Wednesday, May 13, 2009

05/09: Run for Kids 5K

The announcement dude had one final note for us before he passed the microphone to the leather-lunged starter woman for whom it was probably superfluous – he warned us of a couple of speedbumps (one painted, one au natural) that we’d have to negotiate just after the start. I appreciated the information. Last week in Albuquerque, I kept on tripping over all these damn speedbumps that I had no clue about and that were spaced far enough apart to encourage amnesia; in addition those were stealth speedbumps, unpainted and wide and shallow, which is probable safer in that really I stumbled more than I tripped but were still a pain in my butt. Although not as much a pain as I might have felt if I really had tripped.

I had at least six local races to choose from except they were all 5Ks so really, I didn’t feel like I had much of a choice at all. I went with the Southlake (home of the Southlake Carroll Dragons – the race was staged from Carroll High School) KiwanisRun for Kids 5K because they were giving away a mesh bag as part of the goody bag, which also included a water bottle, a lethal weapon disguised as a letter opener, an issue of Health magazine, and authentic-looking ‘70s-style wrist sweatbands. Along with the usual t-shirt, all for a $20 registration fee. I love schwag.

The generosity of the race organizers extended to prize money. Both the male and female winners received a thousand bucks and there was also a team competition where the top five-person teams, both male and female, received $500. Double dipping was not allowed, though, which came as an unfortunate surprise to Kip Chemirmir, who won the race but was also a member of the winning men’s team – which meant he forfeited the individual cash prize to Clint Bell and received a much smaller check for his share of the team winnings. Well, the checks were the same size but the amounts were substantially different.

The course meandered through suburban streets south of the high school and featured stealth mile markers. I was looking for them throughout but it wasn’t until near the end – I’m guessing about a tenth of a mile from the finish – I saw a 3 painted on the ground. Which wasn’t where I was looking for them for the most part. Talking to a guy I knew after the race, he said he saw the first two but he thought the first one was way off. He ran about 6:30 pace –a fairly even 6:30 pace, he thought – but his splits for the first two miles were 7:12 and 5:58. So maybe it’s just as well I didn’t see the first marker; I would have been bummed beyond belief to find I had run like an 8:40 or slower opening mile.

The awards ceremony was in the football team’s indoor practice facility and featured a small health fair going on concurrently, which allowed me to score a couple of plastic cups and a small tube of sunscreen. More schwag, which made getting up at some unGodly hour on Saturday all worthwhile.

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