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Race Review: Appleton YMCA Freaky 5k

Posted Nov 05 2011 12:14pm
The local YMCA always has a 5k run around Halloween. The Freaky 5k was one of the local races that for the last few years I have considered doing but it never seemed to fit into my busy weekend schedule. This year some of my friends from work decided to do it and asked if I would come along. My Saturday schedule was not filled as early in the day as has been in the past so I thought why not. Maybe something fun to do with the work running group. It may be the last race we do together for the 2011 season so I signed up.

I was not feeling my best when I got up on Saturday morning. I haven’t mentioned it before but I have been having a lot of migraines recently and also numbness in my left arm. Add to that some early morning congestion and I was not feeling as fit and energetic as I have in the past. Also my daughter’s birthday party was the night before and I was dragging a little from helping to host the party. I should have known better than to think I could just show up and run and not worry about how I felt. But I would soon realize that maybe staying in bed would have been a good decision that morning.

The race is basically between three river front parks here in Appleton. Beginning at Pierce Park you run down to the Fox River through a couple of additional smaller parks and then loop back to the start. The scenery along the river is wonderful and overall the course looked to be a fun mix of parks and neighborhoods. When I pulled into the park on Saturday morning it was the first time I had been to this part of the community. Being new to the area I am still discovering a lot of these parks and older neighborhoods. I was about an hour early for the race and people were just beginning to pull in to pick up their race packets or to register for the race. I headed over to the packet pick up table and got my goody bag an shirt. I almost immediately realized that most of the runners were in costume. I too should have been but was not as planned. The work group had decided to do an Adjustment Bureau theme for the race. We were to dress up in suit coats and fedora hats for the race. As you’ll notice I am the only one in the group not in theme. OK, so I can be a party pooper sometimes. Sorry gang about that, you all looked great for the race.
When the gun went off a collection of vampires, werewolves, clowns, blind mice, ninjas and just about anything you could think off headed off out of the park. Patti and I were maybe about half way back from the more serious runners and we took off walking to the start line. It was too congested to run until we got to the start line. Off we went and within 100 feet we were turning downhill to run a very long downhill stretch. It took us a while to get to the bottom and to reach a more level road for a short distance along the river. Very pretty along this part with boat docks and some people fishing out in the river. Before long I saw a shorter but steep hill before us. I guess you should expect once you go down a hill at some point you have to go back up.  Patti an I made it up the hill but from this point on I pretty much had no energy left and was having some issues breathing deeply due to the congestion. So I began to primarily walk from this point on. For the next 2 and a half miles or so I would on occasion run for a block or two and them be wiped out again. I did not have the endurance or energy at all that I have had in weeks and races previously. Patti was a real trooper staying with me and just catching up on things. She could have run on and finished with the group several minutes ahead of me. But she kept me company the entire race, thanks for that. The rest of the race was just that, walking with some running thrown in. The course ended up being fairly flat up top and it was not an overly difficult course from that point on. Most of the harder core runners were well past us and finished by the time we got within earshot of the finish line. But we were still going OK for me dragging us along at what I thought was a very slow pace.
Patti and I ran in the last couple of blocks into the park and crossed the finish line together. We time wise finished exactly the same. The rest of the gang was there to greet us when we finished. It sounded like they had been there for several minutes waiting for us. Out formal finish time was 41:44 not bad for struggling like I did and not feeling well. At least it is no worse that I normally do when I have not trained and or under the weather. We headed off to the pavilion for food. The typical foods were there like bagel parts, bananas and water. But there was also popcorn, hot apple cider and cotton candy. Yes, cotton candy was being offered and boy was it a hit. The line was long to get some of that. Don’t think I would like too much of that after running but apparently some people did. I had one bite of bagel and a bottle of water. Just didn’t feel like food would be the best at that moment and time. After the quick nourishment I rushed home for the rest of the day. The next event was Luke’s final flag football game for the season. No rest for the weary or for the sick.
I think this race could be a fun fall one for the whole family. Good location and scenery with providing both kids races and the 5k race. The only drawback would possibly be other family activities early on Saturday morning s that may keep us from making this a regular one on the schedule. A special thank you to the work group for setting this up, for Bo arranging the theme and signs and for Patti keeping me moving forward during the race. Can’t wait until next year to regroup and do some races with you all. Thanks to all of the work runners for making this race and others so much fun this year. Had a blast with you all doing these together.


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