Jacksonville is home to so many awesome races, but the 26.2 with Donna has always ranked at the top of the list. The race benefits the Donna Foundation, which was founded by Donna Deegan, a three-time survivor of breast cancer. It raises funds for breast cancer research and for women living with the disease. There's a 5K, half marathon, full marathon, relay, and ultra marathon.
In previous years, I've run the 5K and the half marathon. This year, since I'm too busted up (iTBS is lame) to do the half or the full, I decided to do something different - spectate! Many of my friends were running the full or the half, so it was a great opportunity to go soak up some inspiration...and give out brownies to runners!
The cool thing (well, one of the cool things) about the Donna race is that it's actually a full weekend of events. This year it started off on Friday for the "Social Shakeout Run."
I've done this run for the last 3 years - you get to run with Donna, Tim Deegan, the race ambassadors, and some of the other race celebs, including Joan Benoit Samuelson (the first winner of the Olympic women's marathon!!) and Jeff Galloway. This year we met up at Southern Grounds and ran part of the marathon course through Atlantic Beach. It's always fun to see the houses that have already been decorated for the race - if I lived on the race route, I would have pink stuff everywhere.
For race day, my friends and I went out on the course to spectate! I've always wanted to spectate the race before, but I wasn't sure what parking would be like. It's actually really easy to park and hop on the course - so note that for next year! We loaded up the dogs, signs, and brownies, and headed over to watch.
We were positioned at about 8th Street South, right near the 8(?) mile mark. It was really fun to see so much pink on the course, and our signs got a lot of compliments (although I didn't land any Valentines dates...)
Next year the 26.2 with Donna is turning 10! Have you ever run it? Have you ever spectated a race before?
I'm Jenn! I'm a baker, blogger, sorta-runner, and writer living in Jacksonville, Florida!