Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Different Kind of Race Day

About a month ago, my husband and I got up before dawn, put on our running shoes, packed the car with a few necessities and drove for a couple hours to make sure we got a parking spot and were in place for the race start. This time however, we were not the ones racing. These guys were...

We attended the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance sports car race. Sebring is a tiny town about 2 hours away from Orlando and known for the racetrack. My husband went to this race for a number of years both before and after we met, but hadn't been for a while. Not living in the area makes it harder to go to as well as other life related distractions. This was my first auto race ever, so other than his stories, I didn't know what to expect.

We got to the race track a little before 9 a.m and after a cruise of the parking lot, secured a parking spot for the day. While we couldn't see the track from our parking spot, it was relatively central, and as I would learn over the course of the day, this was a very good thing.

After parking and getting settled, we walked over to the pits, but most of the cars were already on the track. At about 10:30 or so, they let spectators onto the track so you could get up close and personal with the cars. It was really cool to be so close to the cars.

Soon after, they got everyone off the track and it was almost time for the start. We headed to a spot just before the first turn to watch the beginning of the race. The sounds and the smell of the race was unlike anything I had ever seen before. It is also really interesting because each vehicle had a distinct sound.

You are so close to the cars

We spent the rest of the day walking around and watching the cars from different parts of the track. It is amazing how close you are to the race and watching the cars after dark gave you a whole new perspective. You could see the brakes glow when the cars slowed down.

For a number of reasons, including my husband having to make an early morning trip to the airport the next day, we left the race about 9 p.m. and drove home. So we didn't see the end of the race. Next time I really would like to stay until the end, but that may involve camping, so I have to mentally prepare myself for that.

I was blown away by how much fun the race was. It is definitely something I want to go to again. Right now there are a lot of changes going on for this race series, but I really hope they can keep all the good things about this race in upcoming years.

Have you ever been to a non-running race? Did you have a good time?