picked up their race packet on Thursday at the Colonial Life Arena. I picked my packet up on Thursday, since I was giving my tickets away. Nothing really big to write home about for this packet pickup. I felt as though they could have used a few more volunteers to help with handing out the bibs. The three people that were present were very friendly and did a good job at moving the line (there were a few bottlenecks every now and again) through. It would have been nice to not have the pickup located in the arena on a game night. The space for packet pickup was very small. Since this was the first ever Gamecocks Run, I give them a pass and will not hold it against them. Oh check out my sweet race shirt below. Since I did an upgrade to my registration (which I didn’t remember), I received a high tech race shirt. NICE!!!
As always, I got my stuff all ready the night before the race and laid out every thing for in the morning. I was in the bed by 9:00 pm and felt good and ready for race day.
Of course I got up before my alarm went off, so I jumped up and once again put that EAGLE on my chest!!! I was READY!!
I headed out about 6:30 am to get gas and to meet my running groups for group photos before the start of the race. As I was pumping gas that wind ripped right through my running pants…so I headed back home to pick up some pants to throw on over them (so glad I did). I made it to Gamecock Park right at 7:15 am and met up with my sole sitahs from BGR! Columbia. I was greeted by our run ambassadors, Shonta and Dwan (not pictured) and seven of our sole sistahs. It was really awesome to see our ambassadors come out to show support, especially when they didn’t run.
I also met up with some fellow members of Team Red White and Blue (RWB) of Columbia.
The run really had a game day feeling. At the start of the race, the music was pumping and the spirit squad was helping the crowd warm up (which was very much welcomed with the 30 degree weather). Big ups to the emcee, he really kept the crowd energized. Dawn Staley even stopped by to countdown the start of the race.
Let the Running Begin
The course was great. We started at Gamecock Park and ended at the Colonial Life Arena. It went through famous athletic facilities and the USC campus. Since I work on campus I was familiar with some of the landmarks, i.e. the Cooper Library, Moore School of Business and the USC Horsehoe. Running through the Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field was pretty cool. The hill on Blossom St. almost stopped me in my tracks. Who am I kidding, I almost made it to the top…but my body (in my R. Kelley voice) just slowed down and I gave in. I walked a little and then hauled azz to the finish. I think ending center court inside the Colonial Life Arena was the most exciting part of the race for me.
Normally, I would set my eye on one of the “elite” runners in the front of the pack and try to stay up with them. But for this race, I just wanted to run and whatever time I finished in would be fine with me. I felt really good through out the whole run. My playlist was jamming, so much so that the young man running beside me was enjoying it as well (he literally sung all of Truffle Butter (minus the N words of course). I finished this race in under 30 minutes, and 3rd in my age group (30-39). I’ll take that!!!
For this to be the first year of the Gamecocks Run 6K, I felt like the race was very well organized (could have used a few more hands at packet pickup but I’m going to let that slide for now). The course was set-up with a water station and plenty of after run snacks. They even handed us medals at the finish (that’s rare for a smaller distance race).
After the race a few of my sole sistahs and I decided to run back to the starting line. We figured, since it was long run Saturday, we might as well get in some extra miles. I just love the ‘run’ in my running group!!! We get it done by all means necessary. I ended up running 4 miles back to the start.
Though I may not run this race again (I’m getting so I really hate repeating races…I’m trying to get started on my running a half in all 50 states), I will however recommend it to fellow runners and serve as a volunteer in the future. This race was a great experience overall.
Did you run this weekend? How did it go?