Get Lucky 7K (4.25 miles)
Average Pace 12:53/mile **read below
Ta-Da! It's St. Paddy's Day weekend. Besides drinking green beer and making a general ass of oneself wearing ridiculous green accessories, what's to do in the Twin Cities?
Team Ortho's Get Lucky 7K, that's what!
To set the stage: after telling my sister what fun I had last year at Get Lucky, I somehow managed to talk her into doing this as her first ever running race. WHAT?! Lil sis' is going to start running?! WOW!
For about 6 months prior to this race, I helped my sister (who recently gave birth to her second child, btw) follow a general couch to 5K program. Well, technically, we'll call it couch to 7K, since this was actually a 7K race.
On the week of the race, my sister was ready to go! She had trained up to running a 7K in just under 50:00, so I figured I'd run with her to help keep spirits up and maybe we'd finish somewhere around the 45:00 mark.
But then, bad news. Ice storm hits. Ugh! Last year's race was 80 degrees and sunny. WTF! This sucks!
Well, we'd already paid the race entry and signed up for the shuttle bus running from my local community center, so ... what do you do?! Just suck it up!
Since it was my sister's first race, and being that packet pickup is an interesting experience, I had my sister come down the night before for a little fun. Off to packet pickup we went. And in true Team Ortho style, there was lots of... activity...? Is that what you'd call a bunch of hunky guys walking around with their shirts off? *wink*
I'll just put that free "Men of Women Rock" calendar over here for safe keeping...
What was I talking about now?
Oops. Oh yeah, right, race recap.
So we do the pick up, get our bibs and chips, and check out the swag. And I have to say, even though Team Ortho races are a bit on the expensive side, the swag IS pretty cool. Though I preferred last year's green sweatshirt, this year's wasn't too shabby:
Bib? Check. Chip? Check. Swag? Check. Ok, enough oogling of half naked men. We headed home with our gear and attempt to get a good night's sleep for the big day.
OMG! 6 am? Is it really time to get up? UGH! My least favorite thing about race day. If only we could sleep in until noon. Oh well.
After donning our spectacular gear (me in a glitter-tastic dress, and sis in coordinating spandex pants), we head off to catch our bus. I know many of the folks on board from various community center happenings, so as we get situated in our seats, I try to get my sister introduced to a few folks.
Pretty soon the bus is packed:
Look at that sea of green! You can see my sister an I in the third row, left. I'm diligently checking my cellphone for who knows what. Running tunes, maybe?
Oh, no! I know. I was posting our selfies to Facebook. LOL!
The shuttle was a blast, as usual. We played some various games, prizes were awarded. Soon enough, we arrived at our destination. Our cold, cold destination. We all unloaded and headed towards the start.
Now, to be fair, with such a huge crowd (I think I read around 10,000 runners at this 7K), it's pretty much expected that you're gonna have a wait to cross the start. But we waited almost 45 minutes. There were actually people finishing the race before we even started. That's a bit ridiculous, especially when you factor in the frigid temps. I think it was in the 20s?! I don't know, I stopped thinking about it when I lost feeling in my toes and my pinky fingers wouldn't bend.
Whatever. We finally are released to run... or more accurately, slip and slide. Yee haw, those roads were icy! Before we even cleared mile one, my sister and I see a guy fall in what I call "Home Alone style"... you know, where your feet shoot straight out from underneath you, and you land flat on your back?
Yeah, I'm a child of the 80's, coming of age in the 90's. Deal with it.
Judging the cracking sound of his fall, I was seriously worried this guy was hurt. But he hopped up and kept running. I hope to this day that he was actually OK, and not just running away out of shame.
Needless to say, seeing this slip encouraged both my sister and I to walk when things seemed just too icy. So, 45:00 goes out the window, and we do a responsible run/walk the entire length of the course. Mostly running, but stopping to walk when the ice is too slick or the conditions seem too dangerous. (Yeah, running on icy cobblestones? No thanks!)
We enjoy the race as much as we can in our frozen state, and I finally start to feel like I'm unthawing around mile three. But by then, we're almost back to the bus, so what's the point?!
Together we snicker at all the silly costumes on course, and when things get tough for my sister, I provide motivation. We make it to about mile four before my sister starts to run out of steam.
But have no fear, the community center runners are here! Two lovely ladies on our bus find us in the crowd (our outfits were pretty... identifiable... given the green sparkle spandex). They manage to talk enough motivation into the both of us to get us running to the finish line. We grab our medals and snack bags, and skedaddle back to the bus before our buns start to freeze again.
And although Team Ortho's on course photographers suck (I still can't find any of the photos we posed for on course, and I know my bib number was fully visible), I was at least able to crop a crappy image of my sister finishing her first running race. I'm so proud of her!
Note her green sparkle leggings. Like I said earlier, I was in a matching dress, just off her left shoulder... unfortunately blocked by the tutu.
Not to worry, though. We managed to forget all our frozen race angst when the bus took us to Cooper's Pub. And why not? Our race bib DID include a coupon for one free post race beer! Huzzah!
And that's how race bib # 26 ended up in my collection. It reads "Get Lucky, #2072". While it was no PR and no cakewalk, it doesn't matter. I'm just happy my sister caught the racing bug!
Here's to another race soon!