Yesterday was the first time I ran in Puerto Rico. It was also my first race in the DIVAS series.
I arrived in San Juan on Saturday evening, but many members of my running group arrived on Friday. I had a friend pick up my race packet for me since I was arriving late. They told me that the race expo was not memorable and that there were not as many vendors as in years past. I didn’t get any goodies in my packet but and the ones that others received were very inconsistent. One lady got a really nice lip gloss but no one else did. Some other people got chocolates and then that others. It was just kind of random.
About 30 members of my running group participated in this race. We took a group photo before the races began. Many of them did the half marathon (13.1 miles), but I stuck with the 5k (3.1 miles), even though that distance is not a challenge for me. I would have preferred a middle distance but I wasn’t trying to “upgrade.” My cell phone did not update the clock, but clocks in Puerto Rico showed the time as 1 hour later than Eastern Standard Time, because PR does not participate in daylight savings time changes. So my body thought I was getting up at 4 am and I am not used to that.
The half began at 6 am, and the rain began just before the 6:30 am start of the 5k. It was light, off and on, for the duration of both races.
Because of the rain from all week, there were a lot of puddles and the roads were not flat and smooth. Therefore I spent most of my time looking down to make sure that I stepped correctly. Of course there’s always the issue of people walking two and three abreast in various parts of the crowd instead of moving to one side which is common courtesy, but I enjoyed myself and did not try to set any records (I knew I wouldn’t PR in PR). When I saw interesting things I slow down to a walk so that I could get pictures.
Just before the finish line shoot, volunteers handed us feathered sashes and tiaras. You had to stop running to get them before you could finish. It was a little awkward and somebody pushed me hard after she got hers to get around me to the finish line.
After the crossing the finish, shirtless men in shorts passed out the medals. Then I met a friend of mine that also did the 5k and got a few snacks. We took pictures by the water and then went to wait for our friends across that we’re doing the half. When the last one came about, we joined her to run the last mile with her, back to the same finish area. It was very humid!
There was a post race party on Sunday night, but I just walked by to see what was going on. There was music and dancing and people sitting around. I was just tired because I had not gotten enough sleep for the last few days. I did a wise thing by sharing a room at the host hotel, even though it was very expensive. I wish I could have stayed in San Juan a little longer but I had to get back to my daughter who is still in school.
What I do this race again? No, because I don’t repeat races. I would only recommend the race for someone who doesn’t mind running in the rain on uneven pavement in a beautiful and scenic city.