This post is a continuation of my two-part recap with my impressions of the 2nd Annual Black Girls RUN! (BGR) Sweat with Your Sole Conference.
My last session was “RUN! Safe.” We all know that things can happen to people when they’re out running, especially alone. But criminals look for people who look weak or are distracted before they move in. Two local officers facilitated this session, and they were not only knowledgeable, but HI-larious! They said that the top two places people are attacked/abducted are in the parking lots of shopping malls and grocery stores. Sometimes they come from between cars, and sometimes they don’t hide–but they ask a question and feign needing help. They use intent and opportunity. You can’t help what another person’s intent is, but you can control their opportunity to harm you. Be assertive and observant where you walk, take someone with you if you can, and run without earphones or only in one ear.
I was with my family in the evenings, so I did not attend the mixer on Friday night, nor the gala dinner with Marion Jones on Saturday night, but heard great things about them both. The expo area was nice, too, but I didn’t purchase any bling.
The 5K & 10K races on Sunday were awesome. What a way to end the conference! I beat my previous 5K time by two minutes, probably because I only took a couple of short walk breaks, and ran most of the hills. I came in 196th out of 1,040 5K finishers, and 2nd in the F35-39 division, which had 9 members (not the same as 2nd place for all divisions, but I did a great job)!
I wish I could have stuck around to greet my friends who were in the 10K, but I had to walk back to my hotel (half a mile–I passed it twice during the race), freshen up, check out of the hotel and take my sister to the airport for her flight.
The best part of the conference was meeting other runners and getting the chance to hang out and talk with my sole sisters from my local group. So often we run together, but we don’t get the chance to know each other better.
There were a few things about the conference I didn’t like, but overall it was well organized. My only two complaints were:
1) Having to keep going to different nearby buildings for some of the sessions. I thought they would all be in the same hotel, but many that I attended were not. Yes, the buildings were each within a 5 to 10-minute walk, but still. I could also see this as a way to see other parts of the city and get a little extra exercise.
2) Not understanding where the race start line was.
This gave me anxiety all day Saturday and Sunday morning right up until a few minutes before I found it. The 5K race and the 10K race began in two different locations not near each other. Several people asked each other where to go because we didn’t have direction. I ended up going to the 10K start location, having to turn around in the opposite direction and walk for a while to find the 5K start location.)
2a) I left my water bottle in one of the ballrooms during the last session on Friday afternoon, and it was not recovered. 😦 At least it wasn’t a thumb drive with my life on it like the one I lost last September.
What I’d Do Differently Next Time
- Plan to leave the host city later in the day or the day after the Sunday race. Driving home right after the race was almost anti-climatic.
- Plan to stay at the host hotel or a nearby 4-star hotel. Unfortunately where I stayed, I paid Marriott money for a Motel 6 experience.
- Budget more for swag. I traveled with money, but I literally ate through most of it.
- Get a ticket for the gala dinner, even if the keynote hasn’t been announced at the time of registration.
The BGR conference is coming back to Atlanta next year. I’ll be there with bells on!