Race report: Love Life Run 10K (virtual)

Another virtual run for a friend whose race I could not attend. I was in New Orleans on race day, although it seems something always comes up with this one.

I’ve only actually gotten to participate twice — once in the 5K (before they added 10K) in 2013. I finished 2nd overall out of 95 that year. Then in 2015, I ran the 10K and finished 4th out of 99.

My friend Sonya Caley puts on a great event for a great cause. Highly recommend this one. She was gracious enough to send a shirt — none left in my size, so this one’s for Kami — and a couple of medals. So I had to earn it with a virtual run, which I completed on December 2 — a few weeks after the race itself.

love life run

Love Life Run — Hutchinson, KS

Bryant wanted to play with the medal and shirt.

bryant

Oh. Hey, buddy.

Race report: Run for Pie 5K

Thanksgiving Day Run for Pie 5K

5K #50

November 22, 2018

Place: 140/280 (estimate)

Time: 39:25

This one has become a tradition. Thanks to the Gazaway family for another great event. Love getting to see so many Hutch area friends.

group

They don’t always invite me to join the pic — probably because I always have to stand in the back.

Oh, this was also my 50th 5K. I don’t run many of them on purpose anymore.

Left the boy at the in-laws’ so Kami and I could run this one together. Quite a bit of walking and chatting that led to easily my slowest 5K time ever. Didn’t care one bit.

with kami pre race

Got in a pre-race selfie with the Mrs.

We jogged, we walked, we talked — and repeat. Chilly morning, but it’s always good to get the heart pumping before stuffing ourselves with holiday food with family.

Told ya we just enjoyed ourselves. Well, perhaps I did a little more than she.

Crossed the finish line, collected our woodal and had some hot chocolate. The woodals went to the first 250 finishers. There was probably more finishers than that, so my placing figure above is merely an estimate.

shirt

The Gazaway family rocks, you guys.

Should’ve gotten even more pics, but only had one more for the day — with Kami and our good friend, Lisa.

lisa and kami

Thanks for the picture, Lisa!

We will likely continue to do this event as long as they host it. Always a good turnout on a holiday morning that brings folks together.

Thanks again, Gazaways!

 

 

Race report: Winged Foot 10K

Winged Foot 10K

September 29, 2018

Place: 2/19

Time: 47:35

shirt

Shirt design

This was my third year for this event. In 2016, I hobbled along after an ankle injury, just trying to get moving again before I attempted a 100 miler that I ultimately would DNF.

2016 Winged Foot 10K: 57:14

In 2017, I moved quite a bit better, as I was actually able to run the thing.

2017 Winged Foot 10K: 49:35

This year, I recently completed a 111-day run streak of at least 4 miles every day. That streak ended a few weeks ago, and while I haven’t done much actual running lately, I have been on my feet a ton — with coaching cross country, playing and officiating basketball and standing at work most the day.

2018 Winged Foot 10K: 47:35

I was happy to take another two minutes off my time from last year. I really enjoy this course and will continue to return when I can.

Kami and Bryant stayed home, as it was a bit chilly and the boy had been sick the night before.

selfie

Pre-race selfie

I had no plan going into this one. Just wanted to get some miles in. I wound up with about 10 on the day, including officiating some soccer games soon after the race ended.

bib 258

You know the drill.

I actually wound up with pretty decent splits, with all miles in the 7s. I ran a 7:12 first mile, assumed it wouldn’t hold, but didn’t particularly care. I honestly didn’t look at my watch during this one. Just enjoyed the miles and the course.

I had four people in front of me, but hoped at least a couple were in the 5K. I wouldn’t know for sure until we completed the first loop.

At the end of the loop, I knew for sure three people had finished. So I was in second. Or was I? Either that guy up front was done, too, and I was leading the 10K — or he was waaaaay out in front. Turns out, the latter wound up being the case. I had no prayer of catching him.

I was also quite a ways ahead of third place, so it was a nice, peaceful run, all things considered. No one passing me and no one to pass. Not mad about it.

7:12 | 7:38 | 7:34 | 7:34 | 7:44 | 7:40 | 7:16 (0.3)

finish

Thanks to Kayli Thompson for the finish line photo.

This is the last time for quite awhile that I will even attempt to run fast. I take my second crack at 100 miles in four weeks at KRT 100 in Ottawa.

After I collected my medal for winning my age group, I went with another runner and joined the last place 10K runner as he came through for his last 2/3 mile or so. It was his first 10K. His wife was so excited, hollering loud for him even well before he was even close to being in earshot range. It was a pretty cool moment. 

medal

Always fun to run at the Combat Air Museum in Topeka.

Next up: Salt City Half Marathon — Hutchinson, KS — Saturday, October 6

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: Run to Remember 10K

FOPA Run to Remember 10K

10K #25

August 25, 2018

Place: 5/26

Time: 48:38

I don’t get to run at Lake Shawnee much. LOL. I joke. I run there all the time. But races are another story. In the three times I’ve run the Cauldron Run 10K for the Sunflower State Games, twice it has started/finished at the lake, but left its parameters on an out-and-back course. The third time, this July, it was a super dumb six loops around Tinman Circle, so we won’t count that.

There was the Run for One 5K last year and the Winter Wonderland 5K the year before that. But this was a 10K, so I got to cover a little more ground. A few hills — though not the two biggest ones — and a super warm day made it not ideal for running. But I still had a great time.

lake, trees pre race

Lake Shawnee

lake pre race

The views don’t suck, y’all.

This one was for a good cause, too, which always helps.

I wasn’t able to run this last year, the first year I’d heard of it, due to being in Grand Island, NE for the Nebraska State Fair Marathon.

I was happy to be able to run it this year. Can’t beat driving a mile and a half to run a race.

course map

Enjoyable course

I picked up my packet the night before. Not sure why, since I live super close to the race, but hey, why not?

bib on shorts

Customary bib on shorts pic.

I knew I wasn’t there to race, since I’m in the middle — okay, near the end — of a pretty long run streak of 4-plus miles every day. My legs are feeling the weight of the streak, added to the riggors of coaching cross country this season and work stuff, dad stuff, husband stuff — you know, life.

Anyway, no real goal here. Just run some miles and have some fun.

early w Bradin

That’s Bradin in blue.

I ran with a kid that we had in track last year until his turnaround for the 5K. After wishing him good luck, I continued on my way. I thought I was in sixth or seventh place, but as it turns out — I was actually in third at the time. Ha. That wouldn’t last.

early in race

Those two guys both caught me eventually.

The shirtless guy above passed me at the turnaround, while the other, shorter fella passed me with probably a mile and change to go.

No worries. I was still running a better pace than I anticipated.

My splits were acceptable, although my fifth mile was a bit silly.

7:18 | 7:38 | 7:36 | 7:51 | 8:26 | 7:58 | 7:52 (0.23)

finish line

Shadowy finish line shot

The guy who was in first or second and way ahead of me early on, flew by me in the end. I thought he had won and doubled back to check on a friend — and was subsequently being a J-Hole by sprinting by me at the finish — beating me by a whopping two seconds.

Turns out, he had struggled, stopped to walk a few times and was legitimately not done yet. Had I known that, I might’ve had enough in the tank to edge him out and finish fourth, rather than fifth.

But I’m not mad about it. Had a great time, finished fifth overall, chatted a bit, stopped at Sonic and arrived home all before 10 a.m. Can’t beat it.

shirt, bib, medal

I don’t hate the shirts.

You know what my favorite part of the day was, though?

This kid…

Bryant and me

Me and Bryant

Next up: Sunflower Run 4-mile — Tonganoxie, KS — Saturday, September 1

Race report: Fierce-ish 10K

Fierce-ish 10K

10K #22

October 14, 2017

Place: 7/14

Time: 1:00:47

Let’s get this out of the way early: I will not do this race again. I would advise others to avoid it as well. I’ve never wanted my money back after a race until this one. I was offered half my money back, but scoffed at that. Not worth it, really.

FWIW: Yes, I know this was a fun run. I’m totally not “that guy” to throw a fit at a race. But I kind of was today. Not proud of it, but it was bad, you guys.

When an event is so poorly organized as this was, there is no excuse. Don’t organize a race if you don’t know what you’re doing. Don’t volunteer to help at a race without asking what you’re supposed to do. Don’t send volunteers out onto a course without (correctly) telling them what to do.

Let’s rewind. I was having a blast pre-race. It was, after all, it was a costumed run — and it was Luigi time.

Luigi pre-race

Inside Norsemen Brewing Company before heading out into the street.

Luigi pole

You know the flagpoles at the end of each level? No? Whatever, it’s funny.

Okay, enough goofing around. It’s time to run…

Luigi selfie

Okay, one more. That mustache only lasted a few miles, FYI.

With a really low turnout, I thought I’d have a shot to win. I knew right away I’d win this thing, so I just went out and figured I’d enjoy some miles. I’d won 11 races before and figured a 12th would be fun. I don’t run to win — until I have a shot to win. Because, well, why not?

Luigi start

I would’ve led this thing pretty easily start to finish if not for… Well, keep reading…

So, back to the organization.

The Facebook page event that synced to my iCal indicated the race would start at 8:30. I assumed that was the actual start time — which it was. However, the race registration page showed 5:30 p.m. on Friday night.

Two separate emails went out to participants. One on Thursday. One at 11:22 p.m. Friday night — the night before the race. I saw this one at 1:30 a.m. when Kami woke up, which woke me up (baby day coming soon, you guys).

Neither email — I repeat, neither email stated what time the race would start. How can that be? The emails reminded us what time packet pickup started and what time the costume contest would start. Race time? Anyone? Bueller? Nope, nothing.

Anyway… the race wound up starting at 8:35, so close enough to what the event had listed, I suppose.

The start/finish line was … a gutter. Okay then.

Not like there was a super cool painted stretch less than 20 yards from that gutter or anything…

Rainbow Road

This would’ve been perfect for a start/finish line. But nobody asked me.

Seriously…

Rainbow Road zoom in

Rainbow Road, anyone? Luigi? Sweet, right? Sigh…

I jumped out to a pretty healthy lead early and despite my tendency of starting too fast, I actually stretched the lead a little bit. I was ahead by nearly half a mile when I approached a volunteer. With two dead ends and only two options available, I asked which way I was supposed to turn. She shrugged and said “I don’t know.”

No explanation. No effort to take a guess. Just “I don’t know.”

Most of the runners ran 7-plus miles. Because I was in first and went quite a bit further out of the way than most, I wound up at 7.6 miles. An easy win turned into an annoying seventh place. The girl who won (and actually ran the 6.2 miles) felt guilty. My time at the 10K mark was 3:02 faster than her “winning” time.

Oh well. I chatted with some other runners — including one guy named Ed who I’ve seen at a couple other races. He’s probably about my age and won third place for his dynamite Super Troopers costume.

I was cooling down and ready to move on. Until I got the following excuse…

“That’s why we put the route map online.”

Are you kidding me? The co-RD legit tried to blame runners for the lack of information they gave to their volunteers? No. Not okay. I was steaming once again.

He pulled me aside like he was upset with me — eventually offered me half my money back. Whatever, dude. Not even worth it.

Fierce Life Fitness

Race benefactor. Non-profit or not, I don’t know how they can feel comfortable taking people’s money after a debacle like this…

I received a wooden medal — that was pretty cool. It says “10K finisher” (lol), but we received them for overall placements, apparently. I was told I was the second place male, but I know there were a few guys ahead of me by the time I finished my lengthy venture around the streets of north Topeka.

race swag

Bib, shirt and handmade wooden “medal.”

Anyway… at least I got a few good miles in before the storms hit. Last race pre-baby. I’ll have to just enjoy the casual solo runs for a little while — which is fine, because I’d been enjoying them lately anyway.

Until next time…

Race report: Cauldron Run 10K

Cauldron Run 10K

10K #20

July 15, 2017 —Topeka, KS

Place: 27/66

Time: 53:52

Another on my list of fun summer races. Well, this one wasn’t so fun. Glad I did it and all, but man, the three Hs were brutal — heat, humidity, hills.

Always nice to run a race close to home, though.

bib on shorts

Pre-race bib ready.

Weird to think I’ve lived in Topeka long enough now to do the same race twice, as I ran this one last year after living in town for six or seven weeks. I run in that area up by Lake Shawnee quite a bit, but racing in those hills is not preferred for this flat land kid.

with torch

Posing with the Sunflower State Games torch before running the Cauldron Run 10K race.

Anyway, I forgot my watch at home, which turned out to be a blessing. My goal of just maintaining a steady pace would not happen, though, as I started out fast and slowed down dramatically throughout as the heat (and my clingy black shirt) got to me — hard.

start line

Shot by Kami right after the start of the race. I look way cooler and relaxed here than at the finish, for sure.

While I struggled quite a bit running a mere 6-plus miles, it’s easy to say after the fact that it was an enjoyable experience. If you’d asked me during the race, I might have cursed a time or two.

But, not all runs are great and that’s fine. Glad I did it and somehow managed to come out with third place in my age group.

bib and medal

Another item for my office bulletin board, I suppose. Most races, I put the bibs and medals in a box at home, but these I’ll post up at work — Parks + Rec connection and all.

They ran out of shirts at the race. Not sure how that even happens. Oh well. The guy seemed stunned that I didn’t care. I told him we were entered in SSG Mini Golf later that morning and I’d get one there, so it was fine.

shirt

Grey isn’t my favorite, but this is much better than last year’s white shirt.

Oh and by the way, Mini Golf went okay, too. We had to play singles separately since doubles took place during the race earlier in the morning. Mixed doubles tennis last year, but that wasn’t a suitable option this year — being six months pregnant and all.

So Mini Golf it was. Goals going in: Have fun, don’t get last and don’t fall down and hurt ourselves.

Check, check and check.

I took 14th out of 17. I’m happy with how I played. Five holes-in-one. A bunch of real golfers in that group. Kami tied for 5th out of 7. We both did better than we’d done during our practice round the previous weekend — and earned that post-event Qdoba.

SSG logo

Another fun year at the Sunflower State Games.