Hi everyone and happy Saturday! It’s a beautiful Spring weekend here in sunny South Carolina and I’ve definitely enjoyed it. I feel like I’m on vacation every weekend with so much going on, but this weekend has been pretty exciting so far.
Friday night, I went to a social at Hatchell’s Tapas Bar in Mt. Pleasant for the TrySports Ambassador Team. Everyone shared appetizers (the veggie quesadilla was my favorite) and we got cool shirts to wear when we run races or compete in triathlons. Not everyone on the team is a runner so it was neat to meet the triathlon crew as well; we all had a lot of fun and enjoyed it.
Thanks to Brian Fancher & Andrew of TrySports, we have pictures… I look kinda goofy in the pic but so do a lot of others so it’s all good. No clue what Scott is doing in the back, and Ed forgot his shirt and is rockin’ the pink with us ladies.
On Saturday morning, I got up at 6 AM to fuel, caffeinate – yes, this is a vital part of run prep! – and drive to the World Grits Festival with my friend Nadine for the 5K. I heard so many radio jingles for the World Grits Festival last week, and they pretty much convinced me to go. The jingle talked about “Grits and Giggles” and advertised the festival… minus the race. I actually heard about the race a couple weeks ago from a fellow running friend, Reyna, who heard about it from someone who lives in St. George.
In its 28th year, the World Grits Festival is held in St. George, which is the Grits Capital of the World and even has a Quaker Street (Quaker is the company that makes grits). We got to the festival, I registered and left my stuff with Nadine (she spectated! Hooray for cheerleaders!) and did a mile warmup and some plyometric drills- typical race day prep.
This race pretty much sealed the deal that I’m an occasional “trophy hunter”, which means I sometimes seek out small races where I’d possibly place or win. About 30-35 people participated, total. It only cost $10 and was *very* no frills, but after an intense week of training, I looked at it as paying for someone to time me so I can see what my current “race pace” is.
For such a small race brought to you by volunteers (Grits-o-holics who don’t run), it was well organized. The course was marked, no one got lost or took wrong turns, and there was police presence to keep cars from running you over.
I finished in 23:40, which wasn’t my best time ever, but with the i5K on Thursday and Race for Taylor next month, I wasn’t looking to PR here. I still did well enough for first place female overall, which got me a pretty sweet and pretty big trophy.
Yep- it was so no-frills, we even had homemade numbers (we didn’t get to pick or make them ourselves- it’s just luck that I had #1). After the race, we ate some very well-deserved cheese grits. Definitely some of the best post-race refreshments I’ve had.
Along with the 5K, the festival had a pageant, grits eating contest, rolling in grits contest, and a parade, so we stuck around awhile. Only kids could roll in the grits on Saturday (adults roll and wrestle in the grits on Sunday), but we did see the grits-a-holics pour grits and water into the kiddie pool for it. The person with the most grits stuck to his or her body wins the contest, which sounded pretty gross. One grits festival award is enough for this girly.
We walked around looking at the cute crafty stuff and tasty food vendors, then settled in for the World Grits Parade. I think everyone who lives in this town participated in the parade because it was pretty big, and they threw out a lot of candy. They also threw packages of instant grits to the spectators, and we got a big haul of candy and grits without trying too hard.
The parade had some neat floats too- you could tell people spent a lot of time thinking of cool ideas and putting the floats together. Here are a few of the cool ones we saw.
Isn’t that an adorable float idea for a preschool or daycare?
Those ladies are wild about grits, hehe.
A covered wagon advertises an upcoming rodeo in Walterboro, which is a bit south of Charleston (on the way to Savannah).
I guess St. George has a lot of senior citizens so they have their own club.
After the parade, we made our way back to the car (another plus of running the race- we had premium parking since the race occurred before the actual festival started, so not far to walk) and back up 26 to Charleston. Sure, a festival about grits is a little hokey, but it was worth the drive at least this once- we had a lot of fun with it.
After dropping Nadine off, going home, and showering, Clay and I went out to dinner (downside to winning a trophy vs. a medal- you can’t wear it to dinner) at Taco Spot in West Ashley, then I made him take a picture of me with the trophy dressed in real girl clothes. I guess this is my trophy wife picture.
Tomorrow, I’m going for an easy run with some friends, then out to one of our favorite restaurants for brunch (one friend is pregnant and really looking forward to trying the Oreo Cookie pancakes). I might head to yoga as well. Tonight, Clay and I will probably sit around the house and watch MMA and chill- we like to keep things easy on Saturday nights with spending so much money on house stuff.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!