Lake Run 5K (3.15 miles)
Average Pace 12:26/mile
As you know, I have run the Shell Lake "Lake Run" 5K for several years now. My first run was in 2011 ... followed by another go in 2012. Then, my first recap was in 2013, followed by more recaps in years 2014, 2015, and 2016.
So you may ask ... after two weeks of procrastinating ... what's with the delay in writing the 2017 recap?
I guess you can already sense my "enthusiasm" for this year's race ... no?
Ok, it's true ... every year that I participate in this race, I have become a little more "meh" about it. For the last few years I've been trying to figure out what's been bugging me about this race, and this year I think I finally figured it out. The problem is this: it feels like the race organizers are pushing towards making this an all day event ... and sorry, a foot race just isn't that.
Here's what I mean (current approximate race day schedule):
5K and 9 miler gun together at 8am.
5K finishers are done at 8:30ish (obviously walkers and slower runners are still coming in, but by 8:30-8:45 you know who the winners are of the majority of your age categories).
So of course ... when do you do your 5K awards ceremony? Why ... 10:30, of course.
Ok. Reality time.
Do you really think I'm going to stand around in front of a pole barn type office building, with nothing to do, for 2 hours awaiting an awards ceremony?
Sorry, no. I have a toddler with me who barely has the patience to get through the 5K run itself, let alone stand around in a graveled parking area for 2 hours longer.
And, it's not even like there's a playground area for the kids who are waiting for the mini-run (which starts after the 5K and 9 milers are done). So, I don't know what the point is of trying to force people to hang out at the start line from 7:30ish until well after 11am ...
Yeah ... it's just too much. And realistically, I wouldn't even wait around that long WITHOUT a kid!
Anyway, here's where I'm at with this race: I highly doubt race day will change. Realistically, I wish they organized the Lake Run like any other multi distance race, but I get the feeling the organizers WANT you to spend the day out at their offices.
Pipe dreaming ... if they wanted the race to shake out like most races do, what should happen is this:
Check in time 6:30 - 7:15am (or possibly stay open later for 5K runners)
9 mile gun time 7:15 (estimated finish for faster runners 8:15-8:30)
5K gun time 8:00 (estimated finish for most 5K & 9 mile age placement runners 8:30-9:00)
*** by staging the start times like this, most racers will finish together - and FYI, it's much more fun to cheer for a larger group of finishers rather than a small trickle here or there ***
Tabulate winners for 9 mile & 5K runners around 9am ... WHILE KIDS RUN TAKES PLACE
***again, kids get to finish with adult runners that are still on course, which = more fun***
Awards ceremony by 9:30, at the latest
Everyone leaving by 10am.
Sigh. Would be nice if they did it this way so I didn't have to miss the awards every year ...
Since this race is not likely to change, I've decided to do is ask myself: why is it that I keep coming back to this race?
Here's the answer to that question, in three parts.
#1 ... this race is a built in workout on a holiday weekend, where I'm likely to overeat anyway, and could use the extra help.
#2 ... my husband is fairly willing to run this with me, and it's fun to have a family 5K event to do at least once a year anyway.
And new in 2017, reason #3 .... drum roll ... family costume contest!!
So, yeah. Now you know the REAL REASON why I keep coming back. Heh.
By the way, I call this costume theme the Three Sea-migos. You know ... a mermaid, a fish, and a sea captain - AKA, the three amigos of the sea. (Ok, ok ... I know this is very similar to the theme of my Halloween family costume from 2016, but I haven't used my mermaid running dress much since I got it, and I figured this would be a low budget overall family get-up, so there!)
Ok, let's get on to non complaints. The above was getting whiny.
Regarding the meat of this race, I don't really have much to say. Overall, the gun time was fairly prompt, the course was the same as it's been for the last few years, and my performance was what you'd expect from someone who hasn't gone for a run in months.
To pass the time on course, I helped my son search for race doggies (he doesn't have many words in his vocabulary yet, but dog is one of them, so he enjoys pointing out dogs when we're out and about). And since I apparently packed a wardrobe malfunction for my husband, as his drawstring on his shorts wasn't working and they kept sliding down, I pushed the stroller the whole run.
Net result: we didn't run terribly fast, but my son stayed entertained and I still managed to burn a little over 400 calories in just over half an hour.
OK! I'll take it!
This year, the finish line included banana halves (at least they didn't cut them until you stepped up to the table), and bagels cut into quarters, as well as serve yourself jugs of water and Gatorade. And the finisher's swag looked like this:
Not the most beautiful of T's, I'll admit. But like I said above, it is what it is at this race.
At the end of it all ... we had a fun family morning, I burned some calories, and we were no less for the wear. In my eyes, that makes for a successful outing ... regardless if we stayed for the awards ceremony or not. (PS - we also did not win best family costume, which was well earned by a group of two women with 4-5 kids, all dressed as various Scooby Doo characters).
Well! That's the story of how race bib #81 joined my collection. Here's to another race soon ... but since I'm hardly in running shape right now, I don't know when another race will be.
Spoiler alert: don't be surprised if I table things until 2018. But don't let that be an excuse for you to stop running! HA!