The Casual Runner

Watermelon 5K

Florida Hospital Watermelon 5K

July 4th, 2017

Winter Park, Florida


Why I Decided to Run This Race

Having the 4th of July off of work for the first time in I don’t know how many years I was looking for a local race to run that day.  There were several local 5Ks in the Orlando area, but I chose to go with the Watermelon 5K due to their partnership with Florida Hospital.  I also had enjoyed running the Winter Park 10K which was also presented by Florida Hospital and Track Shack, so I figured that it would be a pretty good race.

How could you miss this to go pick up a race bib???

Race Expo/Swag Review

There was not an actual expo for this race.  There was a packet pick-up at Track Shack in downtown Orlando. Track Shack puts on some great races in Central Florida and they have really set up their store for a quick bib pick up.

I was not able to attend packet pickup, due to family in town for the holidays, so Helene was able to pick up our bibs for us.  She was able to pick up my bib shaped like a watermelon and blue unisex participant t-shirt.

The Gear

I tried to be as patriotic as possible being that it was a race on the Fourth of July, but my running clothes definitely fall short in that area.  I went with my white Sparkle Skirt, a grey 2016 USA Olympics tank, VSX Incredible sports bra, 2015 Akron Half Marathon running socks, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 running shoes, and red and white Sweaty band.  Helene was much more patriotic than I.  I also ran with my trusty 32 oz blue Powerade Zero, Fitletic running belt, and my iPhone for GPS tracking, my running intervals, and music.

The Pre-Race

The race had a 7:00 AM start, so Helene met me at my place a little before 6AM. This was definitely an early wake up when I had been out with Mike’s family the night before enjoying the Fourth of July Fireworks at Magic Kingdom.

We headed to downtown Winter Park shortly after she arrived at my place. We parked around 6:15AM with no trouble finding a spot.  We decided to relax in the car and enjoy some air conditioning till about 6:30AM.

Enjoying fireworks on the 3rd of July at Magic Kingdom

We then headed to start line so everyone could go to the bathroom before the start and get some pre race photos.  We stopped by the Florida Hospital booth to get our free sweat towels that they were handing out for the race.  We decided to get them before the race because we had heard that they may run out before we finished the race.  I was glad I did because it came in handy during the race.  We also were able to meet up with our friend, JP, before the race and make a race plan for the three of us.

Along the Course

The race began on Park Avenue and we headed north then turned left on Swoope Avenue followed by a pretty quick right turn onto N New York Avenue where we would continue heading north for awhile.

I had planned out some intervals in my phone and we decided that the three of us would follow my intervals if I called them out.  Unfortunately I forgot to program them to repeat and they only lasted us about half a mile.  I cannot remember what they were anymore, but after they stopped we kind of just did our intervals based on how we were feeling.

Now back to the course, our next step was to take a left onto Beloit Avenue where the mile one marker was in sight followed by a water station.  Although I was carrying my Powerade I welcomed the water station as a chance to more some water on my head to help cool me down. Running in July in Florida is HOT!

Next we would turn right onto N Pennsylvania Avenue to head north toward Maitland lake where we would eventually make a right hand turn to run along the lake where we would eventually come along the mile two marker before making a right hand turn onto Georgia Avenue to head toward the finish line.

Once on Georgia Avenue we would get to enjoy another water station.  Georgia Avenue eventually ran into Interlachen Avenue where we would run south right to the mile three marker then make a right hand turn onto Welborne to sprint to the finish line.

The SMOpinion

Unfortunately there was no SMO for this race.  I wouldn’t object them to adding medals in the future though.  Who wouldn’t want a watermelon medal???

The Post-Race Experience

The race finished with us quickly grabbing some water and Rice Krispie treats.  Then it was time to make way to the tubs of Watermelon that everyone was making a dash for.  Unfortunately Helene and I could not hang around to enjoy the finish line party because we may be a little on the crazy side and signed up for a 90 minute Orange Theory Fitness class afterwards.

Playlist Peek

As many of you know by now I really enjoy listening to the musical, Hamilton when I’m running.  Listening to Hamilton was an absolute no brainer on Independence Day.

Looking Back Now

I would definitely run this race again.  I enjoyed starting off my holiday with a great run. Maybe next time I won’t sign up for a 90 minute workout class after.

Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!

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Enjoy the freedom of going wherever your feet, imagination, & determination take you!