Like I said before, not only was the FYTO5K a virtual race with participants around the world, it was also a real life race in Phoenix Arizona. So, on Saturday, I wore two hats:
I continued with my previous theme of hardware store washers with magic marker. Classy. I like to think the medals I make are sort of like one of those home-made clay ash trays that so many of us made while we were in Elementary / Grammar school. Our parents didn't smoke, but they still thought they were "darling". By the way.... Why were we making ash trays in art class?!? It is no wonder we're not all chain smokers.
Creating race medals take intense concentration
And booze. Lots and lots of booze
My one and only attempt at being "artistic".
I'm just glad that there weren't any baby toys in the background
Race Pacer / Sherpa:
With the medals created, I was able to focus on the real task at hand - pacing a good friend. On Saturday, I got to the race location about 2 hours early - way before that slightly obese Dunkin Donuts guy was "making the donuts". Jeff and Suzanne weren't able to run with the primary group but instead were looking to run a bit earlier. Jeff wanted to run a sub 28:00 (9:00/mile) 5K which even with my sore knee I thought that I could do.
|Picture from Christina|
The race with Jeff and Suzanne started out FAST. Really fast. We were running 8:30ish pace and I had to keep telling Jeff to slow down. So the saying goes "seconds banked in the front only get paid back with interest during the second half of the race" Fortunately, after 1/4 of a mile we started hitting our 9:00s and were off to the races.
By the half, I stopped and marked the turnaround for everyone else and let Jeff go on his own for a bit. I could tell that he was really pushing really hard to maintain pace but thought that the few moments with his own thoughts might do him well.
By the time I caught up, he had slowed slightly, but was still right on pace for a 8:55/mile finish. Whenever I pace people I'm never quite sure what to do. Do you continuously say "good job! You can do it"? Well, if you are supposed to do that, I do it way wrong. I normally try to ramble on, taking the approach of taking their mind off of the pain. So, I told the story of my first 5K and how I completely bonked at the end. It must of worked, because before I knew it, we had finished with a newly minted PR! Unfortunately though, my knee HURT afterwards. Doh. Rest for me for the foreseeable future.
Jeff and Suzanne after their PR!
Thumbs up for Adam not being a serial killer! (Yet)
Back To Race Directing:
With a quick pat on the ass and a tender embrace, Jeff was on his way and I could focus on getting everyone else where they needed to go. I finished marking the course with flour (and might have pee'd in the bushes while Christina stood guard) and waited for everyone to arrive.
I'm sure everyone is VERY interested in what I am pointing at
As people started to arrive, there was a bit of confusion about the starting location because the original starting spot was gated off. Turns out, if you just move the gates to the side, you get yelled at by park rangers.....who knew!?
But, everyone was able to find out where it was and small talk before the start. Unfortunately, instead of "small talk" my son decided to "projectile vomit" all over the inside of my car RIGHT before the start. So, in addition to race director and race pacer, I added car detailer to my list of responsibilities for the day.
Everyone at the starting line.
Don't let anyone fool you, the 50 degree temperatures were "like O.M.G. Super Chilly" :)
But, once I got all of the puke cleaned up, got everyone lined up, I said "READY SET GO!" and everyone started running!! If only I had that kind of power in my real life. We had runner bloggers, friends of friends, and even family show up to toe the line for 5,000m of the best fun you can have with your clothes on.
The runners ranged from super fast Reid with an 19:06 "easy run" 5K
To my brother in law - who seemed basically just as fast
To the four legged - who still got a medal because.... he ran the race too god damn it!
Overall, the race was a really good time. I don't think that anyone was out to break any speed records (except for Jeff and Suzanne) but sometimes that isn't what running with friends (or complete strangers) is about. On Saturday, we all got together and ran 3.1 miles - and had a blast doing it!