Spring Sprint 5K

“Mom, do you plan to run this race easy or hard?”  Allana asked.

“I was planning to run with you, so whatever pace you want to do.”

“Well, Katie, Jackie and I are going to run easy, so you should just run how you want to, Mom.”

Before the start of the Spring Sprint 5K, my pre-teen gave me the “all clear” to run the race hard, but in reality I think she chose to be with her friends over me.  It was my first taste of the teen years to come.

Honestly, for the time being, I’m o.k. with it as this was a chipped race and selfishly, I wanted a good time on my Active.com profile.  I’ll worry about being blown off for friends another day.  This mother runner needed to finish a 5K in under 30 minutes!  (Just call me Domino’s, because I can get there in 30 minutes or less.)

Although the race was in its second year, this was our first time participating in the Spring Sprint 5K, race to raise funds for autism awareness and education projects.  What a great little charity race from start to finish!

As logistics go, the race event coordinators had it together.  Oakstead Elementary hosted packet pick-up the evening before the race which was a smooth operation. Parking on race day was also smoothly orchestrated.  As any runner will tell you, packet pick-up and parking are HUGE factors for any race and the organizers behind this race worked out every detail beautifully.

The start line was clearly marked as well as visible.  Both the 5K and 1 mile Fun Run had their own start line banners.

As for the course, it was right in my backyard, so to speak.  The 5K course wound through the flat and scenic streets of my neighborhood, the very same streets I train on.  We ran past my kids’ school, the middle school and high school.

We even ran past my Publix and my favorite running store, Suncoast Running, who cheered for us as we ran by.

The sunrise was like any other running day in my neighborhood, but the sun seemed to be shining just a bit more brightly today.  Maybe the sun knew it was a great day for a race?

For a small race with less than 500 participants, there were a great number of volunteers and spectators, many I believe to be faculty and staff of Oakstead Elementary.  The finish led us back to the high school where we ran a half lap around the track.

DJ Elvis called out our numbers as we ran past and people in the stands cheered for us as we crossed the finish line.

*Photo provided by Suncoast Running.*

Gun Time 28:39

Chip Time 28:34

Ave Pace 9:14

Division Place 10/35

Overall Place 139/415

 As for Allana, she did GREAT.  She ran it without stopping, a first for her.  However, I missed Allana crossing the finish line as I had to be at the start line for the 1 mile Fun Run with Emmalynn.  My husband snapped these photos of Allana and her friend, Jackie.

Allana’s Stats

Gun Time 50:16

Chip Time 50:00

Ave Pace 16:11

Division 26/27

Overall 409/415

For the 1 Mile Fun Run, we ran back onto the road in front of the high school and then looped back onto the school groups to finish on the track once again.

Of course, I was so proud of both girls, but I was extremely proud of Emmalynn.  She held onto a nice pace and avoided side stitches.

By doing so, Emmalynn earned a personal best for this race and redeemed her Gasparilla Jr. performance!  Way to go Emmalynn!

The sun was right.  It certainly was a great day for a race.  Even my friend, Chrissy, did well and finished  6th in her division with a chip time of 29:23.

On a side note, with this race falling on Saint Patrick’s Day, I thought everyone would be all decked out in green.  I totally expected to see others wearing sparkly green running skirts and silly St. Patrick’s Day hats or runners dressed as leprechaun look-alikes.  Um…not so much.

I did not expect to be one of the very few people wearing green not to mention being the only one wearing a green tutu.  Talk about feeling like the belle of the ball and making a spectacle of myself.  Wow.

Kermit wasn’t kidding.  It’s not easy being green but then I don’t think Kermit ever wore a tutu and a little leprechaun hat.  Well, at least I’ve raised the bar for next year.

And we’ll definitely be back next year.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+


  1. fitnesscheerleader says:

    I am laughing so hard that I have tears streaming down my face – I would totally end up being the only one I costume too. Great race and way tobe a role model for your daughters!

  2. Karen says:

    Such a fun family activity! Before I got nerve damage in my feet from shingles last year I was doing races with my girls, too. I love that you each did your own thing. I miss running but loved reading your recap of this race. Have a great weekend!

  3. Lala Mama says:

    I can’t wait for my 3 year old daughter to be old enough to run with me, even in fun runs! Your daughters are adorable – actually so are you, love your outfit! I just came across your blog via twitter, I think I’ll be a regular here. What a fantastic run!

  4. Kasey says:

    I stumbled upon your blog while searching for running skirt tutorials- and it was SO REFRESHING after finding one miserable person prior who could only bash running skirts and their wearers.
    You look fabulous in the tutu you made, and I am so impressed by what a good role model you are being for your daughters. We need more women like you, who inspire and empower, rather than the kind that belittle and bully.
    Thank you for being you. I’m training for my first marathon, and fully intend to wear something as ridiculously AWESOME as your tutu was in the 5K photos!

  5. unknownmami says:

    I’m so glad you did get all decked out! I’m proud of all three of you. You know I picture you running with a Domino’s Pizza box now.

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