For all the hundreds of 5Ks across South Florida, there are only a handful of 10Ks, and only one Run for the Music 10K. Since 2010, Matt Sonneborn, the principal trumpet for the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Gulf Coast Runners have been organizing the Run for the Music to benefit the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and its youth music program.

I have ran this 10K three out of its four years and have to say, this year’s race was pretty great, as far as races go. Last year’s race worked me over. I was coming off the hardest half marathon ever the week before and a marathon less than a month before. It was hot and made me want to unlace my shoes and hit the bloody mary bar, like normal humans on a Sunday.

This Sunday’s weather was near perfect. Cool, not too humid, with a beautiful sunrise. After packet pickup Saturday, getting the timing chip was a breeze. I chatted with a bunch of runners, annoyed others by taking too many pictures, and got ready to run. Members of the Phil orchestra played the Star Spangled Banner (gets me every time) and we headed to the start line.

My only complaint for the morning was a lack of countdown for the race start. One second I was joking with people around me, the next second, people in front of us were running. A countdown for the not-as-fast peeps towards the back would have been appreciated.

We took off down Pelican Bay Boulevard in the early sunshine. Musicians popped up about five minutes into the course. They were scattered all through the shaded, out and back course. I would guess they were set up every half mile or so. I would have counted, but was much too absorbed in myself, what I was going to eat later, and keeping pace to set a PR.

Despite my focus on pace, form, and donuts, I did notice some of the runners around me. Young kids (yes, I totally got passed by an 8 year old) to 80 year olds (yeah they may have passed me at some point too). Runners thanking volunteers, clapping for the musicians, and cheering on other faster runners all made my heart smile.

Around miles four and five, the sun had started to rise and the temperature had noticeably increased. Just before the mile six marker, the sounds of people cheering could be heard and the flashing lights of the police cars near the finish came into view. The following 0.2 miles were a sprint to the finish. Welcoming volunteers snipped off our timing chips and we walked towards water and food…or in our case mimosas.

Carrabba’s provided a ton of delicious smelling food post race. Unfortunately, I am not one for eating anything heavy right after running hard, but can’t wait to use my Carrabba’s free bruschetta coupon. Fortunately, a friend brought champagne and OJ to the race, which was a pretty perfect way to end 6.2 miles and celebrate a new PR, one minute and 55 seconds faster than last year.

To read more about Lianne (or racing and mimosas) visit