Monday, 29 October 2012

W.R.A.C.E Hallowe'en Hoot 5K Walk

I had planned this as my last race of the season, and it being a Hallowe'en theme I would of course need to get a costume together....something appropriate to racewalking. Those who know me well know that I love cobbling costumes together from whatever I have lying around the house, so here's what I came up with:

I only had to buy some red gloves at the $ store. Luckily, my bathing suit bottom and Altra Intuition shoes are bright red! The cape I had made years ago out of satin for a school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream - it's nice to know that Lysander and I have the same taste in capes.
The finished costume also included my mp3 player with a tiny speaker so I could play the Superman theme as I toddled along.
After last weekend's half marathon in Cincinnati, I had a great massage during the week and so was ready for this 5K!

I had been watching the weather closely and race day dawned cold and windy - 40F when I got up, but that doesn't faze a superhero! I had set out everything the night before and was quickly ready to go. The race would take place at Malden Hill, a local park (formerly a landfill) that I train at every now and then. The course would not be on the hill, but on the paved path circling the park, an out-and-back route. There are still a couple of smallish hills to tackle, but nothing at all daunting.
I arrived and got a good parking place (they would be at a premium soon), turned on my theme music and headed for the start. W.R.A.C.E. had set up in a heated pavilion in the park with real bathrooms (no wait when I was there!!!! - if you want to know what superheroes have to go through to use a restroom, I have firsthand experience). Having the warmth and the restrooms was like being pampered. I can honestly say I was never over-chilled as I could just go in the building for a few minutes every now and then during my warmup.
 There was going to be a kids' dash first - they were absolutely adorable, chasing one of the runners from the club. Assorted dinosaurs, bumblebees and lions ran as fast as their little legs could take them. One of the most innovative costumes, I think, was a kid dressed as a bag of raked leaves - seriously, it was awesome and very creative. There were some other adults dressed up, thank goodness (not as many as I thought there would be, though). I am a big kid but don't like being the only one! A giant banana, skeletons, a baby, various zombies and mummies, pumpkins, witches, etc., started milling about, getting ready for our race.
As I was doing my warmup drills and sprints in the parking lot I got a lot of big grins from my theme music. Even though the theme inspired me I knew it could be overdone easily, so I turned it off after a while; no need to really annoy my fellow racers (my apologies to those who were ready to throttle me :).
Now, something I need to remember at 5Ks is that your time is a gun time start and chip finish. I think I seed myself too far back in the crowd because I'm a walker. Got to remedy that in the future. Not a big deal today as I wasn't out for a PR or anything, just to have fun. Anyhow, off we went. It turned out that the cold weather was perfect for racing, the wind a tad annoying at times but not a major obstacle, except if you were wearing a cape.....

The paved path is a perfect surface for racing and easily followed (there's no where else to go, LOL!). We did an out-and-back loop, the tenners two of those. I came in as second walker in, first female walker out of 31 walkers (35:32, with some pauses for personal technical issues; as I said, wind and capes don't mix well)!
In I went for some postrace grub (lots to choose from, including good coffee), then back out to cheer in other racers. Five costumed runners came in hand-in-hand, including the banana and a mummy...the mummy was very cool 'cause she came in shuffling like a mummy should! Wonder if she did the whole race that way? The banana had also had some costume technical difficulties better left to the imagination :)
At this point, one of the EMS bike patrol guys asked if he could have his pic taken with me - cool!
The awards were next, and being first female walker I won a great thermal bag chock full of goodies, including a BPA-free bottle, coupon for an hour-long massage, discounts at a couple of local places, several Camino chocolate bars, hot chocolate and some small-sized athlete-friendly toiletries.
Thank you W.R.A.C.E., and thanks also for a very well-organised and fun race, something I've come to expect from you good folks! I was getting quite hungry for my vegan lunch, so I didn't stick around for costume judging - maybe next year?

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