Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Good Neighbor Day Run for Life 15K Race Report

Ever hit up a yard sale in the middle of a race?

The GND Run for Life race was last Monday, the 4th of July.
I've participated in this race, in some capacity, for about 12 years.
Most of those years, I was not yet a runner. Just a citizen that could run. At times.

This year, I once again elected to push the kids in the jogging stroller for the 15K route.
The race course is a 5K loop.
As you probably guessed, the 15K runs 3 loops.

The kids were not excited to hop in the stroller.
I was not ecstatic about pushing them. This would be only the 2nd time this year.
But they get an up-close look at Downingtown from a unique angle.
I guess that's what sold them.

They climbed in the jogging stroller with minimal diversions like toys and stuff.
They were mostly interested in one of my bottles of PowerAde Zero.
I had stocked 3 PowerAde bottles and 1 bottle of water in the stroller. Call that an advantage.

In years past, for the 5K and 10K, we would line up in the middle of the pack.
For the 15K we line up in the very back, figuring it doesn't really matter.

They chip time you, too, so you get an accurate time-after-hitting-the-starting-line. Fine.

The gun goes off, we walk to the starting line.
A few people participating in the walk, which commenced 4 minutes later, stopped in front of me to chat about donuts. After a few moments, they observed my intended forward momentum and parted to let us through.

Loop 1 was busy. Crowded.
We stuck to the outside of the crowd and climbed through them.

Loop 2 was much nicer.
But it was getting hot. Felt like a very humid 80's.
I only stopped at one water stop on Loop 2 and that was for Goodles.
He gargled the water, didn't even drink it.

On both Loops 1 and 2, at the start of the final mile, a guy on the sidelines soaked the kids with a water gun. So funny.
The end of Loop 2 introduced restlessness. I knew that might happen.
We were headed toward bagging Loop 3:
Either I would run without the stroller (depositing the kids with my wife and her parents) or we would just finish at the 10K mark.

Except. Yard Sale moment.
On the final mile we pass a house with a card table set up out front.
With little toys on it. Think "Happy Meal" toys.
A 10 year old girl emerges from the house, hanging up a sign just as we pass.

The kids and I agree. We're doing that final loop and they can each choose 2 toys.
Talk about motivation.

But the stroller was heavy. And we were getting restlesser.
Loop 3, at the .5 mile mark, HoneyBunny hops out and dashes 100 yards. Then hops back in.
Goodles scores another cup of water at an aid station.

And the course is deserted.
Hot, disgusting conditions. Few takers for the 15K?

We muddled along.
My Loop 2 split was 1:30 slower than Loop 1.
Loop 3 was an additional minute slower. Really not that bad.

Approaching the final mile we have to pull over on a sidewalk and stop to let a fire truck or ambulance go by.
I couldn't continue on the sidewalk because there were people sitting in chairs, cheering.
But not yielding to wide-load running families like us.

Water gun guy must have gotten hot. He wasn't along the course this Loop.
The kids had planned to point at me. New soaking victim.

Then, Heaven. Nirvana. Valhalla. What have you.

The kids jump out and scout the free toys.
It's like letting them pick something out of the candy aisle. Takes a while.

Me. Supportive, encouraging Dad. "Cool kids. Pick something fun!"
Me. Waning runner. "Uh, kids, let's grab something. I didn't want those 2 guys to beat me."

Those 2 guys glide past us. Probably didn't even know I was in the race.

Our booty secured, we take off to enjoy the final mile.
Those toys have since disappeared BTW.

I paced a few 15K finishers that needed a push.
We finish about 5 minutes slower than last year.

Probably the heat.
Definitely from not running with the kids.

I was satisfied with the results.

We went on to enjoy the remaining festivities.
Kids Fun Run.
Big Wheel races.
Carnival. Games, rides, ice cream.

Home to chill.
I was wiped.

Back to enjoy the fireworks at dark.
What a great day.

Turned out I placed 2nd in my age group. Got a nice little medal.
Which really identifies a Poor Showing, poor representation in my age group . C'mon guys!

Looking at the results, I noticed one other obscure ditty.
In 4th or 5th place in my AG was a kid I played football with in high school.
To protect his identity, I'll call him Bimmy Jitmer.

I haven't seen him since high school. No biggie.

But, he had been part of my life.

Our guinea pig died a few days ago. Poor little guy.
When he was a thriving little guinea pig, I'd always great him with a little whistling tune.

Just a few weeks ago, I took a moment to think about the origins of that tune.
Lo and behold, I was whistling "Bimmy Bimmy Jitmer. Bimmy Jitmer!"
Yeah, the taunt levied at poor Bimmy in the locker room.

That's the kind of cool stuff that happens when you run your local 5/10/15K for a decade!

And that's also the race report. No kids will be with me next year. I probably won't even show in my AG.
In fact, HoneyBunny and I will probably run the 5K together.

Upcoming? Oh just the most important race of my year.
20in24 on Saturday.
I'm ready.


ihaverun said...

I actually got butterflies reading that last paragraph.

Sorry about the guinea pig.

And a whole garbage bag of similar toys disappeared today while The Princess was at a friend's house. You are a rockstart to push them that far and to do it so patiently. I'll say it again: Father of the Year.

Lindsay said...

Hahaha. So much for the chip timing. Too bad there wasn't a mat to time your yard sale stop! Hey, still an AG award--way to make your peers feel good :)
Good luck Saturday!