Kooky Spooky 5K and Warm Up Trainer

2014-KS-Page-Header-UpdatedThe 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.

20141026_102313First 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.

11668_92038_3894My Race – 4/5:

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.11668_92038_4434

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: 

20141026_125245I 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!

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 9.56.16 AMCourse – 3/5:

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!

 

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Your Turn: Did you do any halloween-themed race???

Upcoming Events In October!

Hello Everyone!! How were your weekends!? Mine was pretty decent. Friday I had a lovely homemade dinner with some friends, new and old. Saturday, my first day off from any job in a long time, I moved more of my stuff from my old house to the new one and got to see my Dad! I also met up with an old friend from high school for a few beers. And finally, Sunday, I worked the Bronco’s game and got to catch the last quarter of the win!! GO BRONCOS!

Yes, I stay pretty busy.

Anyway, There’s a few upcoming events I would love to tell you about again and invite you to come run with me!

31440671. What: 3W’s K9 Canter 10k, 5k and one mile fun run

When: This SUNDAY, October 12th 8:30am

Where: Westminster, CO at the Westminster City Park

Why: You get to run with your doggie! DUH! But you don’t have to bring a doggie to run. There are a few contests: There will be rewards for the silliest dog costume, the best matching costume (owner and pooch) and the dog who best impersonates a different animal! The race has a charity partner as well: The International Hearing Dog, Inc. (rescues dogs from local animal shelters, trains them to assist the hearing impaired then places them with recipients throughout the US and Canada free of charge). They are looking for items to donate like milk bones, chew toys and more (check out the website for more).

Each person gets a t-shirt and goodie bag (which I just helped put together) and each doggie gets a bandana! I will be there setting up and volunteering all day – I get to take pictures!! (and all the pictures go on Facebook for you to download for free)!

How: More info here. Online registration closes at 8pm on Saturday, but you can register in persona race day as well. Register HERE. .

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ADR101_UrbanRace11x17(1)2. What: A-Dre Production’s Denver Urban Avengers – An Urban Race

When: October 25th, starts at 11am

Where: At Stoney’s Bar and Grill in Denver, CO

Why: “The race takes place in Downtown Denver on Saturday, October 25th 2014, beginning early in the day with check-in at our Host Site at 9am, the race beginning at 11am. Teams of 2 to 6 racers (21 +) will face a course designed to stump them at every turn. Participants or racers will solve clues that guide them to check points throughout Denver within an approximate 5 mile radius. At each location teams of competitors will be required to perform a magical feat (challenge) based on a Super Power theme. In this battle of good vs evil, only the strong will survive! Most Teams finish the race within a 2 to 4 hour window.”

I will most likely be volunteering at this event, however, if you have never done an Urban Race before you should definitely try it! I have done one with this company and one with a different company! They are so fun! This company also does a few pub crawls throughout the year which I have worked and participated in (on separate occasions), and I love the owner of A-Dre Productions. She’s super sweet and always partners with a local charity and other local businesses! This particular race goes to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

How: More information can be found on the Facebook page HERE and you can register HERE.

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2014-KS-Page-Header-Updated3. What: All-Out Multisport Production’s Kooky Spooky 5K, 10k and Half Marathon

When: Sunday October 26th

Where: NAAC Stadium Golden, CO (just west of Arvada)

Why: This is a USA Track & Field Sanctioned event!! You get a long-sleeved tech shirt, beanie, medal (all distances), and free pics! I will be there to run the warm-up for each race distance! I am going to see if I can run the 5k as well!

The are partnering with Team in Training to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. (“LLS is the world’s largest voluntary health agency committed to research that will cure blood cancers.  Also providing free information and support services to improve the quality of life for patients and their families, the gift you make when you register will make a difference!”)

How: You can find more information on the event HERE and you can register HERE.

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That’s all I have for you for the month of October…

Stayed tuned for:

8306224– The 10K Turkey Trek and 2K Turkey Toddle in Arvada Colorado!! This will be November 22nd, the weekend before Thanksgiving! This is a super fun event with TWO challenges:

Egg Nog Challenge:  
Compliments of Road Runner Sports, Westminster!  Be entered win a pair of shoes if you chug an Egg Nog (5oz) at mile three.

Fill Your Pie Hole Challenge:  
At 1k for the 2k Toddlers scarf a piece of pumpkin pie with just 1 kilometer left to run.  You guessed it – more raffles in store for those who fill their pie holes!”

***Stay tuned: I will be giving away a free race entry to this event!!*** If you can’t wait for the give-away, you can register HERE and use code WHITNEYV15 for 15% off!

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1715771_orig-The Prairie Dog Half Marathon Series (and 10k and 5k) starts all over again with the Winter race January 18th in Louisville, CO.

You can register for all four half marathon for one low price of $210!!! That’s $52.50 for each half!! Cheapest half I’ve ever seen and you get all the swag that comes with each race!

I have done the Summer and Fall Prairie dogs this year and will being finishing out the series, lopsided – running the Winter and Spring ones in 2015.

More info HERE. Not sure if my code (WHITNEYV15) works for registering for the series, but you can try it. I WILL be getting a new code for 2015, so if you want to register for the races but on a separate case by case basis, stayed tuned for the 2015 discount code.

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1382408916-Lastly, the 6 Pack Series is back for the winter!! This an awesome series. You pay one price and can either choose from running all 5K’s and the last being a 10k, or run in an incremental way (1M, 2M, 5K, 4M, 5M and a 10K on the last of the series). These will all be on Saturdays, every other week starting January 10th. This series is perfect for the beginning runner, so pass this info to friends who want to get into running or racing in general. The events are very small, community like with awesome volunteers (like me!) without the pressure of a big race. More info HERE.

Upcoming Events!! (CO Area, You should do one or two!)

Hey ladies and gentlemen! I just wanted to point out some great Local Colorado events coming up!

82432521. What: Patriot Day 10k and 5K

When: September 13

Where: Sloan’s Lake, Denver, CO

WHY? Because it’s put on by 3W Races and all of their events are awesome. Also, Sloan’s Lake is a really pretty part of Denver. I live in the area and it’s actually one of my regular running routes! Because of this, I don’t want to race there, so I will be volunteering race day and I think I’ll be at one of the water stations! I’ll probably get there early as well and help with set up.

How: You will find more info on the race HERE, and you can register HERE.

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3086522. What: the Last of the Six Pack Series! Either a 10K or 5K!

When: September 18th

Where: Westminster, CO

WHY? Because it’s a cheap 10k or 5K, it’s on a Thursday, in the early evening, small group of people and excellent race directors and volunteers. I most likely will be volunteering somewhere around there.

How: More info HERE, Register HERE.

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20570363. What: FALL Prairie Dog Half, 10K, 5K and Kids 1 mile fun run!

When: September 20th

Where: Westminster, CO (Near the Promenade movie theater).

WHY? Because it’s fun, as always! But also, you get a super cute prairie dog medal, pint glass and of course a tech shirt. The course is half concrete, half dirt and winds along the Big Dry Creek Trail. I will be running the half!

How: You can find more info on the race HERE, and you can register HERE.

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31440674. What: K9 Canter 10k, 5k and 1 Mile fun run!

When: October 12th

Where: Westminster, CO

WHY? You can run with you doggie!!!!! How fun is that!? But you don’t have to; you can just run with your friends and family as well (or your boyfriend, and like my Daddy always says, “all men are Dogs,” so it’s like you’re running with a K9)! I should be at this event, running or volunteering, but not with my doggie since he’s dog aggressive – and not with a boyfriend, ’cause I don’t have one!

How: You can click HERE for more info.

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83062245.  What: 10K Turkey Trek of 2K Turkey Toddle

When: November 22nd

Where: Arvada, CO

WHY? I’m really hoping I can be here for this race, but I’m kinda thinking about doing the Route 66 Marathon which is the same weekend. I want to do this race because TREK is an accurate description for this race. There’s a pretty tough incline in the beginning with an (optional) egg nog challenge!!! You better believe I would be all over that egg nog challenge – you chug a class of egg nog and get enter into a raffle between only those people! If you do the Turkey Toddle, there is a pumpkin pie challenge!

How: More info HERE and that same code works for this race as well.

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Extra incentives: I really do like all of 3W’s events. They are always well organized, fun and just an overall great experience. I thought this even before I was an ambassador. But the race directors/owners of 3W are just lovely people! I would be an ambassador if it wasn’t a good company to “work” for.

At all their events, the swag is great, the course is well marked, the volunteers (me!) are friendly, and pictures are always free (posted to Facebook). If that’s not worth, then I don’t know how to please you!

If you do register for one of these events, let me know! And if you find that one of the links doesn’t work or my code is being fickle, let me know, and I’ll fix it!

Neighborhood Fun Runs

3W Logo As part of the 3W Races company, they like to do Neighborhood Fun Runs. To best tell you about these events, I’m just going to take the words right off their page:

Our goal for this series of runs is to meet racers in a small, informal setting and introduce them to fun, local businesses and trails through an affordable, relaxed (yet timed) running experience.  In most cases, the Fun Run partners with a local charity as well.  The nominal registration fee covers a few race company costs and we ask that racers also bring an ‘in-kind’ donation to the charity which will be collected at the time of the run – usually non-perishable food items or hygiene products.  Our hope is that you have a great experience meeting 3W Races and will come back to race with us again at Neighborhood Fun Runs or our other, larger events.

Photo credit: 3W Races. Neighborhood fun runs go on rain or shine (or snow)

Photo credit: 3W Races. Neighborhood fun runs go on rain or shine (or snow)

They have them at least once a month, sometimes two times, and throughout the whole year at different locations. The “registration fee” that they mention is never much…(how does a five dollar race sound?)…and they encourage you to bring donation items are part of your registration cost. The races are timed, so you know how you did, but even so, it’s not a competition to make anyone nervous or feel intimated. Each fun run is coupled with a different charity partner as well to help out the community.

I finally got to participate in one last month for the first time, and like they said, it was a very relaxed experience, the same sort of feeling you get at a run group or club.

That particular one met at Road Runner Sports in Westminster, CO. Once everyone was checked in, the race director led as all to the race start, which was only two blocks away, to Sensory Park along the Big Dry Creek Path. It was out and back, and even had course markers so no one would get lost of go off trail.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 3.52.19 PM

My “race:” I just intended to go and hang out/run with my ambassador friends. I wanted an excuse to get out of bed and get some exercise in. Later in that day, I had plans to be one of the leaders of a Pub Crawl in Denver, so I figured I could definitely use the exercise. I ended up running it in a little over 24 minutes, and was the 2nd female to finish. I gladly ate my breakfast burritos that were provided and then headed home to get ready for some day drinking!

It was a very fun and relaxed experience. I definitely would recommend it to anyone that wants to do a 5K for the first time and doesn’t want to deal a big intimidating crowd. These fun runs are great for families as well!

Photo Credit: 3W Races

Photo Credit: 3W Races

More Information: Check out the website HERE

**The next Neighborhood Fun Run is tomorrow, July 31st, 6pm at Coal Creek Physical Therapy in Louisville, CO and the one after that is on August 30, 6pm at Road Runner Sports again in Westminster, CO. Click that link above to find out more or register!**

Don’t worry, they’re not always during the week, the one in November is on a Saturday morning!