This is the 3rd year in a row we’ve run the Miles for Midwives 5K in Prospect Park. The first year I was 38 weeks pregnant with Squish and felt like I would be very well taken care of in the event that I suddenly went into labor. The second year I got beat by a man pushing a double stroller — but managed to eke out a win in the women’s division. (Luckily the double-stroller guy was extremely handsome . . . and the two kids in the stroller were my kids . . . otherwise I might have harbored resentment towards him.) And this year the guy with the stroller came in a few seconds after me (he’s still nursing his injured knee), much to the dismay of the older of the two children in the stroller who did not, under any circumstances, want to be beaten by his mother.

He managed to get over it eventually — about the same time I gave him my medal to wear. (I won the women’s division in 20:52, a couple of seconds slower than last year, and came in 5th overall.)

With three M4Ms under my belt, I think I can safely say that it gets better each year. This year the schedule of events (the race was only one part of the Healthy Birth Fair) was e-mailed out ahead of time and they did a pretty good job of sticking to it. The pre-race remarks were done on a stage away from the start line well before the 10:00 start, which was an improvement over last year when, I believe, we were all lined up and ready to run before they took the time to remind us of what we were running for and the strides midwifery had made in the past year. However, this year, after the remarks, we had to walk down to the start line, which was not well marked. I’m pretty sure some people missed it entirely and started the race minutes before the race actually began. (I passed some not-so-fast M4M runners at the 1 mile mark, and I was doing sub-7:00 miles.)

The post-race sustenance was plentiful, but I was kind of surprised that there weren’t any porta-potties nearby, which was somewhat distressing when I realized how many Zicos Manchild was consuming. Thankfully, it didn’t end up being an issue for us.

And because midwives are all about babies and kids and families, they had two kids races — a 3+ and and 3-. Manchild was pretty sure he was going to run the fastest ever and win the 3+ race, but he was having so much fun that he didn’t notice that he was actually in the middle of the pack. But what do you expect from a kid wearing flip-flops and a hoodie? Clearly he doesn’t take his running seriously enough. (I kid.)

As far as I’m concerned, the greatest improvement in the race was the goodie bags. In the past, each runner was given a bag full of “goodies” which consisted, mostly, of pamphlets and fliers that we then all went home and tossed into the recycling bin. There was none of that this year. If you wanted a pamphlet or flier, you could go get one yourself from the booths set up behind the finish line. Instead, it seemed, they put more effort into the prizes for the winners. Last year I walked away with a medal, which I was thrilled about. Medals are great. But this year the winners got bags of prizes that totally rocked: Burt’s Bees lotion, a coupon for body composition testing,¬†Urban Decay eyeshadow and lip gloss, and a baby keepsake kit, among other things. It was totally worth pushing myself up that hill for some sparkly eyeshadow.

We’ve already marked our calendars (figuratively speaking) to run the race again next year. Because we believe in midwives. They help people out.

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