Tuesday, September 28, 2010
09/18: Oktoberfest 5K
I have friends – hold on, that wasn’t meant to be the news flash – I have friends who run Addison’s Oktoberfest 5K every year which is how I’ve come to run that race the past three years. Which is problematic when it comes to writing about the race, as it’s just sort of a generic 5K and there’s not that much I could say about this year’s race – except that I sucked, big time – that I haven’t said about it before so instead of running from the problem, I guess I’ll just embrace it and look at how this race compares to the previous editions. God only knows what gimmick I’m going to be reduced to for next year’s race – maybe it’ll rain. That would be different. Unpleasant, but different.
The course hasn’t changed in the three years I’ve been running the race; the main feature is still the Arapaho Road bridge, which provides the only hills on the course – one going out and one coming back. So it’s really the same hill only in different directions, but it seems like a longer hill running to the west and a steeper hill running to the east. So, really, it’s not quite the same hill; it’s more like they’re mirror images of each other.
On the one hand, the weather was at least slightly different from the previous two years but that was mostly a bad thing – the temperature at race time was near eighty, as opposed to the mid-sixties of the past two years. The humidity was over 80% all three years so while that sucks, it’s a fairly even suckage across the three races.
They still have free beer and soft pretzels after the race, so that’s a bonus. As I was trying to get a pretzel out of the bag, it got hung up on another pretzel and I said, “damn, they’re fornicating.” Then I looked at the volunteer to see if she was offended but she actually seemed mildly amused. So that was a bonus, too.
The race may or may not have grown over the past few years. In 2008 it looks like there were about 900 finishers, last year there were about 1300, and this year almost 1400. But those only include the timed participants and somewhere along the line – I’m guessing in 2009 – they switched from chips to disposable tags, which, since disposable tags come on your bib number while you have to make a special effort to pick up your chip, I’d think that more people actually use the tags.
Your bib number still gets you into Oktoberfest for free which is an even better value these days – the Oktoberfest cover charge is now ten bucks, up from five sometime in the recent past. However, and this is kind of an important point, should you lose your bib number sometime between leaving the race and showing up in the evening at Oktoberfest, looks like you (i.e., me) are forking over the ten bucks if you want to get inside and meet your friends.