I already gave you the 15K recap, so here's the stuff I left out.
Jennie & I took a wrong turn before we got to the park & had to turn around. You'd think a state park would be better-marked, but you would be wrong. Once we got there, we knew we were in the right place because of the long queue of cars waiting to get in. And there was one lonely park ranger having to take every car's entrance fee & hand out change. Fortunately, he didn't have to give directions, because it was pretty evident where we were supposed to go.
Greenfield-Central (that was my high school, for those keeping score at home) brought five students & four coaches, all of whom ran the 15K. I know this because I spoke to one of the coaches at the start line... and that was the last I saw of any of them. Yep, I'm slow. They were not.
The course was absolutely fantastic. Yeah, I wasn't kidding when I said the hills kicked my bum. But the start was so lovely; all the fall leaves on the ground, the air was fresh, the dew was still on the grass; if I didn't know better, I'd have said it was an April morning, not November. But, it was just over a quarter of a mile into the race when we hit the first uphill, and my word, it never stopped.
The mile markers were spray-painted in orange on the ground. I missed the 1-mile mark because I didn't realise that was what I was supposed to be looking for. The turnaround for the 15K was at a horse barn, and the spray-painter, in what was either a public service or a source of personal amusement for him/her, had circled a rather large pile of horse doo. (Had it been me wielding the can, it would have been entirely for my amusement.)
Jennie, by the way, had a brilliant first 5K. She went into the race thinking that I would be done before her (silly sister-in-law; she thinks I can run fast! Boy, did I show her!), which was kind, but not at all an accurate picture of reality. By her own account, she went out too fast, then hit the first hill. And all the leaves, dirt, and other things that made the morning so fresh & appealing for me caused her allergies to do a fandango inside her lungs, so that she had to slow down quite a bit by mile 3. And then when she did finish, she was stuck standing around waiting for me. But, the running community is nothing if not gregarious (once we all finish running, that is), so by the time I was done she was talking to someone about her shin splints. I still feel bad that I left her in a crowd of strangers for nearly an hour, but I am delighted that she had such an open-arms welcome from other runners, even as Chad & I had two years ago at our own first race.
We got some t-shirts to commemorate our adventure, and stood around for the awards, hoping to snag some door prizes. (No joy there, at least not for me; Jennie got a hat for Billy, 'cause it was much too big for her head.) And on the way home, we stopped for a very tasty drink at Taco Bell. Frutista Freeze, maybe? Great stuff.