Race report: Christmas Corral Half Marathon

Christmas Corral Half Marathon

Half Marathon #32

December 21, 2019

Place: 27/50

Time: 2:19:10

Directing this second year event was another fun experience. Our numbers dipped slightly, as we had just a few fewer finishers than in 2018, but we had great weather once again and everyone seemed to have a good time.

Despite not running in the past three weeks, I decided I’d give it a go — with a suggestion from my good friend Lisa Johnson to run together giving me just the nudge I needed.

flat derrick

Rather than finisher mugs, we opted for stocking caps, offering two different colors for participants to choose from. They turned out to be even better quality than I expected and they seemed to go over well.

hats

Got up early with my brother Jon to mark the course as Kami, her sister Macey and my mom all prepared the registration table and post-race items like hot chocolate and Christmas cookies.

2.25 aid station

Sunrise at mile 2 as we marked the course.

5.25 aid station

Sunrise at mile 5.25 as we marked the course.

I gathered folks in the high school gym lobby, gave a few pre-race instructions and we headed to the start line for the start of the half marathon.

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Group at the start line. Courtesy photo: Christopher Eshelman

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Drone shot of the start line. Courtesy photo: Corby Stucky

Lisa and I eased in to a fairly comfortable pace, all things considered — that being me on rusty/heavy legs and out of shape lungs, with Lisa having dealt with an illness recently.

Neither of us was on top of our game, but I had a great time running and chatting with my friend, nonetheless.

Lisa and me best

Lisa and I running together near the first aid station.

We got a little slower as the race went on, but still kept moving. It was nice to see the pavement for the last stretch and turn by the water tower — even though the old classic one is now gone. The new one will take some getting used to. Anyway…

Lisa and me 1

Lisa and me, nearing the finish line.

We crossed the finish line and I went inside to eat some cookies and enjoy some hot chocolate. I then helped with some finish line duties and cheered folks in as they finished their own race.

lisa and me selife

Always good to see my friend and share some miles.

2019 Christmas Corral Half Marathon + 4 Mile RESULTS

Thanks to everyone who joined in for this fun, low key event for the second year in a row. I’m always happy to see a good turnout at an event I host.

A day or two after the race, I received our 2020 Rodeo Run logo, which runs along the same course…

2020 Rodeo Run logo

Registration for the 2020 Rodeo Run (July 18) can be found — HERE.

Registration for the 2020 Christmas Corral (December 19) can be found — HERE.

While you’re at it: Registration for the 2020 AlfaDog 40 Mile + 25K can be found — HERE.

Next up for me: Hangover Half Marathon — January 1, 2020 — Leawood, KS

Race report: Father’s Day Four Mile

Father’s Day Four Mile

4 Mile #7

June 15, 2019

Place: 67/172

Time: 34:25

THE BIG RACE. This is the one Bryant and I talked about all year long after doing it last year as our first run with the stroller. Last year’s medal was hanging on the wall over his crib since that day.

We didn’t like the shirt as much this year or the course — an out-and-back instead of a loop due to construction — but the experience was just as good, if not better. Fun wrinkle this year is his ability to walk before/after and, well, be super nosy along the way.

We arrived with it sprinkling a bit, picked up our (my) shirt and bib and got ready to go.

shirt and bib

Shirt and bib.

bib on shorts

Typical, bro.

Of course, we had to squeeze in some pre-race silly selfies.

pre race face

It’s go time, son.

start line

Start line shot.

We were really just there to have fun, but had talked about trying hard to beat our time from last year’s race. We knew if we stayed steady, we could do it.

We zoomed on ’em early and often, holding fairly steady throughout. That’s one positive about the out-and-backs, is that you know exactly where you’re at in relation to the finish line.

The views out there, man…

around curve

Early race curve.

KC skyline

Took this exact pic last year. Love that spot.

mile 3

On the home stretch.

Our splits were good for a dad-stroller race, I thought. We had a fast 5K, a long half marathon and a mid-distance 10K to prep for this one — THE BIG RACE.

Splits: 8:24 | 8:51 | 9:02 | 8:048:35/mile overall

We passed a couple with a stroller right near the finish line to finish as the third fastest stroller in the race. We’ll take it.

We did it. We beat our time by 2:16 from last year. Think we can get even faster next year? You betcha. We’re gonna get faster and faster these next couple years before he starts running with me. That’ll be a blast.

Sad story, happy ending: We lost our medal somewhere between the finish line and the car. Must’ve fallen out of the stroller somewhere into the grass.

Thankfully, I contacted KC Running Company and they were gracious enough to send us a replacement. It has been added to the BIG RACE collection.

swag

Swag, son.

Oh, and THE BIG RACE wasn’t all we did on this day. After recovering and lounging a bit at a hotel, we took in some Monster Jam action at Arrowhead Stadium with some family — fellas only. It resulted in a couple of my most favorite pics yet of me and the kid…

As far as races go…

Next up: Freedom Run 15K — Lyons/Sterling, KS — July 4

Race report: Christmas Corral Half Marathon

Christmas Corral Half Marathon

Half marathon #23

December 22, 2018

Place: 18/63

Time: 2:01:36

mug logo

In addition to the annual Rodeo Run that I direct every year in my hometown of Pretty Prairie, I added this first-time event as a cold weather course preview to the new half marathon I’m going to add to the Rodeo Run in 2019.

I expected a really low turnout, as I didn’t put half the effort into marketing that I do for Rodeo Run. I was hopeful we’d get 20 runners in the half marathon, plus another 30 or so in the 4 Mile, giving us 50 or so total.

under tree

My personal race prep the night before.

Boy howdy, was I off.

We wound up with 63 finishers in the half marathon and 44 in the 4 Mile. What a turnout!

I ordered some finisher mugs, made some signs for the turns, set out some water and snacks, offered hot chocolate and Christmas cookies and music at the finish. Not a ton of work, to be honest.

Water and hay

Aid station 2.

I’m thrilled with the turnout we got and that everyone seemed to really enjoy the event.

bib on shorts

And of course, I had to run, too. Peep the bib number, Holmes.

As for running, I just missed out on a sub-two, but I had zero expectations and ran more consistently and steadily than I imagined I would. Much of that is thanks to running and chatting the whole way with my friend Sheila Meggers and another runner I just met during the race.

I also listened to Christmas music the entire race, so that was fun. I really love Christmas, you guys.

Main Street

Some of my friends shortly after the start — and shortly before they zoomed by me.

early race

Early race shot by PPUMC Pastor, Christopher Eshelman.

More consistent splits than I expected:

8:29, 8:50, 9:08, 9:12, 9:12, 9:10, 9:20, 9:15, 9:46, 9:35, 9:38, 9:24, 9:04, 7:43 (0.19)

I expected to do a good amount of walking, but didn’t. I stopped to get a quick drink of water twice and Gatorade with a cookie at the aid station — which just happened to be at the end of my childhood driveway. How awesome is that?

I had a shot to break two hours and contemplated going for it, but after the strong headwinds hit around mile 10, it wasn’t going to happen. I was the first finisher after the two-hour mark, so there’s that.

I finished 18th overall out of 63. Not mad about it in the least.

At the end of the day, it was a good event that left many feeling like they’d earned their holiday treats.

Bryant

Bryant was tuckered out.

Loved getting to see so many friends, but wish I would’ve gotten pictures with more of them.

I just love hosting events, especially in my hometown. Always grateful to see how many people are willing to support not only a good cause — but me as well. I have great friends, you guys.

I’m not sure I could be any happier with how this event turned out.

mug and bib

My mug and bib, post-race.

Rodeo selfie

Always good to be back here.

Start, finish

See you in July, folks.

Finally: I wrote up a little article for the local Ninnescah Valley News on the race. Read it below, if you like:

White wins inaugural Christmas Corral Half Marathon

If you were dreaming of a White Christmas, you got your wish at the inaugural Christmas Corral Half Marathon + 4 Mile race in Pretty Prairie on December 22.

No, there was no snow. In fact, the weather conditions were quite favorable for a run save for a bit of wind in the later miles.

But Josh White, 41, of Pretty Prairie, ran a speedy 1:28:14 to win the half marathon race by nearly seven minutes over second place finisher, Elmer Schlaback of Goshen, Indiana.

Sheryl Collins of Wichita was the overall female winner, finishing with a time of 1:42:11.

The course went over well with participants.

“For my first open half marathon, I thought the course was great,” White said after his win. “There was just enough dirt running versus pavement and gradual hills to keep you moving! The course was marked well and there were plenty of hydration stations throughout the race.”

White wasn’t the only Pretty Prairie native to have success in the inaugural event. Tristan England, 16, was the official winner in the four-mile distance with a time of 31:37 after a runner ahead of him all the way from Billings, Montana unfortunately missed a turn and cut the course, resulting in disqualification.

Claire Theis of Hays was just a few seconds behind England, finishing in 31:41 as the overall female winner.

The event was billed a low-key, low-cost holiday affair with a finisher mug, hot chocolate, Christmas cookies and music inside the PPHS cafeteria following the race. The participant count ballooned up higher than expected and feedback was positive.

The half marathon saw 63 finishers, while the four-mile distance had 44 participants cross the finish line. All in all, participants from 10 states took part. In addition to Kansas, other states represented included Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Indiana, Montana and Alaska.

“It’s awesome to have an event like this in our small hometown to bring people together and to give back,” White added. “Derrick did an excellent job coordinating the event. Many thanks to him and all the volunteers that made it happen!”

In addition to his win, White stuck around until the very last participant crossed the finish line and even used his connections to ensure that Santa Claus made an appearance.

The new winter event was used as a preview to the new distance being offered at the 2019 Rodeo Run, which is now open for online registration. The event will also feature a bike option for the first time ever.

Profits from Christmas Corral will go to improve the quality of the annual Rodeo Run, while any excess from both events will go to the PPHS cross country and track programs.

For any questions about the Christmas Corral or Rodeo Run events, contact Derrick Mead at derkfor3@gmail.com.

Race report: Sunflower Run 4-mile

Sunflower Run 4-mile

September 1, 2018

Place: 21/58

Time: 34:24

At a first year event with a mixed course of pavement and grassy trail, I genuinely did not know what to expect going into this one.

But on Day 104 of my streak of running at least four miles per day, I did not particularly care. But I always have a good time in Tonganoxie, so I wanted to support this one.

shirt + bib

My sweet shirt and bib. Loved this one.

Some unexpected rain popped up before the start, leading us all to take cover at the Tonganoxie Fire Station just near the start line.

I had a great supporting cast, as always, as Bryant and Kami hung with me for a bit before I ran.

Team Mead

Team Mead group pic. Photo cred: David Frese

Bryant thought the rain was fun. He made some people laugh. He always does, it seems.

One more group shot as the rains started to slow a bit prior to the start.

Team Mead 2

One of us was shielded under the awning. The other two of us were not. Guess who was who. 

Anyway. It was finally just about time to run.

bib on shorts

Have I told you how much I love even numbers?

start + finish

The start line — and, well, finish.

Normally, I get to a race this size thinking I’ve got a shot at top 8 or 10, but there were some fast folks at this one. I knew it right away and it didn’t bother me a bit. Especially as the race went on.

start selfie

I try to have fun no matter what.

Eventually, there was running, I promise.

My splits were silly, as I probably should have expected.

7:23 | 8:23 | 10:31 | 7:52 | 6:34 (0.04)

Can you tell where the toughest part of the course was? Yikes.

But, man, the views did not suck.

All the volunteers were super friendly, as expected, too.

I looked at my watch when we made the switch from pavement to the cross country course and it was 1.64. I don’t remember exactly what it showed as I reentered the pavement, but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.4.

I flew the rest of the way, trying to catch up to another runner or two.

final turn

Making the final turn toward the finish.

Loved this one and have every expectation to continue returning to Tonganoxie for both this and the Library Run in June.

Special thanks to David Frese for putting on such quality, good cause events worth returning to.

Next time, we gotta get a picture. I totally meant to this time and forgot. I’ll blame the rain.

I even got my name on the back of the shirt as one of the runners in this inaugural event.

back of shirt

First column, seventh name down.

Next up

  • September 8Race for Freedom 5K (Wichita) Virtual Run — Cannot make it in person due to SHMS Cross Country Meet in Emporia
  • September 29Winged Foot 10K (Topeka)

Race report: Rodeo Run 8/4/1

Rodeo Run 8

8-mile #3

July 21, 2018

Place: 23/32

Time: 1:15:50

Rodeo Run 2018 logo

2018 shirt design

The 2018 Rodeo Run was a success once again. We had a great turnout, though down slightly overall from 2017.

Purple shirts were a unique touch that made some of my K-State friends happy.

I was able to get back to town in the afternoon on Friday, which made the set up less stressful. We sorted shirts on Friday, marked turns on the course. As a result, I was less stressed going into Saturday morning.

The 8-mile started at 7:00 this year — earlier than in the past, which went over well with participants. The cooler temps (low-mid 70s at race time) didn’t hurt matters. It was pretty humid, but a gentle breeze helped combat that.

We had 32 runners at the start line and all 32 finished the 8M race.

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Getting ready for the 8M start.

I pushed Bryant for the first 4-mile loop. This was another decision made with the intention of minimizing stress a bit. Worked like a charm.

He was ready.

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How awesome is his shirt?

I thought he was in his stroller and ready to go, but he was not…

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Sorry for holding up the start of the race, you guys!

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We had some fast folks this year — particularly the women. Bryant and I were a bit slower, but had a great time.

Bryant and I ‘zoomed on ’em’ on the pavement and slowed a bit on the dirt. We got a chance to chat with some friends along the way and I handed him off to my mom at the completion of the first loop.

He got grouchy for about 30 seconds right before the aid station. We stopped and chatted with the EMS volunteers and took a little snack and water break.

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Gotta stay hydrated, you guys!

After Bryant finished 4 miles in right at 39 minutes (23rd place for him — out of 72 in the 4M), I continued on by myself for the second loop.

Bryant was a champion.

IMG_3253

This is his champion pose.

I ran a quick mile 5 to catch up with my friend Kristina Clifton, with whom I would run the rest of the way. She might be the most steady runner I’ve ever met. Chatting away, we still maintained a super even pace. I don’t know how she does it. But it was good to run with a friend and have a good time.

IMG_3252

Me and Kristina nearing the finish.

Overall splits — 8:45 | 9:23 | 10:21 | 9:54 | 8:25 | 9:35 | 9:43 | 9:40 | 9:40 = 9:28/mile

I finished 23rd overall (same as Bryant) in the 8M race — out of 32. I was the last place finisher among the males, but whatever, man. My slowest race in this distance, but I genuinely did not care. I had a great time.

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My shirt, 8M bib and finisher medal.

James White and Melissa Hartman were the 8-mile winners.

I was not present for the start of the 4-mile race, but my wife, Kami, did a great job of getting them off and… well, running.

IMG_3247

Josh White and Sharon Ceja won the 4M event.

Time to get prepared for the 1-mile.

Rodeo Run 1

1-mile #12

July 21, 2018

Place: 27/125

Time: 8:29

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1M start line

We had 190 finishers in the one-mile in 2017. I knew we’d be short of that this year by quite a bit. Still a good turnout with 125 finishing this time around. I’ll take it.

My friend — and incredibly fast human — Javier Ceja joined us this year. He was on hand to promote his new coaching business, Basher Endurance. But he also ran the one-mile race after his wife (also a very fast human) ran — and won — the 4M race on the women’s side.

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Javier, of course, won the 1M. I’ll let you guess which one is him. He ran it in 4:57, topping our course record by less than a second.

I ran the 1M as well, though not hard. Just hard enough to break a sweat while still chatting and having fun.

I finished in 8:29, though I never pay attention to time in this one. It truly is just a fun run for me, as I just like to get out there with all our other participants and enjoy myself.

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Nearing the 1M finish line.

After crossing the finish line, I doubled back to meet some friends and eventually my mom, who was pushing Bryant.

Congrats to my mom for completing her mile, despite her doubts that she’d make it. Bryant, meanwhile, slept for this one.

Then, time to enjoy some company with friends.

Then… Downtown for a delicious breakfast at Graber Mercantile, courtesy of Karin Allen with Locoflavor Culinary Adventures.

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Breakfast was a big hit!

Of course we had to get a family photo to commemorate a successful day and Bryant’s first Rodeo Run.

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Team Mead

I’m already excited about the changes I’m making to the Rodeo Run moving forward, as well as the new Christmas event I’ve added for later this year.

But for now, I’ll enjoy a successful event — my sixth and try to rest a bit. LOL. Yeah, right.

For real, though…

For more information on Christmas Corral Half Marathon + 4-mile and/or Rodeo Run 4 + a Half, visit our Facebook page and check out the events — HERE.

You can also see lots of information on those events, plus past results, course records, etc. on our website — HERE.

Thanks again to all of our participants, sponsors and volunteers for a great Rodeo Run!

Next up: Run for Your Momma Half Marathon — Marion, KS — Saturday, August 11

Race report: Father’s Day Four Mile

Father’s Day Four Mile

June 16, 2018

Place: 65/350

Time: 36:41

logo

Father’s Day Four Mile

All week, leading up to my first race pushing Bryant in his stroller, we talked about “the big race.” We talked about how we’d pass people and say “Catch ya later, nerds!” (in a funny voice, of course).

The race was to be a loop course around Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport in Kansas City. It proved to be a really cool course that I’d love to return to. This could be a fun traditional event for us, should it continue.

shirt +bib

Instant favorite shirt, too.

We got out, ate some graham crackers and geared up for the big race.

prerace selfie

We got in a few pre-race selfies, of course.

I’ve got the coolest kid, you guys.

cool guys

For real. Kid’s a baller.

bib on shorts

Bib on shorts once again.

We got there a bit early, because that’s how I roll. If you’re not early, you’re late. I’m determined to teach him that lesson. When better to do it than… well, early.

photog

We even stopped for a photo from the race photographer.

love him

We were ready to go!

4

Finally heading to the start line!

start

The start line. We’re on the left. 

We started out near the very back out of courtesy. Didn’t want to get trampled. I’d estimate 20 people at most started further back than we did. We had some work to do.

Bryant got really fussy upon starting and I worried he’d have a tough time throughout the race, which would’ve led to a lot of walking. I was fine with the idea of having to walk and prepared for that possibility. I just wanted him to do well and maybe even have fun.

It was really congested early on, as we had a lot of maneuvering to do to pass some people. Lots of “zoom-zoom”-ing and weaving in and out of people. The more open space we saw, the better he did. I even heard him laugh once or twice. Love that.

We settled in and maintained a steady-ish pace for awhile, although obviously slower than I’d run without a stroller.

We got to see some pretty sweet views along the ways. It was an airport — and I love planes.

skyline

That KC skyline is something else, you guys.

We even had a couple of hills, which seemed worse because of the stroller than they would have otherwise.

Bryant stayed happy and awake until at least 2.5 miles in, when he dozed off. He slept through a fairly noisy bit of construction at the 3-mile mark and I expect mostly through the finish line.

finish

Official time — 36:41

Our splits8:44 | 9:31 | 9:28 | 8:20 | 6:40 (0.11) 

Yeah… that last tenth or so of a mile — 6:40 pace. Wow. We were flying. Had to pass those last few guys before the finish.

We got a kick out of people sighing when they were passed by a stroller. But hey, everyone did their best out there — another lesson for B Dizzle.

I was so proud of him — as always.

champion

Even when he’s sleeping, this kid is a champion.

We got a sweet medal to go with the sweet shirt and the cool KC Running Company bib.

shirt w medal

Swag

Our medal is now hanging on Bryant’s wall just above his light switch. We’ve talked about it every day since the big race.

pose w medal

He earned that bling.

eat the medal

Chomp, chomp.

Next up for me: Freedom Run 15K — July 4

Next up with Bryant: Undecided

 

Race report: Old Settlers Day 4-mile & 1-mile

Old Settlers’ 1-mile

August 15, 2015 — Mulvane, KS

1-mile #8

Place: ?/?

Age Group: 1st

Time: 6:43

Love this event in Mulvane. My third time doing it. Had 20 miles on the marathon training plan, so I had already run 11+ miles before these races started. Tiring day, but had some fun with it. Cool shirts, too, so that’s always a plus.

Old Settlers’ 4-mile

August 15, 2015 — Mulvane, KS

4-mile #3

Place: ?/?

Age Group: 3rd

Time: 32:16

Got in miles 17-20 on the day during this 4-mile race. Steady pace throughout as I had no interest in racing this one. Got to run maybe a mile or so of it toward the end with my old college teammate, Zach Kimble, of Mulvane. One of the few races I fully expect to try to get to each year. Affordable price, cool neighborhoods, fun atmosphere, and sweet shirts. Not much else to say about this one.

20 miles on the day. Two races, two medals, one shirt. Good day.

20 miles on the day. Two races, two medals, one shirt. Good day.

Start line photo, taken by my wife, Kami.