The weekend before Halloween, I got the opportunity to again lead the warm up before a race! The Kooky Spooky 5k, 10k and Half put on by All-Out Multisports took place in, technically, Golden although it really is Arvada, CO.
If you recall, this is the racing company that I volunteer at and using my personal training and coaching experience, I lead two different warm ups. One before the half marathon and one before the 5k and 10k. This is the fourth event I have done with them! At first, to be completely honest, I thought it was a silly idea. Runners usually don’t warm up at all or if they are super competitive, they have their own warm up. But as the events have gone on, I have come to really enjoy it AND regulars at these events know I’ll be there and continue to join me. My warm ups have been getting larger and larger!
I arrived around 7am to check in and figure out where I needed to be. I was greeted by the volunteer coordinator and some friends that I have met in the running world that were also volunteering. I got my registration for the 5k done so I was prepared to jump in the coral for the 5k start after the warm up.
First the half marathoners joined me for a warm up and I led them trough some track-style moves. I joked and laughed with the runners, promising PR’s (not guaranteed). It was really fun!
Next, the 5k and 10k runners joined me for a similar warm-up. I had a LOT more people join me this time. I finished up, the 10kers started and I joined the 5k-ers in the coral for our start.
To be honest, ever since the half I did in the middle of September, I haven’t been running much. I really beat myself up at that race and kinda have been in a rut, motivation wise, not sure what I really want to do with running.
I also haven’t even had time to run. I have been working SO MUCH! 50, 60 hour weeks between all of my jobs to catch up financially. So for me to “race” was a long shot. I literally was just using it as an excuse to make sure I ran.
I didn’t really feel like I would do well, and I knew I would;t place overall, but as I was looking around, I got the impression I might be able to place in my age group. It always happens…the closer I get to race time, I get this awful competitive urge. Some races I don’t intend to be competitive and I step up to the starting line and that feeling just takes over.
I started out pretty slow – on purpose. I have a tendency to start off too fast in races, trying to keep up with the lead people. But this race I purposefully started out slow. Boy did that take a lot of self-control!
With the sun blazing down on this Colorado Fall Day, it was actually really hot and I was struggling a little with keeping pace. Like I said, I hadn’t been running much. The course was actually pretty hard. There was a lot of hills as it wound around the reservoir along the Ralston Creek Trail.
At the turnaround, I knew I had to tackle those same hills! I was talking to a friend after the race and we both agreed that the whole race felt up hill! Obviously impossible, but it was just one of those days and courses that felt like the incline never went away.
With a half mile left, I knew I was almost done, breathing hard up the hill (a real one, I swear), I tried to hold it together as I could see the finish line ahead.
I crossed under the finish sign, exhausted, trying to smile for the camera, but as you can see, failing.
I quickly found water and Gatorade and refueled, waiting for the race results.
Turns out, all that not-running was beneficial (Disclaimer: I don’t actually recommend that as a training principle) and I placed 1st in my age group!!!
Overall – 5/5:
Always an excellent event with All-Out Multisports. You can tell they take the time to make sure everything runs smoothly. My volunteer duties are pretty minimal, so I am not involved too much with behind the scenes here, but one of my friends volunteers a lot with registration. She had told me that they tried a new system and it was really chaotic behind the scenes. As a participant, I didn’t notice any of it be before, during or after the race. I thought everything was normal!
Race Organization – 5/5:
Pretty much what I said above.
Cost – 5/5:
I think you get the most for your money with these races through this company. Given I didn’t pay for the race, but I know they cost the average as far as races go (starting at $35 and ending at $50 race day). For the Kooky Spooky, you got a cute long-sleeved shirt, a beanie (hat), a finishers medal (all race distances), prizes for overall finishers, free photos, post run food, access to all the expo booths, and the whole set up, organization, and volunteers (that stuff is not cheap – money or time wise!). Well worth it!
Post Run – 4/5:
Lots of sponsor booths including: Longmont Dairy Farm (mmmmmmmm chocolate milk), Naked Juices (from all the random jobs I do, I knew the people working this and they sent me home with a BUNCH of juice. SCORE!), Girls on the Run, It Works (I don’t really like that product), and I honestly can’t think of what else was there, but there was a lot of booths.
The race itself had provided breakfast burritos, bagels, and fruit! While I was snacking on food and talking to friends, I actually had a few people seek me out. One gentleman came up to me exclaiming he had been looking for me everywhere. He had never warmed up before a race before and he took 3 minutes off of his half marathon time!! Thanking me, I smiled!
Similarly, while I was waiting for my age-group award, I was standing next to a gentlemen who had done the 5K warm up with me. He said he took 5 minutes off of his time!!!! 5 minutes!?! That’s awesome, AND he placed 1st in his age-group! He was so thankful for me and said he was going to have to remember all those warm up moves for his next race!
Oof! Hard! Or it just felt that way. Maybe I’m out of shape! It was also pretty hot for being fall and there was not much shade!
Your Turn: Did you do any halloween-themed race???