An earlier than planned arrival to Florida gave me the opportunity to participate in the Light Up The Wild Moss Park 5k. Instead of splitting my driving into two days, I did the gas and go approach from Louisville to Orlando with a time of 12.5 hours on Friday night.
After a light lunch, I drove to Moss Park for same day registration. The staff was courteous and tickled to have someone from KY in the last of their four series of 5ks at this park. Same day registration was only $25 which included a t-shirt and glow stick.
Light Up The Wild is the first festival of it’s kind at Moss park. The race was scheduled to start at 5:30 so I had time to talk with the locals and explore. I love off the beaten path activities. There’s more to Orlando than Disney World.
There were vendors with carmel and chocolate goodies and a smores station with cinnamon flavored marshmallows. United Health Care had a booth set up where you could do photos and videos about “what it means to step up.”
After the National Anthem, we took off like our lives depended on it. I was close to the front as the course winded through the festival area. The spectators were cheering and the vibe was amazing.
Next, we entered the Light Up section which was decked out for cars to ride through once the race was complete. The decorations were festive and the moss canopy made this the most scenic 5k I have ever ran.
My first mile split was 6:55. The sweat was forming because there was no breeze in the wooded area. In fact, it was a little humid. I tried my best to sip water at the half way point.
My mile two split was 7:30. There was another water station and I slowed down to get a much needed sip. I’m soaking wet by this point.
The final mile took us away from the lights and into the camping area. Almost everyone had a fire going. No good for the lungs but I fought through it. I told myself to stay long.
The course took us back towards the Light Up area and race volunteers directed us to the last turn into the grassy finish area. I saw 21:45 on the clock and did the mean face, don’t play with me, I got this, all out sprint.
I SET A PR! 21:52!!!
I placed first in my division 30-39 which was tougher, yet fair for a smaller race.
It took traveling 860 miles, very little training runs and added weight training to break that 22 minute mark. PRs happen when you least expect it.
‘Tis the season.