those are Bobby Carepenter's legs stickin' outta that there carrot suit!
I travelled with the fam to Rancho Cordova this morning to run the 2nd annual Veggie Chase. There were 3 races to choose from this weekend within 150 miles of Reno, but I hadn't heard of any of them. The Veggie Chase was the most kid friendly, so I signed up for the off-road 5k, Hannah & I did the off-road 2k with the stroller, and Hannah ran not one, but 2 races...1 with the other 3-year-olds, and one with the pre-schoolers.
Hagan park would be a pretty cool place for a road race too. The road/path system hooks up with the American River Parkway, but this one was all on a combo of grass, gravel, and dirt. We started in the park, and ran the majority of the 5k in Soil Born Farm. We got off to a bit of a rough start since they were already out of ALL kid-sized T-shirts when we picked up our stuff (even though you are supposed to be guaranteed the size you specify when you pre-register like we did). Hannah's shirt may fit her by the time she's 10. I warmed up in the park, and after a couple arrows a minute in, I couldn't find the course. Ironically, when the race started, we didn't even follow those first arrows.
We had a bike pacer at the start. Good thing too, as none of us would have had a clue where to go. It was a fast start, especially for the terrain. I started somewhere around 7th or 8th, and made my way up to second pretty quickly. A River City Rebels runner named Eric set the pace. It seemed pretty fast, but again, because of the terrain, hard to tell. After a few minutes, the bike pacers gave way to a couple runners who'd show the way once we were on the farm. They would switch back and forth as we looped in and around the course, and would leave us without a lead for short periods. Eventually we caught and passed one of the two pacers. I ran in second for about 8 minutes before pulling even then taking the lead. I tried to push the advantage on turns and little downhills, which usually signalled a change in terrain. About 3/4 of the way through, I had a lead of 10/15 seconds or so, and was juuust starting to pull away when I followed the pacer down another off-shoot (there were several of these where we'd go out a set distance and pull a 180-not a runners favorite). Well, this one was unmanned and aparently the pacer didn't know where to turn either. We figured out we missed it when the trail hit a dead end and both threw our hands up (THAT was fun!). There goes the lead. We'd heard some yelling but had been too far ahead to understand it, so had just assumed it was cheering for somebody. We turned around and got back to the missed turn right after third and fourth place. I didn't have enough time to catch the leader, who was now well ahead, but I closed the gap a bit and was easily in 2nd again. No idea how fast we were running as there were no markers. I'd guess around 5:20 pace. So just as I was about to finish the last few minutes stewing that the lack of organization would cost me the race, I saw an unexpected example of great sportsmanship...
As we made our way back into the park and made the final turn to the finish, Eric stopped in his tracks and waited for me to pass before finishing a few seconds behind. Since none of the spectators in the park knew what had happened, I'm sure he was on the receiving end of more than a few animated comments. So after all that, the streak (at 3) is still alive. Assuming the 5k was accurate, I ran an extra 50-60 seconds, and came across 1st in 17:21...maybe 16:30 for a 5k? I'm happy with that after the week I've had. After a PR and a 2 year mileage high last week, I came down with a sore throat and a rather persistent and annoying cough on Monday night. I got away with it for a couple days, even getting in a great speed workout in on Wednesday morning. Since then, though, I missed two days of work and have been trying to cure myself on Nyquil, Robitussen...and beer. Not working. I have to break every few seconds as I type this to hack a little more. My right Achilles and heel have been pissed non-stop for about a week as well. What the h-e-double hockey sticks?! Hopefully it'll go away by the end of the week so I can atleast have a shot at the Buzz Oates No Excuses in a week.
After coolin' down a couple miles, Hannah & I did the 2k, with her in the stroller in matching XTerra tops even! It was fun, being all off road as well. Hannah loved it, since she was bouncing in her seat the entire time. I have no idea where we finished, but it was a blast. Off-road stroller rolling is waaaay better!
Next up was the toddler trot for the 2-3 year olds. Hannah ran it without trampling or being trampeled, but was itching for more, as it was only about a hundred yards (50 out & back). So, we jumped in the pre-school prance as well, and she had a little bit more trouble focusing for a quarter mile. After that they had some other kid games and we spent some time on the farm before calling it a day and heading home. Needless to say, Hannah should sleep good tonight. She's runnin' the quarter mile at Buzz Oates too, so now she'll be ready. Mwa ha ha!!!