There’s this neat-o race series in Zion, Illinois put on by the Zee Bee Run Squad. They host six 5Ks a year, all on the same road (or cross country) course, but each benefiting a different community program. Bobbi has run a few of these races and told me how great they are – low key, organized, small field, super friendly people – all the things we LOVE about small town races.
I was finally able to run one of these races last night – the Reindeer Run! I had actually forgotten about it this year – since it’s on a Wednesday, and I used to always take strength class on Wednesdays, I wasn’t even thinking about it. When Bobbi mentioned it this year, I was stoked I was free and could check it out! Even though I prefer to run in the am, night races are a fun adventure!
So, let’s talk about this picture. First of all, SANTA WAS THERE!!! That was fun. Secondly – see the fog in the background? It was rainy and HUMID. In December. And note… I am wearing a tank. Again, in DECEMBER. A tank and shorts. It was in the low 50s with super high humidity and I got TOO hot during the race. What the effity. Silly weather. Moving on…
Bobbi told me to bring a headlamp to run this race. Thanks heavens she gave me the heads up! Holy cow! It was all on city streets, but there were hardly any street lights, and quite a few pot holes. Having a headlamp helped out big time!
And… the race. As I mentioned Saturday, I don’t do speedwork. So when a lady asked me my goal pace before the race, I told her an average of 8:00 minute miles would be fantastic, but I bet it would be closer to 8:30s (since I never practice running fast, and you really need to, to race fast…. derp).
The nice thing about running in the dark is that you can’t really see your watch (unless you turn on the watch light, which I didn’t) so I really ran based on feel then would look at pace from time to time. Mile 1 was 8:05, and I passed a few people. Mile 2 was 8:03, and I passed a few more. I was feeling mostly okay. Then mile 3. Sigh. I kept pumping my arms and trying to pick up my legs, but I got the stomach pain from pushing a fast pace and slowed down – 8:23 (and got passed by someone). The final kick was 7:55 pace. Not bad. Official finish time of 25:27.
We hung around for the awards ceremony. Super cool thing – EVERYONE who participates got a raffle prize! They started by calling raffle ticket numbers, and those people got to choose their prize. Then people who medaled got to pick, then everyone else got to pick from what was left over. What a neat race perk!
All the medals/prizes
Bobbi and I both placed in our separate age groups! I was second, and she was third. When the names were called, I realized third place was one of the people I passed in the second mile. The first place girl was WAY ahead of me. And I noticed on the results… there were only three people in my age group (Bobbi at least had 10 in her age group). Ha ha ha. Love small races.
Posing with our raffle prizes – solar powered snowman lawn decorations.
I really enjoyed this race! The course was nice – kind of a loop, and flat! It was fun to see all the holiday lights, when I actually remembered to look at them instead of über focusing on running the tangents and looking to the race course. I would like to go back and run one of these races on this course, in the daylight. I usually have a good sense of location after I visit a place once, but didn’t feel that way after this race, due to the darkness. In fact, during much of the race, I wondered if I was still on course! I just kept following the people in front of me, hoping whoever they were following was still on course. Ha ha.
I really like the race shirts, too, even though the logo seems really familiar…
After the race, our husbands joined us for a celebratory El Famous Burrito dinner. Nom nom nom. What a wonderful way to spend a weeknight!