Jay’s Hope Trek or Treat- Macon, GA October 31, 2015
There were a ton of races in the Atlanta area as I made my way down to Florida for an unplanned mini vacation. I was so happy I decided to drive past ATL and stop in Macon for the 10th Anniversary of Jay’s HOPE Foundation Trek or Treat.
Jay’s HOPE Foundation was founded by Jason and Cindy Gaskins to help children battle cancer. They have many activities throughout the year and the Trek or Treat is one of the main fundraisers. I loved how there was an option for me to run a 5k or 10k. Of course I chose the 10k, then the girls would be able to do an inaugural 1 mile unSpooky Sprint followed by a Candy Mile.
The record breaking attendance event was well organized from start to finish. The people in Macon were so kind with their Southern hospitality. We checked into the hotel around midnight and were running on fumes with only 6 hours of sleep. The girls snacked on Chick-fil-A biscuits while I tackled 6.2 miles of rolling hills while sporting my “Too Cool For School” shades.
The 10k route went into a residential area to give us an extra mile before we got back on the course shared for the 5k. The route was parallel to northbound I-75. My finish time of 50:06 earned me 1st place in my age division, 6th place in women’s division, and 25th overall.
Next, was the unSpooky Sprint. Both girls lined up and took off so fast that the photographer had to hurry across the path.
Like most sprints, the kids slowed down and started walking. I coached them to finish strong.
After the girls ran their hearts out, they received their medals and lined up again for the Candy Mile walk. Over 30,000 pieces of candy were given out. Again, I have to stress how nice this event was and the spiritual vibes I got from everyone.
Halloween night, we reached Cameron Cove Resort on Indian Rocks Beach just in time to enjoy the water and write messages in the sand.
I wanted the girls to experience the most out of Florida’s Suncoast so we spent a day at Treasure Island and another day in the touristy Clearwater Pier area.
Having less daylight was a drawback, however, the off season made enjoying the beach so much better without the crowds. All we heard were English and French accents.
Speaking of Suncoast, I’ve always wanted to stop in the Suncoast Sea Bird Sanctuary on Gulf Blvd. It was something different to experience.
We ate at a few familiar spots, but I wanted to try some new restaurants. Maggie Mae’s is right on the water with large portions, small prices and beautiful views. Another new dining option was Pajanos Pizza. The owner was friendly and gave me a sample of their Italian Beef sandwich.
As much as I wanted the girls to experience a theme park, it wasn’t possible with 4 full days. The drive to Orlando is almost 2 hours. We all wanted to get our retail therapy on, so the next best option was to hit our favorite outlets, check out Harry P. Leu Gardens and chill at Downtown Disney.
I was so disappointed when I couldn’t take them on the Characters in flight. The first time I tried was Christmas time during Disney’s busiest season. Spring Break 2015 it was closed due to wind. This time, it was closed because of passing storms which didn’t do anything.
On the last night, I took a jog down to Belleair Shores to check on a mansion I saw under construction two years ago. The 17,602 square foot home is so phenomenal that I had to Google it. Turns out Ryan Howard who plays for the Phillies is the owner.
Sharing experiences to last a lifetime…