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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Commitment Day Race Recap

When I first began running while living in Virginia, one of my favorite races was the Rotary Resolution Run on New Year's Day.  There is something about kicking off the year with a race that just cements your commitment to health and happiness in the new year.  Northwest Arkansas has lacked a New Year's Day race for many of the years that I have lived here...until now.  I was excited that 2014 got to be kicked off with the Commitment Day 5K in Bentonville.

You know I love a good theme run so I went shopping for some fun headwear.  Unfortunately I couldn't find anything ideal with lights and sparkle.  Sadly there were a lot of options but very few had the year 2014 on them.  I wanted something that had the year on it so I got crafty.  My original plan was to attach a table decoration to one of my fleece hats but once I tried it out I realized it wouldn't work.  Thankfully from various races in 2013 I had a good stash of safety pins and I put them to use by taking apart the decoration and attaching the pieces to the hat.  Behold...my crafty creation!  The danglers were fun but quite noisy!

Race morning arrived and it was cool but sunny.  I got to hang with my friend Mandy before hand while staying warm in her car next to the start line.  About 15 minutes before race start, I made the trip to the real bathrooms located at the park.  It was great to have real bathrooms even if there was a line for the 3 stalls. Then I joined my friend Jody for a short warmup run before the race.
My buddy Jody - she topped off 2013 with her first 100 mile run! 
The race course was great and very easy to follow.  We began with a quick visit to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art with a run down their grand driveway.  After heading around the circle drive we began the slight uphill climb to return to Orchards Park.  We ran past the park and then continued to go past one of my favorite summer haunts...the Memorial Park pool! We got onto the Memorial Park running trail and did one loop and then returned to Orchards Park for the finish.

I joined up with two great running girls, Jenni and Jennifer, for the race.  Our paces naturally aligned so we stuck together and chatted along the run.  The time flew by and we held a steady pace throughout...until we neared the finish! Mike Rush was hanging out at the final turn to the finish chute and he provided the inspiration for us to pick up the pace and actually race to the finish!
Jenni, Me, and Jennifer with Mike yelling us on in the background! 

It was a close call but Jenni beat us to the line!  Jennifer got the ultimate win with the fastest chip time for the race.  Great job ladies and thanks for pushing me to a strong finish!

After the race, I enjoyed a relaxing day until it was time for dinner.  I joined my sister and her family for a traditional New Year's meal which included black-eyed peas and cabbage.  Between the fun race and the lucky meal, 2014 is bound to be a great year!!!

Thanks to my bud Chuck Cates and PodiumImages for the great pics!

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