Savannah River Bridge Run 2013

The Enmark Savannah River Bridge Run is the premier race of the year in Savannah! To give you an idea of how much I was looking forward to this race: I signed up for the double pump the day registration opened! The double pump is a 5K immediately followed by a 10K for a total of 15K which in bridge run terms means crossing the Talmadge Bridge 3 times! My history with the bridge run is as follows: I’ve always ran the double pump and the first time I ran it I was in my second trimester of pregnancy with Ceci. Also, there’s a costume contest and 2012 (my second running) was the first time I participated in that as well, running as a Dunkin Donuts cup [for just the 5K because that costume was NOT runner friendly]. 2013 was the BEST year yet for my personal running experience with this race!
2013 marks a year of running as a member of Moms Run This Town [Savannah Chapter] and we had a group of ladies that participated in the costume contest; we all dressed up as Wonder Woman. It was GREAT! It started with a Facebook event group and for months we discussed what we would be wearing, where to find Wonder Woman gear, etc [they’ve already started a group for the 2014 race]. For Rambling Mom this event was HUGE because numerous people wore something hand made by me! I can’t even begin to tell you how cool it was for me to see some of my creations in action!

So if you’re ever looking for some Wonder Woman inspired running gear you know who to ask 😉
I will be honest though in true Liz DeLise fashion I super procrastinated on my own costume and literally finished it up at 1:00AM the morning of the race. Yet even though I only got 4ish hours of sleep I wasn’t that tired when I woke up. I almost always have difficulty sleeping the night before a big event so having to go to bed “late” wasn’t that big of a deal. At the pre-butt-crack-of-dawn my neighbor, Desiree, walked across the street (it was going to be her first 5K) and we headed to her friends house to pick her up as well. I love carpooling to events, it makes the experience that much more fun an I’ve always had a van full of people for this particular race. When we arrived at our destination on Hutchison Island we immediately saw a bunch of other Wonder Woman women, most were with MRTT of course. Here’s a pic of me with Desiree before the race.

We headed to the convention center for a bathroom break and to get pins for Desiree’s tutu. She literally decided at the last minute to dress up as well so her tutu stretched a little too much because I made it so fast. It worked out though. After one more bathroom break (I have a nervous bladder problem before races plus I downed a huge powerade) at the porta potties by the starting line we met up with the Moms Run This Town group and waited for the race to start. I like how they’ve split the start line to be runners on one side and walkers on the other with walkers starting a couple minutes after the runners; it’s a chip timed race so your gun time really only matters if you’re going for first overall. After a local sang the national anthem we were off on the 5K, up and over the bridge!
Even though the start was split it’s still a narrow course for the first mile and I had to weave through the crowd to get going [because of weaving a added a tenth of a mile to my race]. For the 5K I had a main goal and a secondary goal. The main goal was to run the whole 5K and the secondary goal was to finish between 27-30 minutes. It was a little tough, especially toward the end because after coming down the bridge you’re hit with a long slow uphill before the turn into the finish. Yet I hit my main goal and also my secondary goal with my watch reading 28:53 [official chip time was 28:51].

When I went to grab some hydration at the finish I ran into my buddy Jillian. Of course because I had another 10K coming up and had at least 15 minutes until the start I had to go to the bathroom again. She told me the facilities in the civic center were open and didn’t have a line so I ran in there then met up with her again and we headed to the start of the 10K. This event does a good job with funneling you to the start of the next event and it’s very close to where the finish is. When we got to that area I started searching for some of our other running buddies that I knew would be there. We found Sandra, owner of Georgia Game Changers and gave her a hug and wished her good luck. We turned around to see two more buddies, Leslie and Trystan. We all chit chatted before the start and shared our 10K game plans. For the 10K I just wanted to make it through and hopefully finish around an hourish. The start was a bit late but then we were off. The beginning of the 10K is a pretty little loop down Broughton street then over before heading to the bridge. The toughest part of the entire event is the on ramp to go up and over the bridge on the 10K side. It is long and steep! I ran into my friend Tina and after a couple minutes I called it and started power walking up because I felt like I would go faster walking than I would running. Even if I really wasn’t going faster my body didn’t hurt as much. I walked for a couple minutes and once off the ramp and on the bridge I started running again. I did a mostly run with a bit or walking sprinkled in until I reached the top of the bridge. Then I let the down hill take up down and around and kept the momentum going as I started going back up and over one last time. I got about halfway up and then turned around and started jogging backwards to give my legs a little break and then I walked a little. The rest of the way up I walked with a little bit if jogging sprinkled in. Even though this side of the bridge is technically easier it’s tough because it’s the third trip. Once to the top I took a happy leap for the camera as I quickened my pace and let the downhill take me to the water station. I grabbed some water because my bottles had run out and I walked as I drank it [I’ve yet to perfect the whole running and drinking out of a cup thing]. Then I got moving again up the last little hill and when I turned into the finish I was psyched! I saw Desiree and gave a bunch of people in the crowd high fives as I ran into the finish shoot – hey, I like to have fun! 10K was done, double pump complete! My watch read 1:04:36 [official chip time was 1:04:34].

My official double pump time was 1:33:24 and I was happy with it.

Yet just because my race was over didn’t mean the event was over! After the finish I funneled into the finish festival and received my medal and filled with my arms full of goodies: water, bananas, yummy bread and some super yummy core power protein drinks. I think bigger events should just give out tote bags or drawstring bags full of this stuff at the end. I met up with some MRTT ladies to find out where to go for the costume contest, found Desiree and got some Brunswick stew and headed to the stage area. On the way I saw Jillian, Leslie, Trystan and Gina and chit chatted with them for a minute. At the stage area MRTT Wonder Woman women were gathering and chatting about the event while enjoying Brunswick stew and beer. They did the race awards and then it was time for the costume contest. First up were the individual costumes and then time for the main event, group costumes! We had some tough competition with the “running of the bulls” group but we made it to the final three and then to a head-to-head competition with the bulls. MRTT WAS VICTORIOUS and it was like we had won Olympic gold or some other major sporting event we were all jumping up and down, cheering like crazy!

It was so exciting because really we were the underdogs since the bulls had twice as many people and had a whole advertisement about them a couple days before the race. MRTT won $400 and with the money we’ve purchased a tent to have out at events, a water cooler and with the remaining money we are going to vote on a charity to donate it to.

I’ll leave you with a couple more pics from the event. Even though it’s not my last race of the year it was the one that I’d been looking forward to all year. It’ll most likely be my last year running it as well and I’m so glad it was as amazing and fun as it was! Also, I want to send a HUGE SHOUT OUT to Desiree for completing her first 5K [she’s since caught the running bug and has signed up for two more events to cap off 2013]. Finally, if you’re ever in Savannah in December – check out the River Bridge Run!




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