the start...and finish
communal baths are all the rage these days!
did I metion the Bud Light girls???
Finally, the day had come. After a year of anticipation (after skipping the innaugural RAM for the last ever Salmon Run last May we decided to form a duo this year). The field had more than doubled since last year with 6-700 runners participating. Turi & I got smokin' deals on ladies lavender and black running shorts (remember the You Gotta Be Crazy Run blog from February) and he found a deep discount on some purple halter tops that we transformed into jog bras to complement our ensemble. Matching headbands, wristbands, and bracelets finished it off. My only regret is no purple Nike Mayflies...had to go with the "fire"version, which now reside in a garbage off 1st Street. Abby, Hannah, & I attended the kick off party on Friday night, picked up our packet, and got some dinner down by the river. Hannah got her picture taken while tormenting/feeding the ducks and ended up on the front page of Saturday's RGJ!
We got to Wingfield Park about an hour before the race, set to go off at 2:00 in the afternoon. It was a weird day up to that point. Trying to eat at the right time, stay awake, etc...is more difficult when the run isn't first thing in the morning. Turi & I jogged the course (save for the mud pit) as a warm-up in full drag attire, and got quite the assortment of comments. By the time the race went off, most everyone else was in costume too, so there was more cheering, less snearing. Unfortunately, our team (Does This Jogbra Make Me Look Fat?) did not have the nicest male-cleavage in the race. Sorry.
The course started in front of a large crowd on the corner of First and Arlington, headed west, crossed the Booth Street bridge, and followed the bike path into Idelwild Park. Here's where things got interesting. After a mini-loop on both path and grass, complete with hay bale hurdles, we would head towards the 60 foot mud pit, among obstacles, before heading back the way we came. It's also worth mentioning here that our "baton" was a stick of Ivory soap. As we got back from our relay, everyone (but me) was already literally corraled behing the start line, so I made my way to the front. It was a little tight in there, and I wouldn't be able to get much stretching in, but it was nearly 80 degrees at that point, so the warm-up and 15 seconds of stretching would be enough. We took off 6 or 7 minutes later into the unknown. I think I was a little overzealous with my initial pace, as I quickly built a lead. I was feeling it a little before we even got to any of the obstacles, so I backed off just a bit. After being told by a course marshall to not dive head first into the first part of the mud pit (too shallow) I was summarily boo'd by the onlookers. I obliged by stopping half way through and doing a bellyflop into the mud. To my surprise, what looked slick on the top was thick and sticky underneath, and when I pushed up to stand and go the remaining 20 feet or so, my feet would get stuck to the point where I had to put my right shoe back on as I exited the pit. About a hundred yards or so later, I saw what Turi & I had seen only as those little kid punching bags during our warm-up, actually had a far more sinister purpose. Just as I was hitting a point of real fatigue, I noticed the fully armored football players hiding behind the otherwise harless props. Since I was the first one of several hundred through, they got to gleefully take out their pent up aggression on me. This was actually as much funas the mud pit, but I did have six football players with full blocking pads trying to knock me on my ass, and since I was passing solo, the last two decided the double team me. I'm pretty sure 2nd place was not far behind now, but since he was running solo as well, my lead probably grew as I exited Idelwild Park and hit the road again. After holding a decent pace, but slower than on my way out, till the homestretch, where I got to take a "breather"while run-walking with a balloon betwen my legs for about 20 yards. I handed my soap to Turi, and he was off to complete the ordeal. I think the thick stuff got churned a little, because (as you can tell by our after photos) he looks a bit dirtier than me. I can say we both had mud and dirt in places were it should not be...even after a quick bath in the Truckee. After a couple hours of food, beer, and sun, we had an awards ceremony on the Wingfield Stage. First came the BLING...the cheesiest medals (really more of a medallion) that i've ever seen. Gleefully cheesy! We also got a winner's pack, which we'd soon find out was stocked with a golf package, whitewater rafting gift certificate, Skagen watches, and a movie pass. AND, as a parting gift, a matching pair of Bud Light grills (one assembled, one boxed). We had fun walking those back to the car!
Overall, a success. No official results yet, but I ran 14:25-30, and Turi 17 & change, for somewhere in the mid 31 minute range for 5 miles...about 6:15-6:20 pace as a team. We were told we had a pretty decent lead on #2, but who knows. When official results come out, I'll post them, as well as the official race photos. Until then, 6 more days til Climb the Legacy. I've yet to duplicate the 2:13 for 27 stories from 3 weeks ago. I've run 2:19 or higher each time since then, and ran a 2:20+ this morning, but actually paced myself to be able to continue at that pace for another minute or so. One more practice slimb on Thursday should do it...