The moment you’ve all been waiting for — the review and recap of my son’s very first 5K — the Gold Jacket 5K! Let’s start with the review, as told by me — I’ve participated in my fair share of races so I feel this is a fair review.
Gold Jacket 5K Race Review
Gold Jacket 5K General Information
The Gold Jacket 5K was held in Canton, Ohio. Canton is the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, so it’s fitting the Gold Jacket 5K was there. In truth I’m not all that familiar with the Gold Jacket 5K but what I learned after this race is that the goal of the race organization is to hold a 5K in several football cities and have an actual Gold Jacket (Hall of Famer) or two hand out medals to finishers. I’m not sure what happened or if the race is still gathering momentum, but this was not the case at the one we attended. But it would have been so awesome if this had happened!
Since Canton is a little out of the way for us, we waited for race morning for packet pickup. This was the least stressful packet pickup I’ve ever witnessed. My husband and son stood in line, which wasn’t very long, got their shirts and bibs and we were all set.
Since I didn’t actually run the race, I can’t speak to this much except my husband and son said it was a little boring because it was basically a rectangle with very few turns. I’ve run many races that were rectangular and it never bothered me, so I think this is just personal preference.
The race started at 10:00 am. This was both good and bad. Good because as I mentioned, Canton is a bit of a hike for us so having the extra time to get down to the race was nice. Bad because at 10:00 am it was already pretty hot. It’s usually not so hot the second weekend of September so it’s quite possible this hasn’t been an issue in years past.
The Finish Line
Okay so this is totally from a spectator stance and also a middle-of-the-pack runner so I could be way off when I say this — but there was no pomp and circumstance at the finish line. The first place finisher was greeted by like, three people cheering for him. Three! No music (despite there being a stage and emcee), no nothing. It was a little… awkward? I don’t know. It was weird. And it continued this way up until the 30 minute mark or so. By the time my son and husband crossed the finish line, the band finally started playing, which made it a much more fun and festive atmosphere to be sure. I cheered on as many runners as I could before the music started but I’m only one person. I felt a little bad for the runners coming in without much excitement for their efforts. But again, I’m a mid-pack runner so maybe this is how all races end? I don’t really think so, though…
Family Activities and Post Race Atmosphere
My daughter and I were the spectators and we had some time to kill while the boys ran. There was a large bounce house which my daughter really wanted to play in, and there were was one older girl that said she would help her out, but ultimately the obstacles were too big for my little lady and I had to rescue her from the “rock wall.” It was a great effort by the race, though. We were just a tad too young for the fun!
There were food trucks, beer tents, and all sorts of cool things to be doing after the race. I wish they had opened the festivities a little sooner so my daughter and I could have had some entertainment. I also think they could have situated the trucks and tents a little better so runners and their families were better directed to the food trucks.
Next let’s move onto the race recap as told by my son:
Gold Jacket 5K Race Recap
What I liked about it:
The medals. (He got two!) I wasn’t expecting to get two medals! I liked running across the finish line and seeing my mom and sister. I loved running the race with my dad. I liked everything — the bounce house, the food, the whole day.
What I didn’t like about it:
I didn’t like running uphill.
My favorite part of the day was:
The race! I finally got to run a 5K. I was very proud of myself.
Basically? This kid had a blast. When I asked him at the end if he was ready for another he didn’t answer. A couple days later he said, “mom, when can we do another race?” Music to a mother runner’s ears!
Overall I think this was a really fun race and I think the idea of it is fantastic. The execution could have been a little better. I’ve also heard they might be doing away with this race anyway so this may be all for nought. I would definitely do this race myself, however, and if it’s still around next year I’m totally in. It was a lot of fun! Plus my little dude! First 5K! I’m a proud mama bear.
TALK TO ME!
Has a Gold Jacket 5K visited your city?
Have you ever run a race where you received TWO medals?
Linking up with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud, with My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs for Tuesdays on the Run, and with Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle for Wild Workout Wednesday.