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Blue Bell 10K Relay Fun Run Recap!

Posted Apr 11 2011 6:00am

Team Carpe Criem!  Kelly is holding our green ice cream scoop "baton" that we passed from runner to runner each leg of the relay.

On Saturday, Kelly , her husband Chuck, Jeff and I ran the 10K Relay in the Blue Bell Ice Cream Fun Run, or as we like to call it, "practicing for Hood to Coast" (hahaha)(I think).  This was the 33rd year for this event, which has a Kid's 1 Miler (with medals...wonder what the age limit is?); a 5K, a 10K, and beginning this year, a 10K Relay.  We signed up for this race for a couple of reasons - one, because we all were so inspired after watching the Hood to Coast movie that we immediately wanted to do a relay, and two, because you get all the ice cream you want after the race.  Win-Win, totally.  Diet blog?  What diet blog??

Kelly and I had a lot of fun pre-race, coming up with our costumes outfits.  Honestly?  If we could have talked the guys into running while wearing tutus, you would be seeing some very different pictures.  But, we had to be content with crazy socks and t-shirts that we had our team name printed on.  Thanks to Chuck for coming up with the name - "Carpe Criem!" (Sieze the Cream!)  Kelly and I even wore black running skirts, and we wore our matching Newton running shoes - you know I loved this part of the race, right?!?

We all woke up ridiculously early and drove to Brenham High School, where the race was held.  This is a benefit race for high school's athletic program - Blue Bell Creamery is located in Brenham , and I was really amazed at the volunteer turnout for support - nice to see, and you really got the feel that the entire town was behind this event.

While there was a little confusion as to how the relay worked, and where the buses were to take the runners who were doing legs 2, 3 and 4 of the relay, everything worked out fine and we had a blast.  I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story...
Why yes, we were quite fond of our outfits! Kelly and I at the starting area, just before I had to get on the bus.  This part was a little confusing - we could see the timing mats in the road, but cars were driving over them, and it wasn't even clear which direction the runners would go when they started!  I've never done a race where the roads weren't at least partially blocked off, so this was interesting.  Luckily it was early on a Saturday morning in a small town, so there wasn't a ton of vehicles that we had to deal with.
View from the bus - Kelly was making friends right and left! Waiting at the exchange - this was mile 1. These kids ran the relay - they were so cute and did the passing of the ice cream scoop baton flawlessly.  By the way, they beat us. Another sweet baton exchange.  By the way, these kids beat us too. Woohoo, here comes Kelly!!!  I took the baton, we high-fived, and I was off and running!
This is where it got weird for me.  It was quite humid and warm (naturally - it's April in Texas), and I was wearing some funky stuff for running - cotton t-shirt, running skirt where the liner shorts did the mid-run creep up my thighs, socks that fell down (I wished I had rubber bands to put around them like we did back in the olden days).  I had set Ricky Bobby to do 3:1 intervals (run for 3 minutes, walk for 1 minute), and I didn't have the screen showing where I could see my pace.  I was pretty far behind the other relay runners - heck, there were only 22 teams - and although we all went into this with the "let's just have fun" attitude, my running feels off - shoot, I've only been back to running for two weeks now.

I stopped a couple of times to adjust my clothing, and then got back to the race.  A few moments later, I heard the pitter patter of feet behind me - the first runners of the regular 10K race, who started 15 minutes after the relay, were passing me.  That's normal, I'm used to being passed in races.  Then, a thundering herd of feet stampeded past me - whoosh!  I will admit, I was having a lot of self-doubt right about then.  I kept telling myself to run my own race, to walk when I needed to (there were a couple of hills that needed some walking) and to just relax and have fun.  And I did - I loved listening to the cows mooing, and seeing the older farmer on his pink tractor just sitting there and watching us run by his field - I'm not sure which scene as odder, all the runners or the pink tractor, to be honest!

So I was just bopping along, enjoying myself, when all of a sudden I realized that the bus that would take the "leg 2" runners back to the finish line?  Was waiting on me.  CRAP!  Then I felt pressure to kick it up a bit.  Luckily, it wasn't too much longer before I came round the bend and up a hill and saw first the bus, and then Chuck - whew!  I handed him the ice cream scoop and he took off!
Here I come up the hill - ready to hand off the next leg to Chuck.  And there Chuck goes - I have to say, between our lime green shirts and knee socks, it was easy to find us in a sea of runners! I got on the bus and was taken back to the high school, where the finish line was.  I met up with Kelly and her kids, Rachel and Charlie (Funny story:  Charlie was ringing a cowbell, but, as he informed us, he was only ringing it for "dogs and people he knows" - boys are so that!). Here comes Jeff! Ice cream scoop aloft, he's running in for the finish!  Right after the finish - me and a very sweaty Jeff. The reward!  There was a huge ice cream truck with all kinds of ice cream and fruit bars - and you really could have as much as you wanted - runners, non-runners, everyone.  It was awesome! Chuck and Kelly - they are so cute! Just a peek into the sea of people surrounding the ice cream truck - over 3,600 runners were there. We were sitting near the awards area, waiting for our team name to be called - surely we had won a prize, right?!? Close up of our matching socks and shoes... ...and Garmins, too.  You'd think we shop together - we haven't yet, but can you imagine if we did? Incredibly, we did not win anything as a team (we were robbed, robbed I tells ya!), but our number was drawn for a door prize - woohoo, a free half gallon of ice cream!!! The official race shirt, which I think is pretty cute.
This was a fun event.  We always enjoy spending time with Kelly, Chuck and their kids.  And I learned another valuable running lesson - STOP DOUBTING MYSELF!!!  Because when I uploaded my Garmin to my computer after the race, I saw that I was running my intervals pretty fast - 13:05 (stopped twice for clothing adjustment), 10:26, 10:30, 12:32 - averaged with my walking intervals, I managed a 12:40 pace, which is darn good for where I'm coming from.  Someday...someday, I'll learn to trust myself.  In the meantime, I'll keep practicing.
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