I happen to see a flyer for this race at my local True Value Hardware store. I thought my daughter might be interested in a 5K that would support horse rescues. I was right. Although she hadn’t run since the GOTR 5k last year, she was interested in the Hay It’s A 5K which was held by the York SPCA. It was too late to sign up online so we would have to register on race day. If they hold this race again next year (and I hope they do), I would advertise the race with Running in the USA in addition to Active.com. They did an excellent job of getting the word out with the flyers, but the more press the better.
York SPCA Mission: The York County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is a charitable organization dedicated to providing long-term human and animal services to residents of York County through programs that find permanent, loving homes for displaced and stray animals, help control animal population growth, investigate and prosecute cruelty offenders and educate the general public about animal wellness and safety.
Location: Codorus State Park, PA
Timing: Clock Timing
Course: 95% horse trail with a little pavement
Size: Small (Around 100)
Pre-Race: I didn’t pre-register for the race (which was a first for me). I figured the race wouldn’t be too big, but I was worried we might not get a race shirt and I knew my daughter wanted one of the T-shirts.
Race Day: I woke up Saturday morning and my stomach was protesting going for a run. I took 3 Imodium and hoped I would make it through the race with clean shorts. On the way to the race I was 50/50 on if I would actually run or just watch my daughter. I thought maybe I could just hang with Kayleigh and motivate her through the race.
She wasn’t having any of that. She specifically wanted to run the race on her own. I wasn’t thrilled about allowing my 12-year-old to run a course through the woods on her own, but I didn’t have a good reason to deny her. So I begrudgingly gave her my approval. I gave her some encouragement and race tips and hoped for the best. She never showed any fear or concern. I was proud.
There was plenty of parking and we were a two-minute walk to the registration table. Registration was a breeze and we were lucky enough to get T-shirts. I would register early next year so the T-shirt won’t be in doubt. My daughter stole some money out of my wallet to donate to the York SPCA. When I asked her how much she donated she told me “not to worry”. I am glad we have raised a kid with such a kind heart.
The Race: We started together in the middle of pack. We ran together for the first 10o yards before I wished Kayleigh good luck, and told her to stay slow and steady.
The race was tough. Not the toughest, but pretty rough. It was hilly and primarily on muddy horse trails. I knew if I found it challenging, my daughter would be struggling too. It was hot, hilly and muddy from start to finish. I am glad that the majority of the race took place in the shade. If it had been a road race, the heat would have been oppressive.
I stuck with a slow and steady pace and had enough in the tank to finish strong at the 28:20(ish) mark (results have not been posted yet).
I walked back down the trail concerned about how my daughter would fare under such adverse conditions. I made it about 1/4 mile before I saw her green shirt in the distance walking along with another woman. When she saw me she jogged up to meet me and give me a hug. I poured water on her face, gave her a drink and told her it was time finish her business.
She dug deep and ran/walked the final rolling hills to the finish line and finished around the 42 minute mark. I was extremely proud. She was alone, on a tough course, and she found the gumption to finish the race. She also made a bunch of friends along the way. After the race a ton of people came up to her and congratulated her on sticking with it. That’s my girl!
Post Race: They had water at the finish line. They also had oranges, Rice Krispie treats, granola bars, and apples. The best after-run perk had to be the homemade ice cream! Very refreshing. We cooled off and then had to run to the rest room (which was a good distance from the start/finish line). We made it back just in time for the raffles and awards. They had a ton of raffle giveaways (Kayleigh won Rutter’s coupons and a Road ID coupon). The SPCA also recognized some of the long time volunteers. The race director got teary (which made me a little teary) when she recognized Emma who had been there since their first horse rescue.
I got lucky and was recognized as second place in my advanced age group. I received a horseshoe and a Hershey bar for my efforts. The Hersey bar has gone MIA.
Goodies: We love the shirt! Kay won the coupons and I received the horseshoe for second place.