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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Tale of Two Races

Last Saturday I had two St. Patrick's Day race events: running the Lucky Clover 4 Miler in the morning, and volunteering at the Shamrock 5K Beer Run/Walk in the afternoon.  Weather was perfect with temps in the 50's.   There had been rain earlier, but it stopped around 8:30 that morning.  There was still a cloud cover and a slight breeze as well.  Perfect running conditions.

Lucky Clover 4 Miler

Confession time: one of the main reasons I did this race was for the shirt.  But can you blame me?  It's the shirt on the left in the pic at the top of this post - look how cute it is.  It's a brushed cotton long-sleeved hooded t-shirt.  And it's just as comfy as it is cute.  The back says "Because everyone is Irish for one day" in big yellow letters.  I love dressing up for holidays, and yet I didn't own anything for St. Patrick's Day.  Well now I do.

I'm glad I did the race - it was a lot of fun!  Themed races like this are always entertaining - I love to see the costumes people are wearing.  It was a nice flat course around Carmel, and I'd planned to run an easy pace but I ended up feeling so good that I pushed myself a little harder, especially towards the end.  My official time of 44:32:6 put me 13th in my age group, and 255th overall out of 453 runners.  I was really happy with that, as that pace put me right on par with my current 5K PR.   Of course this counts as a first timer PR for the 4 mile distance. 

As with all the other Planet Adventure Races I've participated in, the atmosphere was fun, with music and a DJ, who calls out runners' names as they finish as well as just hypes the crowd up in general.  There was plenty of water and snacks available, even for those who finished near the end.  In addition to the great race shirt, there was some other great SWAG.  The medal is really nice, there were green carnations for all the ladies, green beer (of course), and my favorite freebie: all pictures are free to download and share. 

Shamrock 5K Beer Run/Walk

I volunteered at this run since it was a fundraiser for several charities, including the John H. Boner Community Center where I work.  We (the JHBCC volunteers) were assigned the beer stop at the 3 km mark (there were stops every km).  The event itself was very badly organized, at least from our perspective.  We didn't receive our supplies to set up our stop until well after we'd been told to expect them.  And while we had 6 kegs of beer to supply approximately 3,200 runners with a 3 ounce sample, we had less than 2,000 cups.  And we had only three 5 gallon bottles of water, which also needed cups.

Midway through the run we ran out of water, and shortly after that we ran out of cups.  We improvised, of course, and while some of the runners thought that was really fun, some of them were really upset that we had no more cups.  Especially since we were sampling the delicious Blue Mile Extra Pale Ale from Flat12 Bierwerks, one of the most popular breweries in town and one people were looking forward to trying.

I had fun anyway due to the people I was with: my coworkers, other volunteers, and the generous folks from Flat12.  But I had hoped to make it downtown to the finish line to see some of my friends who had run the event, and that didn't happen because we had to wait so long after the event before the trucks came back to pick up our supplies.  And I was disappointed to hear from some of my friends later that they had not completely enjoyed the event.  They didn't get to try all the beers, they thought the start of the run was disorganized, and some of them encountered rude volunteers at packet pickup.

On the plus side, SWAG for this event was pretty cool: a nice long-sleeved t-shirt, a pint glass, big medal, and again pictures that are free to download and share.  Since I didn't run it, I didn't get a medal, but I did get a shirt and pint glass.  I have run other events put on by this organization before and thought they went really well.  So perhaps this was just an exception.  I heard other people say they would never participate in another event they put on, though, which is really too bad.

Up Next: Race for Roofs on March 28

Early bird registration has ended, but you can still sign up here for $25 for this great local 5K that supports rental scholarships for residents of the Near Eastside of Indianapolis.  Last year I was 2nd in my age group, so I'm going for my first age group win this year.  If you aren't a Female aged 43-54, I hope you'll join me in one of my favorite races.  Or even if you are in my age group, just as long as you're slower than me,
I hope to see you there!

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