Project Athena is a non profit organization that was founded in 2007 by “two‐time adventure race world champion, 10‐time Ironman finisher and professional firefighter” Robyn Benincasa.
“Robyn was diagnosed with stage 4 Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, in 2007, and completed a marathon 20 weeks after hip resurfacing surgery as a proud owner of two metal‐on‐metal bionic hips. Inspired by a support group of girlfriends who were also survivors, Benincasa started the Foundation to create a “god and goddess” network, to help other women who face medical setbacks embrace recovery and conquer physical fitness and adventure goals.”
100% of the registration went directly to the foundation to help local and national survivors. This was the first year they held the race in Boise so it was actually very small. I’m not sure on exact numbers because they haven’t posted results online.
Gene and I picked up our goodie bag and race bib the night before.
The tech t’s were really cute and they had men and women's fit which was actually really nice. I don’t really like unisex shirts, they never fit me right. They ran out of smalls though but they said I could exchange it the next day at the race. I just ended up keeping the medium.
We didn’t get our timing chips till race day. I actually had never seen this type of timing chip. It’s one that you wear on your wrist. I thought it was weird and worried that it would bother me during the race but I actually didn’t feel it and would prefer that kind over the type you have to wear around your ankle.
We got to the race about 30 min before the start and their was hardly anyone there. There were more volunteers than runners at that point. But they slowly started trickling in.
We decided to take some pictures before the race to keep us entertained.
Purple sparkle skirt making it’s first race appearance :) which I absolutely love and got some compliments on.
Gene has actually been sick the last few days so I wasn’t really sure if he was going to run it. Race morning he said he was feeling good enough to run. But wasn’t going to be able to run fast. Our plan was to run together for the race but once there we saw how small the race was Gene told me he knew I could run run fast and beat a lot of the people there so I should go for it. It actually made me feel really proud to hear him say that. Feels good to be told that you run fast So I gave him a kiss and said ok!
I wasn’t really sure what pace I should run at. I haven’t ran a 10k since last year, the Aflac Iron Girl Seattle 10k with a time of 57:37, I knew I could run faster than that. I initially thought I should run around an 8:30 pace.
Once we took off the course was a little confusing and the lead runners turned the wrong way and were being yelled at to turn around. We had to make a sharp left turn which was a tight fit and felt like everyone was bottle necked. The mile markers were off from my Garmin even though I started it right as we crossed the mat. I don’t remember exactly how much off the first few miles were but I knew they were short.
I looked down when my watch beeped and it said mile 1 in 8:03. I wondered if this was too fast and was debating on slowing down. Then miles 2 and 3 came in both in 8:01. Well guess I decided not to slow down. Mile 4 I could feel the fatigue in my legs and I was extremely thirsty! They had a water stop back at mile 2 and I had some water then but I was really wanting some water now. Mile 4 split was 8:06. At mile 5 they finally had a water stop so I tried to walk quickly to drink as much as I could, I was feeling the hot sun! The greenbelt is a section I run a lot so when we turned the opposite way from the direction where the finish was I thought it was weird and probably how we would make up distance since the mile markers were short. This actually was a little mentally hard on me and I could feel my legs slowing down. Mile 5 split was 8:17. When I saw that I knew I had to pick up the speed only 1.2 miles to go.
The last mile my goal was to pass 2 women that had passed me around mile 4, I had kept them in sight the entire race. As we came around the bend I passed one of them and sped up to catch the other one. I was running right next to her and finally saw the finish so decided to I needed to sprint it in and passed her as I did. Right as I was nearing the mats the girl I had just passed all of a sudden came up next to me and pretty much ran into me. I seriously felt her nudge my shoulder. I don’t know if this was on purpose or accident but I gave her the WTF look as she crossed before me. Not quite sure what was up with that. If you want to pass then just pass me, more power to you for running faster, but no need to run someone over while doing it.
Mile 6 was in 8:08 and the last .38 was in 7:40. Finishing in 51:33 (Garmin time, no official results yet). An overall pace of 8:04. Definitely a lot faster than I thought I could run it in! I ended up placing 4th in my age group. The other 3 girls ahead of me ran it in 42 and 43 minutes so there was no way I would have caught up to them they were speedy!
My neighbor Bob aka “Pop” came out to support us and took this photo as I crossed the finish line.
After I crossed and got my medal I went back to find Gene. He was less than half a mile from the finish line so I ran with him and then told him to go for it and let him cross the finish line. He freaking rocked it coming in in 58 min. Pretty awesome after having a chest cold for the last few days.
We met up with Bob and had some pictures taken.
My friend Tim that I met at another race earlier this year ran the 10k as well. He is fast and has placed in a lot of the local 5k’s. He placed first in his age group winning a necklace and a $110 gift card for a pair of Merrell shoes!
The tiniest little girl also ran the 10k. She was only 5 years old! She finished in 1:10. She ran the race with her dad and apparently has ran multiple local races and has been running since she was 3! She was the cutest little girl and placed in the 18 and under age group :)
I did win a $25 gift card to Tree City Juice and Smoothie Café in a raffle which was really awesome! They gave away some great raffle prizes and Gene was hopping to win the Idaho Steelheads hockey tickets but no luck. We did get some other goodies from Bodybuilding.com
And the medal is really nice and now has it’s new home next to my other medals
Overall this was a great race! I definitely recommend it if it’s coming to your town (Seattle friends!)
I still needed to get in 4 more miles to get to my total of 10 for the day but didn’t want to make Gene wait for me so I decided to run them on the treadmill at home. It wasn’t as fun as running outside but I got them done!
After 10 miles I decided it was time for some well earned drinks and food! Since little man was at a birthday sleepover it was some nice alone time for Gene and I.
We decided to go to a restaurant called Bonefish Grill in downtown Boise. Their food was absolutely amazing!
I decided to have a glass of Sparkling White Mango Sangria…one word…yummy!!!
It was only in the 80’s (which is cool considering its usually in the high 90’s) so we decided to have our lunch on the patio. It was fun to talk and people watch.
We decided to share the ceviche to start out with which was delicious!
I had the fish tacos with fresh mango salsa and a spring salad which were soooo good and Gene had the chicken marsala which he said was amazing.
Just looking at the picture makes me want to go eat there again.
Overall it was a great evening. We had a few more drinks at another place but this post is long enough so I’ll leave you with the pics Gene took there.