Frozen Zucchini Snowshoe 5K Race Report

By , January 31, 2011 5:23 am

Your first race of the new year is always exciting – especially if it’s something ridiculous like a snowshoe 5K!

Yesterday, myself and 150 other crazies ran/walked the Frozen Zucchini Snowshoe Adventure (5K) in Barrington, IL. The course was two 1.55 mile loops at a park.*

While waiting for the race to start, I was feeling nervous for some reason. I was worried I wasn’t dressed warm enough, and I guess, that the race would be really hard. Well, it was. But at least I was dressed warm enough!

I started near the back of the pack, expecting to be slow.

Dad, I challenge you to find me in that photo.

However, I quickly moved more toward the front! Apparently a lot of people were out there walking. My goal was to run as much as possible, and take short, timed walk breaks as necessary.

I did really well the first mile, running a 12:26. YES, that was running. I saw my heart rate was going up to 186, so I stopped to take a one-minute walk break. Then I started to run again. And fell (crossed the backs of the snowshoes by accident). A nice guy asked me if I was alright – I said yes and kept going. Then I got to a hill and fell twice while going up it. Oops. The same nice guy helped me up both times.

When I ran past Steven at the end of the first loop, I was feeling the burn. And mostly in my right hip! I figured out what was causing it – when my right leg slides down a slope in the snowshoes, it tweaks it. No surprise there!

Anyway, I cheesed it up…

… but also let Steven know how hard the race was!

During my second mile (14:42), I caught up with the nice guy who helped me. We introduced ourselves to each other (he’s Ben) and I told him I was going to stick with him in case I fell again. Ha! We ended up chatting the rest of the way of the second loop. I found out he ran the Chicago Marathon – and we both said we thought snowshoe running was harder!

I took another one-minute walk break in the last mile and walked up two hills (so I wouldn’t trip again, ha), and when Ben and I made it to the finish, we gave it all we had!

When we were done (in 44:02) I felt like crawling up the hill to reunite with Steven. My legs were so worn out! I met up with Steven and immediately took my snowshoes off. My wool socks were soaked!

But I was ELATED!!! The race was a blast, despite being so hard, and I felt really proud of my time. I feel like I kicked butt, based on my little snowshoe running experience. And to put it all in perspective, the winner had a time of 29 minutes. My time was 44 minutes** – running in the snow is HARD!!!

Update: I was third in my AG, and 32/118!

After the race, we hung out in the shelter by the fire, then went to the post race party at a local bar/grill.

So. I have to tell you about how awesome the volunteers in this race were and how completely awesome the goody bag/post race party was!

There were tons of volunteers who had Frozen Zucchini hats on to help identify themselves. They cheered us on and helped us out. Thank you volunteers!

And now, I have to show you the loot from my goody bag:

An energy drink, Pirate’s Booty, Kettlecorn, Honey Stingers, a bag clip, apple, chocolate dip, granola bar, clif bar, compass, race shirt, gloves, hotties, wool socks, a reusable bag, and fliers. WHOA! That is a lot of stuff! Updated to add: Erehwon, Smartwool, Whole Foods provided all of the awesome items in the goody bag.

And? AND?!

They had FREE pizza at the party! FREE PIZZA! How awesome!!! Updated to add: Wool Street Grill & Sports Bar sponsored the free pizza party afterward.

Steven said, “That is what happens when you run in Barrington.” Barrington is a very rich suburb of Chicago. I guess! Steven suggested running more races in rich neighborhoods. Ha.

And another highlight?! I got to meet Ian, a blogger friend (check out his blog Running Off Road). He was there to cheer on his friends and recognized me and said hello! He was super nice and I hope we get to meet up again.

And I chatted quite a bit with Ben during the race and at the after party. He is also a vegetarian! I wonder if we will run in to each other at another race.

Alright, this is getting long. Long story short – this race was a blast and the 2011 racing season is on!!!

Where are the mascot’s snowshoes?!

Garmin stats | Distance: 3.1 | Start Temp: 27° | End Temp: 31° | Time: 40:47 | Avg Pace: 14:09 | 1: 12:26 | 2: 14:42 | 3: 15:40 | 4: 1:12 <– 10:50 pace!!!

*When I got to the race and saw it was two loops, I told Steven, “I am not going to feel like doing that second loop.” Apparently, others didn’t either – Steven said a lot of people stopped after the first loop.
**I think the winner in my AG was 41:something.

39 Responses to “Frozen Zucchini Snowshoe 5K Race Report”

  1. Marcia says:

    Congrats! That looks hard! That race is so close to me–why have I never heard of it??

    • kilax says:


      This was the inaugural year – maybe that is why you haven’t heard of it? I am always searching online for races, and just stumbled across it. Do you think you would run a race in snowshoes!

  2. That looks like so much fun! I have never even used snow shoes but my 10 year old son and I have been talking about getting some. You may have just convinced me for sure.

  3. bobbi says:

    I love the “racing” snowshoes. I snowshoed a ton when I was younger – my parents used to have 120+ acres out in the sticks, and we’d go all the time, but the shoes we used were HUGE compared to your cute little ones.

    Would they have rescheduled had there been not enough snow?

    • kilax says:

      I did see some people in traditional snowshoes!

      If there was no snow, they were just going to make it a regular 5K.

  4. Kandi says:

    Awesome race recap!! Looks like such a challenging course but also looks like a lot of fun. Congrats on hanging in there and continuing to the second loop! You rocked that race!

  5. Oh wow! They really loaded you up with goods from the race! That’s awesome!

    I’m glad you had a good time and I can imagine it was a killer workout…

  6. Jen says:

    Wow, awesome job! That looks like fun! Congrats on your 3rd place! Your Barrington comment made me chuckle.

  7. J says:

    Look at all that awesome loot! Great job on the snowshoe race! We have a lot of snowshoe races here – they actually have different snow shoes for racing/running. They are smaller and lighter – I have never tried them but they offer to rent them here for each race.

    • kilax says:

      The kind I bought are approved for snowshoe running. Do you know if yours are? You should try one of the races!

  8. Awesome job. Im pretty sure I would have died. Running in the snow is hard, then add snowshoes, and the falling. So difficult!

  9. gina says:

    You’re awesome! Way to kick butt on such a difficult run! I’m so proud! I’m glad you met a nice fellow snow-shoe-er and scored a sweet goody bag! I think I may need to borrow those snow shoes if it keeps snowing in NY! I hear you guys are in for some snow in the next few days.

    YAY! for Steven for being such a dedicated spectator!

  10. sizzle says:

    You are so bad ass. That looks hard!

  11. Stephany says:

    Ha! I had to laugh when you said “YES! That is running.” That is totally my running pace. 😉

    You did great! The course looks incredibly hard and running with snowshoes?! Bowing. 🙂

  12. lifestudent says:

    That looks like a blast! Especially the post party part. YAY!

  13. That totally rocks! Congrats on number 3! And that race sounded like an absolute BLAST!!!

  14. Kate says:

    Free pizza?! You SHOULD run more races in Barrington! 🙂 I am headed there in a couple more weeks to see the high school performance of The Sound of Music. It’s a singalong! Yay!!!!

    I am so proud of you, Kim! Snowshoeing is tough, and that you were able to run the race in them and do so well — you are awesome!

  15. Ian says:

    Hey ya Kim. Very nice race report. Felt like I was there. Oh I was but only to play cheerleader. Let Steven know if was not that cold. Only time I went inside was to get FREE coffee. Was great meeting you guys. Have to plan another meet at another race or run. And you can add another vegetarian to the list, me!! Cheers, Ian

    • kilax says:

      I didn’t know you were vegetarian too. Cool!

      Thanks for being there as a spectator/photographer! Did you notice I am using one of your pics in the “Introduction” section on my blog?

      • Ian says:

        I did notice my photo on your intro and was very pleased to see it. I’ll add it to the list of photo publications: an Aussie Running mag, Chicago Competitor (both for some Badwater 135 photos) and now Kim’s Blog!!!

  16. Holly says:

    Oh my gosh – you are HARDCORE!!! I probably couldn’t have made it 20 feet. That is awesome! And I love the pic of you and the Zucchini (though I thought he was a Cuke at first). 🙂

  17. Kristina says:

    Very well done! Sounds like a great experience!

  18. Michel says:

    That looked so fun! I’ll have to remember it for next year. I know snow shoes are hard though!

  19. Mica says:

    Ha, this race cracks me up! I didn’t realize that it was a running race. Geez, running in snowshoes? I think my legs would just about fall OFF.

    More rich neighborhood races, yes! I hope to see some Cristal in your goodie bag.

  20. Megan says:

    You find such interesting, fun-looking races! Glad you have the hang of the snow-shoeing. Looks like it might come in handy for functionality these next couple days 🙂

  21. jamie says:

    Sounds like a fun and tough race! Congrats on you AG place!

  22. Sue says:

    Great race report. I was a volunteer. SO GLAD you had such a great time. Just FYI,all that great goodie bag stuff was from Erehwon, Smartwool, Whole Foods. And the after race party was at Wool Street. PLEASE, give them kudos so we can get all that good stuff again next year.

    • kilax says:

      Sue, thank you so much for volunteering and updating me on who provided the awesome items in the goody bag and the post race party. I think I need to go check out Erehwon and Wool Street Grill again!

  23. Bethany says:

    A snowshoe race sounds so cool! I’m glad you did it! Did you practice running a lot in the snow shoes before the race?

    • kilax says:

      I did not really practice at all. Just walking and sprinting once or twice! I will try to practice more next year so I can do better!

  24. Jenn says:

    omg this race looks awesome! and I love the zucchini mascot! 🙂 Congrats on the AG!

  25. Laurie says:

    I would love to do a snowshoe race! Just got my first pair a few weeks ago and love them. Fortunately we have a ton of snow where I live so I’ve been able to put them to good use.
    Congrats on your race, and what a fun goodie bag!

    • kilax says:

      Thanks! What kind of snowshoes did you get? We just got a ton of snow too, so I may have to go out and explore?

      Thanks for visiting my blog!

  26. Adam says:

    Congrats on the race! I’m not sure I could do a snowshoe race. that is just a bit too hard core for me.

    Did you see how I didn’t make a comment about how a frozen zucchini looks awefully phalic? see how good I was?

    • kilax says:

      Adam, you could totally do this race, especially if you new a phallic zucchini was waiting for you at the end!

  27. Laura says:

    Great post! Sounds like an awesome race! What’s the zucchini about?

    • kilax says:

      The race was hosted by an organization called Smart Farm. I think their mission is to grow veggies and donate them (maybe?), so I think that may be where the zucchini came from. I thought it was pretty funny!

      Thanks for visiting my blog!

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