GR8 to DON8 8K Race Recap

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The 8K distance is fabulous! 


This morning I ran the GR8 to DON8 (Great to Donate) 8K race in Longwood, Florida.  I chose to do this race for FUN, not for time, in my quest to run 26 races before my 26th birthday on April 26.  This was race #24! Because I’m riding in a Metric Century bike race (60 miles of rolling hills) tomorrow, I decided to take it easy (for me) today and run at a training pace, not race pace.


I’m not sure I’ve ever “really” run a race for fun before today! I thought I had, but to be honest, I was always kind of staring at my watch.  I ran today’s race with a fellow Orlando blogger named Jes, and we just chatted the entire time.  Absolutely ZERO pressure. 


Although it was a “fun” race, it started off like all the other ones:


When you figure out what works for you before a race, don’t change it!  I had an almond butter sandwich, fruit, and a coffee.


And then I drove about 25 minutes north to Longwood.  The event was small and held at a local high school.  Packet pick-up was held out of the football field concession stand! It brought back memories of my own high school experience (I think all Florida high schools are designed the same).  🙂


The bibs were really cool!  Instead of having chip timers on our shoes, the timers were INSIDE the back of the bibs. When you crossed the finish line, they scanned your bib and took off the metal wire.


Check out the sweet shirts!


The race was called GR8 to DON8 because the goal is to raise awareness about organ donation.


Did you know:


  • One organ donor can save up to eight lives (hence the 8K Run for Organ Donation) while tissue donation can improve the quality of life for dozens more.
  • Last year, nearly 28,000 lives were saved due to the generosity of organ donors.
  • Today, more than 100,000 children and adults await that precious gift.  Hundreds of thousands more patiently wait for the gift of tissue donation.


I am VERY PROUD to be an organ donor.  Please look into your heart and decide whether organ donation is right for you.  Regardless of your decision, be sure to let your family know what you want!  And if you want to donate, follow these simple steps to make sure others know about your choice, too.


After packet pickup, I met up with Jes and her friends, Ryan and Caitlin.


We lined up at the start, and then we were off!


Jes and I ran at a comfortable pace for us, as mentioned.  Her knee has been bothering her, and I didn’t want to make myself sore before the bike race tomorrow, so we generally paced a 10:00 to 10:30/mile and talked. 


The race course was pretty, too.  We went through lovely neighborhoods and the roads were shady!




Before I knew it… the race was over!  We both crossed the finish line with a smile.  I felt like I had a great workout, but I didn’t want to kneel over and die like I do after so many races.  Running for fun is… FUN! 🙂


  • Race Distance: 8K (4.9 miles)
  • Garmin Distance: 5.05 miles
  • Duration: 50:21
  • Mile 1: 9:54
  • Mile 2: 10:06
  • Mile 3: 9:59
  • Mile 4: 10:14
  • Mile 5: 9:44
  • + Another 24 seconds


I grabbed a Gatorade:


And we watched Caitlin and Ryan cross the finish line.


Good times!  🙂


I’m off to make a protein smoothie using my new brown rice powder.  I’ll let you know how it tastes!


And the BIG RACE is TOMORROW.  I’m really excited, but I feel relieved my Dad is going to ride with me.  He was super motivating during the other Metric Century (race recap) that I did.  It’s going to be great practice for the BIGGER Century race (100 miles!) we’re doing together in May.


Have a great Saturday!



  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs April 17, 2010, 10:22 am

    Well done on the race! I can’t believe how ‘official’ even shorter distances are! On my first 10k, we only had little numbers – no packet or fancy start/finish, no chip….so different! My last half marathon didn’t even have timer chips either!
    Good luck on your bike race tomorrow – you must be so majorly excited!! Heck, I’M excited for you! I can’t wait to hear the recap 😀

    • April 17, 2010, 2:21 pm

      That IS a sweet shirt!! I am also an organ donor and very proud to be one! I’ve been lucky enough to never have anyone in my family be on a list waiting for an organ but I feel for those families going through that.

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs April 17, 2010, 10:23 am

    Oh and I totally agree re organ donation – I’m an organ doner 🙂

  • Evan Thomas April 17, 2010, 10:25 am

    That’s a great cause and run to choose. Can’t wait to hear hwo the protein smoothie comes out. I don’t think I’ve tried brown rice like that before

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter April 17, 2010, 10:32 am

    I have the little heart on my driver’s license 🙂

    I’m running a 5k later today. I’m getting nervous but exited! Good luck on the bike race tomorrow

  • Meghan@traveleatlove April 17, 2010, 10:38 am

    You look so relaxed and happy! Good luck on the bike ride tomorrow!

  • Maggie April 17, 2010, 10:41 am

    Sounds like a fun race. Totally random but I’ve always thought it was cool that people named Kate can spell their name “K8.”

    Good luck with the race tomorrow!

  • Jenny April 17, 2010, 10:41 am

    Glad you had fun! Good luck tomorrow!

  • lauren @ Eater not a runner April 17, 2010, 10:48 am

    That looks like fun! I just registered to be an organ donor 🙂

    Good luck tomorrow!!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg April 17, 2010, 10:53 am

    Looks like a great race! When my sister was pregnant, we ran a 5K together for fun at a very slow pace (obviously), and I really enjoyed it. It’s nice to actually talk during a race, instead of furiously trying to work your way around everyone and go for a PR!

    Good luck on your next race (so soon!).

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin April 17, 2010, 10:55 am

    You know, I don’t think I’ve ever run a race before for fun either. It must be so nice to have a huge grin on your face when you’re done not because its over but because you had such a nice time running. Congrats!!

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing April 17, 2010, 10:59 am

    That sounds fun! I want my first race, whenever that will be, for fun. Because if running isn’t fun, well then it becomes more of a chore… and I don’t want that.
    I agree about organ donation! It seems such a waste to just let your organs waste away when so many people need them. I mean it’s not like you’re going to NEED them after you die..

    • Caitlin April 17, 2010, 11:43 am

      Heaven knows we need them here!

  • Angharad April 17, 2010, 11:08 am

    Super fun! I ran a 5K race with the husband on valentines weekend and it was just for fun too – so fun and rewarding! We definitely didn’t run slowly – I was knackered by the end! – but I didn’t go all out and it just felt really fun to be doing it together! Glad your race today was such a success!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople April 17, 2010, 11:10 am

    A fun race! How neat. And what a great cause! I am also an organ donor.

    I can’t wait to hear how your protein smoothie goes. I tried a brown rice protein powder before, but the taste to me was awful. I like that the pea protein I use doesn’t really taste like anything, yet still adds protein and thickness.

  • Amy B (Second City Randomness) April 17, 2010, 11:12 am

    The race I did last week had the timer on the bib! It was kind of cool. Plus, I always feel like such an idiot trying to figure out how to put the shoe timer on… yep, had to read the directions every time… fail.

  • jen trinque April 17, 2010, 11:15 am

    Good luck tomorrow! I am so glad you had a nice relaxing race day, today.

  • runnerforever April 17, 2010, 11:15 am

    What a great race and cause!

  • katie April 17, 2010, 11:22 am

    So glad you had a fun time!

  • Jenny April 17, 2010, 11:38 am

    AWESOME race! 🙂 What Garmin do you run with?

    • Caitlin April 17, 2010, 11:43 am

      Garmin 305

  • Amanda (The Shoe Perspective) April 17, 2010, 11:45 am

    That sounded like an awesome race! I follow Jes’s blog too so yay! Two awesome bloggers! Once I learn to drive I’ll donate my organs (the sticky they put on your license..) since when you’re dead, you don’t need them anymore. It kinda seems pointless not to donate…. That’s just my opinion. (Wish me luck.. I’m so nervous and I’m getting Confirmed in 2 hours!!)

  • Stephanie @ See Stephanie Run April 17, 2010, 11:46 am

    I did an 8k race today, what a coincidence! I had never really seen any 8k races before, and 2 in FL in 1 day. I agree with you that I really like the distance! Loved your recap, great job and Lots of Luck for you tomorrow, you will rock it!

    • Caitlin April 17, 2010, 12:16 pm

      cool! did you have fun, too??

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) April 17, 2010, 11:51 am

    Very fun — always nice to do something like that with friends and just enjoy the morning.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers April 17, 2010, 11:52 am

    Congrats on a FUN race!! Those are some seriously awesome shirts 🙂

  • Midgetkeeper April 17, 2010, 11:55 am

    Great race Caitlin, looks like a lot of fun.

    I am an organ donor as is the rest of my family. My Father had a cornea transplant when I was young due to Keratoconus, it saved his eye and thanks to that he is able to see today.

    I was diagnosed with Keratoconus as well last year and might also be needing a cornea transplant some day, organ donation is very near to my heart.Thanks for running for this cause!

    • Caitlin April 17, 2010, 12:17 pm

      i hope when the time (if the time) comes when you need a transplant you get it ASAP!

  • Kilee April 17, 2010, 12:02 pm

    Great job girl! You are always such an inspiration. Good luck on all of the races! I also want you to know that I get so excited whenever I think about Operation Beautiful. I thin that you totally hit the nail on the head of how we should feel about ourselves and how to encourage others to do the same.

    • Caitlin April 17, 2010, 12:17 pm

      thank you! if you post any notes, email them to me!

  • Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly April 17, 2010, 12:06 pm

    Awesome race! I am a donor too and I think it is a GREAT cause. I figure if I am no longer alive but my organs can help someone else then why not? I obviously don’t need them!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) April 17, 2010, 12:11 pm

    so glad you had FUN running that race! and definitely for a great cause…why wouldn’t you be an organ donor? can’t take ’em with you, right? 😉 i’m so excited to hear about the Metric tomorrow!

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete April 17, 2010, 12:32 pm

    Yay! It looks like you had a great time. I can’t wait to read your recap for tomorrow. You have been training, and you will do just fine! 😉

  • Jo April 17, 2010, 12:33 pm

    Sounds like a lovely race Caitlin, really pleased you had fun. I completed my first Donor card when I was just 8 years old and told my mum and dad that it was my choice. I’ve carried one ever since and am on the organ donor register.

    I am a believer that it should be an opt out service rather than an opt in because I’m certain there are many who would donate but “forget” to.

    It makes me sad the amount of people that won’t consider donating an organ but would accept one – it’s selfish in the extreme IMO.

    Anyway, fab race, and sending tons of luck for tomorrow


  • Diana April 17, 2010, 12:41 pm

    Good job, glad you had a good time! 🙂

  • Me-Linh @ Sweet and Sweat April 17, 2010, 12:41 pm

    Congrats on finishing the 8K! 26 races by your 26th birthday sounds like a great goal too. I would love to do even one race in the next year 🙂

  • Karena April 17, 2010, 12:42 pm

    Great job — I’m glad you enjoyed it! Best of luck tomorrow, to you and your dad.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) April 17, 2010, 12:42 pm

    That is such a great name for the race. I love the charity. I signed up to be an organ donor from the moment I got my license. If I’m not using them any more why shouldn’t someone else.

    Glad you had a fun race and got to meet some new people.

  • Alicia April 17, 2010, 12:44 pm

    Great race name and tshirt – glad you had a fun time before the BIG one tomorrow!

  • Helen April 17, 2010, 12:55 pm

    What a great race, it’s for such a great cause. I’m not an organ donor but it is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I think I need to look into it more. Good luck for your race tomorrow, I can’t wait to hear about it.

  • Whitney @ April 17, 2010, 12:56 pm

    Looks like you took it easy and had fun! Good luck tomorrow! 🙂

  • Kara April 17, 2010, 1:06 pm

    Great job today and good luck tomorrow! This is totally random but I figured I would ask since you are always meeting new people from all over the U.S. Do you know anyone that follows your blog that is from Northeast Ohio? I recently moved to Akron, OH and I am trying to meet new people. I never thought it was hard to make new friends but I feel like it is so different now that I am no longer a college student. I am signing up for a running group. Hopefully, I will meet young people who enjoy running. I just thought I would ask you since you seem to always be making new running friends!!!


  • Mama Pea April 17, 2010, 1:15 pm

    Great race, girl! I think our birthdays are only a few days apart (mine’s May 2nd). I have other goals for my birthday, though 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your day!

  • Susan April 17, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Hahaha, racing for… FUN?? What an interesting concept!! 😛 I’ve mentioned it, by I lovelove the “26” idea. That’s a sweet t-shirt too! Do you have 24 race shirts now?

  • Britt @ Runnerbelle April 17, 2010, 2:05 pm

    Running a race for run is a lot of FUN. We have a race series here that I usually like to do, but last year it was the day before a 20 mile race I was more focused on. We ran the shorter race for fun and just yapped the whole time.

    Best wishes tomorrow!!!!

  • Teacherwoman April 17, 2010, 2:13 pm

    Sounds like you had a fun race today! Good for you! And, GOOD LUCK tomorrow with your ride! 🙂

  • Catherine April 17, 2010, 2:34 pm

    Sounds like an awesome race – so weird, I’ve never seen a race chip in the actual bib! Good luck tomorrow, I’m sending you tons of positive thoughts!!

  • Camille April 17, 2010, 2:36 pm

    8K is such a fabulous race distance! Unless you are a sprinter by nature it is absolutely a fun run 🙂

  • Julie @ Pickley Pear April 17, 2010, 2:54 pm

    Great workout (race) today! I have never seen the time chip in the bib, that will definitely get people to wear their bibs! Love the shirt too, so fun and different than a boring old white tee. Glad you had FUN! That is what all these races are about, right??!!

  • Hedda April 17, 2010, 4:26 pm

    I am an organ donor! My grandfather was as well, and I know that after his death some of his organs have helped other people. It is a great arrangement, modern technology (and human will to donate!) is impressing.

    By the way Caitlin, I can’t understand how you can look so amazing while running, haha! Probably because you love doing it 🙂

  • jessica April 17, 2010, 4:27 pm

    I have been an organ donor since I got my license when I turned 17. Here in NJ you can register to be an organ donor right at the DMV when you get or renew your license – it doesn’t get any easier than that. Thanks for raising awareness on your blog!

  • Ellen Collis April 17, 2010, 5:05 pm

    Awesome job! Wow, I wish I looked that cute when I go running 🙂 Guess I need more pink in my workout wardrobe rotation!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] April 17, 2010, 5:55 pm

    You’re a raceaholic : ) I love the shirts. Rest up for the big day tomorrow!

  • diana@mymarblerye April 17, 2010, 6:45 pm

    You should play Queen’s “another one bites the dust” after each race…because you can. 😉 Great job! And if you ever feel like pacing yourself to a 13 minute mile let me know. 🙂

  • John April 17, 2010, 7:18 pm

    I would love to get to the point where you casually run a 10min/mile. Tried for 11 tonight but ended up around 11:20 I think over 11miles.

  • maria April 17, 2010, 8:09 pm

    I’m sure you are a little nervous about tomorrow, so best of luck! I’ll be thinking of you and hoping the race goes great! 😀

  • Lisa April 17, 2010, 8:15 pm

    What a cool race! I love the cause it’s for! 🙂

  • Heather ( April 17, 2010, 8:47 pm

    good luck tomorrow! glad you had fun at today’s race!

  • Katya April 17, 2010, 9:14 pm

    Hi Caitlin–I have a totally weird, random question. I guess I could ask anyone who runs, but I’m here now . . . Do you (or anyone) ever have issues with thigh chafing? I usually don’t run (I just swim and bike), but I was playing tennis this afternoon and noticed this chafing going on because of my running around. I know the “thighs rubbing together” thing is sort of a weight related issue but I’m pretty sure I have about the same height/weight ratio as you do and the shorts you’re wearing in that pic look like they would not prevent that if it were a problem for you.
    Is there anything to do? Do I just have to wear spandex if I’m going to be engaged in a running-type pursuit and don’t want thigh chafing? Is it just something that happens to some people and doesn’t to others?

    • Katya April 17, 2010, 9:16 pm

      oh and good luck tomorrow! 😀

    • caitlin April 17, 2010, 9:36 pm

      my thighs never chafe but i chafe everywhere else. a lot of people who chafe in between their thighs wear tight spandex instead of billowing shorts. or just rub a bunch of vaseline in between your legs. that works, too!

  • Jes April 17, 2010, 9:31 pm

    Thanks for a great run and the fun pictures! You rock!

  • Carolyn @ April 17, 2010, 9:52 pm

    Sounds like a really fun morning!! 🙂 Good luck tomorrow.

  • jenna April 17, 2010, 10:19 pm

    glad ya had fun!

  • Megan April 17, 2010, 10:38 pm

    Great race– I love the 8K after doing my first one this year too. Now you just need to get to Chicago and run the largest 8K in the country: the Shamrock Shuffle 🙂

  • Kelly April 17, 2010, 11:40 pm

    Glad you enjoyed the race and love the shirts! Good luck tomorrow : )

  • Jessica April 18, 2010, 12:56 am

    Just saw your cute irongirl shirt and I’ve been wanting to check that out for a while. I clicked over to the website and the race was 85% full. So, I registered. Thanks for the reminder and the inspiration!

    Good luck with your metric century tomorrow and 26 races before 26!

    • caitlin April 18, 2010, 5:22 am

      yay have fun!!

  • Jessica @ WHY DONTCHA RUN April 18, 2010, 9:39 am

    What a fantastic cause for a run! My dad had a kidney transplant in September, of which was donated by a very young man (early 20’s). That man changed (and saved) so many lives with his decision to be an organ donor.

    Thank you for raising awareness for such an amazing cause. 🙂

  • Lauren April 18, 2010, 12:32 pm

    Thank you for posting the Organ Donation info. I just signed up for New York State!

  • Amy April 18, 2010, 2:08 pm

    glad ya had fun!

  • Kelly (the Running Phoodie) April 18, 2010, 4:51 pm

    Those race shirts are awesome. I ran a 5-mile race today myself and have a question for you. Although I know you ran this one for fun, if you had run it for time would you consider your times for an 8k and a 5-mile as separate PR times or the same since they are practically the same length. I’m trying to decide how I want to record these distances for myself so I’m just wondering your opinion. In getting back to you on the hemp protein powder suggestion, I would recommend the organic dark chocolate-flavored version that Manitoba Harvest makes. I noticed from your picture at Whole Foods that they carry it at your store. It’s good 🙂

    • caitlin April 18, 2010, 4:54 pm

      I would record them as different distances!

  • Amy April 18, 2010, 5:59 pm

    Sounds like a really fun morning!! 🙂 Good luck tomorrow.

  • Ashley April 18, 2010, 11:51 pm

    Great job!! I wish I had known about this; I’d have driven in from Jax. My friend Turley’s organs were donated after she died of an aneurysm in December.

  • Jeff Sadowsky December 20, 2010, 8:40 pm

    I’m glad you all liked my race. I put this event together to really try to increase awareness and education about organ donation. We recently had our first committee meeting and we are working do this event in 2011. It was the first time that I ever did anything like this. I put it together just from a runners perspective. I tried to have and provide the things I like in a race. I know it was a small race, but it had a large race flavor. I hope the 2011 race will be even better!! The date for 2011 is April 2, 2011 at 8:00 am at the same place, Lyman High School. It looks like Florida Hospital will be our presenting sponsor this year. I you want more information, or would like to help out in any way, please feel free to email me at

    Thanks and hope to see you at the run,


    • Caitlin December 21, 2010, 11:20 am

      Thanks Jeff! I moved to Charlotte but I will definitely let my Orlando friends know!

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