Several months ago one of my running group friends asked if I was planning to go to the "S-No-W Fun Run". I'd never heard of it and at first I was hesitant. A 5 mile race in January at a location almost 2 hours away? Staying overnight and partying with people from the running group? Paying for a hotel room?
But then I got an offer to share a room and decided I didn't want to pass this up.
So late Saturday morning we left for the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa for our mid-afternoon race.
After settling in our room, getting our race numbers, and finding most of our group in the post-race party room we headed outside for a warm-up of undetermined mileage. I debated how many layers to wear and in the end was happy I chose to shed one of my long-sleeved shirts and run in one-long sleeved shirt and my jacket.
The warm-up run also introduced us to the one major hill on the course. Being from the land of flatness I wasn't quite sure how to approach such a sight. While waiting for the start whistle I heard other runners saying that you should save a little bit during the rest of the run in order to tackle the hill toward the end.
Of course, the race started by going DOWN the hill so my first mile was a little bit faster than I would have liked. I tried to stay close to Maribeth but, in an unusual turn of events, I pulled ahead of her sometime in the second mile.
The course was a simple out and back. Although the air temperature was in the 20s the sun was shining and the wind behaved itself for the most part. The best part about running an out and back course when you have fellow running group members out there is that you get to cheer for your faster friends as they pass you on their way back :-)
My goal was to hold an 8:45 pace. Although this race has a unique award structure in that they don't do 5 year groupings for age group awards and instead group people together based on their current age (meaning that the fastest 29 year old gets an award and the fastest 30 year old gets an award and so on) I knew I had no chance of winning an award. Based on the past two year's results I'd have to run 2 minutes per mile faster than I am currently capable!
The race felt a little rougher than I would have liked toward the end. My right hand and forearm seemed to have fallen asleep (weird...) and then there was the hill. My pace slowed considerably on the hill.
See how the blue line goes down as the green line goes up?
Still, I finished in a reasonable 43:15. Not a PR but not bad for a hilly, non-chip-timed event! And for the curious, I came in 6th among the 30 year old women.
After the race we were offered various flavors of Schnapps (I passed) and burgers and brats (I ate a burger) and beer (of which I partook). Then I got to learn why someone else said that the race finish line isn't the real finish line.
After a quick clean-up we returned to the post-race party room for awards (multiple OPRC people earned awards!) and the highlight of the evening: dancing!
I didn't make it past the first elimination round of the women's "Sausage Dance" although multiple spectators told me I'd been robbed. We laughed hysterically at the men's "Hunk (of Cheese)" dance contest and then everyone joined in the dancing until I was soaked with sweat and my quads were protesting. I think they were confused. Racing 5 miles and then dancing for a couple of hours? No wonder I'm still sore...
After we'd danced until we couldn't move any more our group went to dinner and then a few of us stayed up to drink wine and chat. I finally collapsed into bed around 11:30 PM. I have to say, running a race AT a hotel and then staying at that hotel? Amazing. The Lakes Area Running Club really knows how to throw a party with a racing problem :-)
Cameras were flashing all afternoon and evening but I'm not sure when I'll see the rest of the photos. Maybe next year I can convince Jason to join me as my personal photographer. Because I definitely want to go back! And I invite anyone who wants to have a good time to join me. Maybe if I get a large enough contingent of supporters I can be crowned Sausage Queen :-)
S-No-W Fun Run - Lake Geneva, WI by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details
Also, I can't forget to put in a shout-out to Adam over at The Boring Runner who is anything but boring. In fact, I reported part of my S-No-W Fun Run time to his Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K virtual race.
Nothing like killing two birds with one stone, don't you think?