You know you love a race series when, after participating in it for the first time, you immediately declare, “I want to run this series next year!”
And that’s how it was for me last year when I participated in the Louisville Triple Crown of Running. If you are unfamiliar with the Triple Crown event, let me get you up to speed. The Louisville Triple Crown of Running is a three race series that takes place at various locations of Louisville throughout the month of March…and this year into April. This series of races is rather well-established and runs in varying distances, starting with the Anthem 5K Fitness Classic (3/9/13), the Rodes City Run 10K (3/23/13), and then the Papa John’s 10 Miler (4/6/13). Runners can participate in all three legs of the series or just pick and choose races from it. However, if you compete in all three races and finish, you do receive a race series t-shirt in addition to the individual race shirts you get for each race. And, as runners, we all know how much we love those race t-shirts.
This race series draws nearly 20,000 participants who run in at least one of the three events. Over 5,500 runners will complete the annual series and earn the Triple Crown t-shirt. (Yes…I was one of these people last year!) The first Triple Crown of Running occurred in 1984 and featured the Rodes City Run 10K, the Run for the Arts 15K, and the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon. But in 2003, Triple Crown Race Organizers announced the new series, which omitted the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon and instead added the Anthem 5K Fitness Classic to the mix.
I am quite proud to be in the city that hosts this race series. It is very well organized, highly attended, and just a lot of fun!
Which is why I was so eager to sign up for it again and do it all over this year.
So, this Saturday, while the cold weather will still be here in the morning, I am going to head downtown to Slugger Field and run the first race of this year’s Triple Crown series – the Anthem 5K Fitness Classic. I have no goals for this race…not even to beat last year’s time. And here’s why. I’m going to be out late the night before. At the PINK concert at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville. So, I am going to be exhausted after rocking out, getting home late, and then getting up early to head downtown, park, and get ready to run. So…my goal is just to finish and finish strong. And that’s the best goal to set, I think. No pressure. No reason to push it. Just enjoy the run, soak it in, and maybe next year work on a new PR or something.
I am looking forward to picking up my race packet tomorrow at Slugger Field and, despite not really being at the top of my game on Saturday morning, running a hell of a good race. In the end…I can only do what I am capable of and try my best.
So, for all of you who are running the Triple Crown this year in Louisville…I’ll see you at the start and hopefully the finish lines of each race. And good luck. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun.