Monday, October 28, 2013

Uberthons Halloweenathon all day event recap

Race Recap for Uberthons "Halloweenathon" on October 26th, 2013

It's October and this is my third race (in costume) in as many weeks.  I must be either crazy, or crazy for Halloween... or both?  This time, I went for a mermaid theme.  (I'll spare my poor husband of posting any photos of him in his mermaid costume on the world wide web. Last week I did the Labyrinth theme for 13.1 miles and a "sugar skull" the week before that for a zombie 5k.)

This race is the first time I volunteered with a race organization ever (joining in the fun at packet pickup and then in the kids' dash and 2pm race.), first time I ran a 15K race (9.3 miles) and first time I've ran at all since my half marathon last weekend.  

The race event had 4 main events throughout the day, a kids' dash and then an evening BBQ after the final event.  The events were meant to reach all fitness levels with an option to register as a walker or runner and to do a 5k distance, 10k or 15k.  

Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to do the 15k.  I was able to join some members from my Moms RUN This Town club.  
5K lap done... 2 more laps to go!
The course is a pretty little golf course outside of Portland, Or.  The 5k runners and walkers did one loop from start to finish, the 10k two laps and 15k three laps around the course.

Though I really have to admit that golf is not my thing, nor do I find a lot of beauty in short manicured grass, trees off to the edges of the greenway and one lake within view of the course.  Don't get me wrong!  It's a fun race... I just got bored after the first lap.  A friend who also ran the 15k (and took first in her age group!) had a great perspective on the looping race course.  The first lap helped her see how she was pacing herself, the second loop was her signal that she could "up the throttle" on her speed and the third loop was where she could cut loose and let it all go for the finish.   I think I'd have enjoyed it a little more if I had brought music to get lost in, but I really wanted to be able to hear if any runners behind me were trying to pass me on the narrow golf cart sidewalk.  

Besides a few bumbles with runners tripping over each other at the beginning, the 9am race seemed to go without a hitch!  The course was described as flat, but rolling hills is more accurate.  The course also involves some hairpin turns in 3 different "golf cart cul de sacs" and some paths that turn around and run parallel to other parts of the course.  This was a lot of fun to me, because friends whose pace was beyond me would holler and cheer as they saw me passing on the path further behind them.  One friend was doing her first 5k race ever and I was able to give her a high five as I passed her end of the path.  Once the runners behind her saw I was giving out high-fives, I was then cheering them on and others too.  I love that.  A race is a perfect opportunity to make new friends or at least help encourage each other.    

I ran in the 9am race, "Run for your Bones", with about 311 participants.  The next race started at 11am.  This was "The Zombie Shuffle" that was a fitness walkers' race.  Only about 7 participants signed up for that, so the family went home to have some lunch, layer up since we were freezing and then go back out for my volunteer shift and the Kids' Dash at 1pm.

The sun started to peek out behind the clouds, but it was still a chilly (and beautiful) day. 

My Bugaboo was very upset that she didn't get to run with me during my morning 15k, so she very happily joined the "5 yrs and under" kids' race.  This was a very short jaunt through the grass, where the participants would run to one of the race directors dressed as a skeleton and then circle back to me and some of my Moms RUN This Town friends for a ribbon of participation and a goodie bag full of halloween candy. 

Kids' Dash
After that, the older kids did a 1k run on the sidewalk.  Bugaboo watched the kids go past and asked if she could go too.  So, she got in two races in one day.  I think we both might need a lesson in injury prevention and the importance of not over doing it?  ;-) She did great. I'm so glad she had fun and love that this new activity to me is also something that is important to her.  

It is amazing what an impact my choice to exercise can have on my little girls.
Bugaboo finishing up the 1k race and claiming her ribbon.
After the Kids' Dash, the next race "Trick Or Treatathon" was scheduled to start at 2pm.

This race had about 96 participants. Some of them I recognized from past races and then putting their face together with a profile pic on a local race blog.  That's always exciting to make the match up.  But... you know how race day is a good day to make new friends?  I'm so shy I just let it go.  I cheered them on as they passed, and I hoped they raced well... but I didn't chat them up post race.  I did see the Candy Corn Witch from last week's race and she gave me a hug before she dashed off.  :)

After handing out water, directing finishers to get their awesome finisher's medal and dancing to the music at the finish for awhile, my volunteer shift was done.  We enjoyed some nachos at the free nacho bar inside the party tent and then went home to regroup, get a nap in for Squeakers and then enjoy one last race that evening with Uberthons!

Did I mention that besides a free nacho bar, the tent also had three massage beds where professionals could work out our kinks and knots and give us tips for stretches and home care?  

FANTASTIC!  A fast way to my heart, besides sweet race bling, is a massage.  Seriously.

The 6pm race was the "Monster Moon Run" that required a headlamp or flashlight. Glow sticks were available inside the party tent and costumes abounded with the participants in this event.  I love how creative people are!  About 130 participants joined in the final race, which was a 5k distance for runners and walkers.

Monster Moon Run
After this race, (which was MC'd by Miss Oregon,) participants could enjoy the free nacho bar or pay for a BBQ dinner by Famous Dave's.  We all enjoyed some warmth in the party tent and showed off our fantastic new bling.

I wore mine for the entire day.

Finishers are given a large medal casket that opens to reveal a skeleton inside holding a scroll listing the race distances.  The medal has 4 magnets to hold that casket shut, and it takes a little work to open it.  Once you are about to shut it, make sure your fingers are out of the way!  I pinched myself.  I may be a little accident prone...

This medal was fantastic, and as a total bling-chaser... it was the sole reason why I wanted to do this race.  But watching the different races throughout the day and seeing the different environments each race provided, I think it would be something fun worth doing again.  The 9am race seemed to be the biggest to me, with more chances to interact with other costumed runners, a festive environment with giving and getting cheers from each other... but the night run sounds like a lot of fun to me too.  That one has a lot of potential with volunteers on the course with glow sticks or something like that.

Do you join a race for the bling?  Tell me about your cool races, finisher's bling or halloween type runs! I'm a nut for halloween! 

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