Today, lots of running friends and I participated in the HMF Red Dress Run presented by United Health Care. This race is a women’s only 5K run/walk. A portion of each entry benefits the Go Red For Women campaign of the American Heart Association. Individuals, mother-daughter teams, and open teams can enter. I ran as part of an open team, Team Crazy Leggs.
It was about 85 degrees and partly cloudy at race start. The race began and ended in the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden. We were promised lots of roses in full bloom, but this year the rose plants were mostly dried up. Not to worry – there were plenty of other plants and flowers in bloom in the park. The race check-in area was the usual HMF mess. I’ve learned to expect absolutely no direction at the start of HMF races, so I was not bothered by the lack of organization at the start. Runners showed up, found the tent marked “pre-registered” and then it was everyone woman for herself. Several people in my group waited in the “wrong” line (they weren’t marked) or didn’t get t-shirts. After a little wandering, and help from teammates, we all made it to the start successfully.
Given that the race is a run/walk, it’s a great race for first time runners and it usually attracts a number of people who are recreational runners, or first time racers. The start corral was organized and runners were kind to one another. The race began in Elizabeth Park and then traveled out into West Hartford on the lovely paved streets.
The race course was even flat, a rare thing in this part of Connecticut.
The course was well-marked, with race marshals on each corner to direct runners. There were two water stops, both appropriately placed (one just after mile 1 and one just after mile 2), with water and Gatorade. The volunteers were friendly and helpful – including my former-runner dad, who helped out.
At the finish line runners were given a cold bottled water and a small red dress pin from the American Heart Association. At the post race tents, there were the usual selection of vendors and advertisers. HMF provided bagels, bananas, and strawberry shortcake for runners.
Overall, the race was well done and a good time. The addition of divisions for mother-daughter and open teams makes for some fun competition. And, I can’t leave this out – my team – the Crazy Leggs won the open division. Yay!
Results from the 2012 Red Dress Run for Women can be found here.
Pictures are available here.