Suds Run 5K (3.15 miles)
Average Pace ??:??/mile
*untimed course, forgot my gps watch
*untimed course, forgot my gps watch
Last weekend, if you had seen me in the morning, you would have never known it was a race day. I slept in until 7, got up and showered, and even dried my hair. Then, with the unseasonably cool weather, I put on a long sleeved shirt, a sweatshirt and ... jeans.
Yes, I just said jeans.
Ok, so let's set the record straight before I go any further. I wasn't so much "racing" this event, as I was participating in it with family. See, we had all registered together for this race earlier in the spring with the intention of most of us running (and a few walking with strollers at the back of the pack). And then, something terrible happened and ... well, let's just say cancer sucks.
So, like all good families do, when race day arrived - we decided to pull together and walk this race as a team instead. Regardless of the situation, we were just going to have fun.
Which meant that, at 10am on a cool Saturday morning, we found ourselves here.
Of course, I was reveling in one additional special treat.
I guess when you say beer, my husband will do just about anything. Heh.
Though the starting area was crowded, things seemed reasonably well organized prior to gun time. Most of us stood in line for 21+ wristbands (this is a SUDS run, after all), which went quickly and without event. A few in our group did day of packet pickup, and although that line was a bit longer, it still went just fine.
Well, fine except for the fact that our shirts looked like poop. Literally.
Ugh, so ugly. Oh well, I guess I can't love them all.
After everyone in our group was properly bibbed and banded, it was just about time for the gun, so we headed on over to the starting area. There we saw markers for various paces, starting at 8min/mile or better and working backwards to 12min+. Though the race was fairly casual, with no assigned corrals, people seemed fairly respectful of the system and looked to be choosing appropriately. With the seeding system as it lay, we found ourselves behind the dogs in the walkers/stroller section.
Despite being in the very back corral, we were pleasantly surprised by a timely release, and before we knew it we were on our way and crossing the Stone Arch Bridge.
Though I've done several races downtown that utilize the Stone Arch Bridge, I have to say that this course was slightly more interesting than many I've done before. Maybe not so much in the beginning, but later on the course does filter into Boom Island Park and through the trail system there, which is really a beautiful wooded treat.
Along the course we all happily chatted and tried to keep the munchkins in the stroller entertained. As we walked, we were pleasantly surprised that the cool morning was turning out to be a lovely and sunny day. In fact by the time we cleared mile one, I was regretting wearing a sweatshirt and long sleeved shirt, and was secretly wishing I would have had the poopy race t-shirt with me to change into on course. But I didn't, so I just shed my sweatshirt and hoped for the best.
By the time we cleared mile two, we were definitely ready for the on course beer garden, and happily herded in to have some fun. The dedicated area was surprisingly large, below is only about half of the space captured via the panoramic feature on my iPhone.
Of course, it's not a party without some photo evidence. Notice the "Duck, Duck, Gray Duck"' costumed group behind us. It was fun to see people get into the spirit and have a little fun.
Surprisingly, though we walked and were definitely at the back of the pack, we were neither the first ones in, nor the last ones out of the beer garden. Maybe the nearby band encouraged people to stay an loiter, I don't know. But after the beer cups were emptied, we were ready to be on our way.
The final mile (or what was left of it, since the beer garden was well past the 2 mile mark) was a very pleasant journey along the Boom Island trail system and then a short jaunt back to the starting line. Before we knew it, we were near the finish.
A few in our group had started to lag behind, but my husband, myself, and the two who had originally planned to run with me excitedly held hands and raised them in victory as we passed through the finish line. There, we promptly hustled over to the snack table and - screw bananas - filled our pockets with mini nut goodies.
After everyone cleared the finish, we headed into the park for our free post race lunch and second round of beers (our bibs included 2 beer tickets each). Lunch, by the time we got there, consisted of your choice of a veggie burger or non-veggie brat and a bag of plain potato chips. Beer options included a few light versions - Miller and maybe MGD? I don't recall as I don't drink water when I want beer, lol! Plus, there was a gluten free option, and then Smithwick's or Finnegan's. In addition to this bounty, there was a water station and a root beer station as well, though the root beer had run out well before our arrival - a huge disappointment for any kids walking the course (perhaps they should have required people to cash in their drink ticket for it instead of just pumping it freely?)
As we feasted, we enjoyed watching the costume contest, and also people in the "suds pit". Which eventually proved irresistible for a few in our party.
Finally, after lounging in the grass and enjoying the sun for maybe an hour post race, it was finally time to call it a day. So, we said our goodbyes, and headed for home.
And that's the story of how race bib #64 joined my collection - here's to another race soon!