There are so many reasons why I enjoyed the Esprit de She Palo Alto 5K last Thursday. The course was a flat, out-and-back that almost guaranteed a speedy time, the pre- and post-race market and giveaways were phenomenal (they had healthy sandwiches and champagne at the finish!), the race shirts are actually wearable (in public, even), and the sound system pumped out killer tunes all night. No detail was left to chance—even the porta potties were impeccable.
Clearly, Esprit de She throws a good party! It didn’t hurt that everyone who toed the start line was in a good mood. (Apparently, free mini-massages and manicures are great for calming pre-race nerves.) Even fellow blogger Paulette from Just Keep Running was sporting a fantastic smile for this after-work, mid-week event when I bumped into her at the registration tent.
It also didn’t hurt that I managed to finish with a terrific time—23:58. Yay!
I was rested and hydrated going into the race, I had visualized finishing strong, and I ran an easy warm-up mile beforehand to keep my legs loose. But I’ve done all of this leading up to other races too, without such a stellar result. There must have been something special about this experience that allowed everything to line up just right for me. In my head, I keep going back to those porta potties.
It’s the little things that make a big difference at races. Having a clean place to use the bathroom before heading to the start corral is just one of them. Instead of feeling icky and worrying about accidentally touching a dirty seat, I was able to stay focused on the race itself. And honestly, even if the stars hadn’t lined up and provided the opportunity for me to race well, I’d probably still be thinking about those potties—they were that impressive!
Well done, Esprit de She!
Think you’ll sign up for an Esprit de She event now? What are the little things that make a race great for you?