Saturday, March 17, 2012

Race Report: Calgary Roadrunners St. Patricks Day 5K

When I woke up, the thermometer was saying 0*C - perfect March running weather...and perfect St. Paddy's Day RACE weather!!!   I ate my lovely race day breakfast of bagel and peanut butter, downed some Nuun and got into the base outfit for my St Paddy's Race costume (black leggings and black long sleeve top).

This was going to be my first race of the year and the first time I had ever run the Calgary Roadrunners St. Patricks Day race.   To say I was excited would be an understatement.

I was meeting my runner girls at 8:45am in the parking lot and pulled in just in time.   We took a few minutes to get into the rest of our costumes (including the super fun tutus I made last weekend).  I'd also bought us some great shamrock barrettes at the dollarstore for our shoes ($1.50 well spent)

what happens when I try to take a self-portrait of the tutu

Then it was a quick pitstop at the washrooms (loved that this was held at Central Memorial High School and had real washrooms!) and then off to the start line.

There were lots of comments about the Tutus on the way there and as we were snapping our own pics at the startline, one of the volunteer photographers kept hovering around us to snap a ton more.  Can't wait to see them!

Shoe shot - complete with timing chips.  We were so happy the chips were shoe chips!

How cute are we?
In almost no time at all, the race started and we were on our way.   My legs weren't hurting at all so I figured the icing I had been doing the past couple of nights had helped ALOT.

There were alot of people dressed up for this race.  I wish I'd kept my camera out and taken shots of some of the costumes.

At around the 1.5K mark, I started to cramp near my ribcage and was forced to walk.  I was so disappointed.  As much as I said to myself "You can't PR in a Tutu", I'd still hoped I might have a shot at that sub-30min 5K I've been dreaming of for 2012.   JS asked if we were ok with her continuing on and we waved her ahead while J walked with me.

The cramp wasn't quite gone when I started running again and I only made it half a km before I had to walk again.   When we saw a photographer close to the turnaround point - we started to run again.  JS passed us going the other way and we shouted out a cheer.

Coming back, I started to feel much better.   Perhaps my body remembered that I had had some Nuun with breakfast and decided to play along (I tend to cramp when I'm dehydrated - though never in that particular spot; it's normally lower).  We were running pretty strong, but J was having knee trouble so we walked for a bit to give it a break.

In the final stretch, there was a nice downhill before the uphill to the finish.  My inner racer urged me on and I just had to push it.  I left J and pulled ahead - running hard for the finish.   It felt awesome!  When I crossed the finish line, I glanced at my watch and was surprised to realize that I thought I had just PRed for 5K.  The watch said 31:38 and my previous PR was 31:54 (It's been almost 2 years since I did that one at the Calgary Marathon 5k in 2010).  JS finished in 27mins and change...damn that cramping of mine!

Official time: 31:34 (and 20th in my division!)

The volunteer handed me my medal - so pretty.  This may be my new fave medal!

and I hurried to see if I could catch J when she crossed the finish less than a minute later

And then it was time to grab some food.  The nice thing about doing the 5k was definitely the fact that you finish fast enough to get to the food while the lineups are short!  The grub was provided by Red Tree and was FANTASTIC!
No - I didn't have 2 scones - one is J's.  I promise.  I'm trying to be a good girl
Beef or veggie stew, buns, mint chocolate scones and LUCKY CHARMS!!! (a whole cauldron worth)

We sat in the bleachers and ate for a while.  Then - we had to hit the photo booth.   This is my favourite trio of photos form the race! How cute are we?

This was such a great race.  We decided that this is definitely our must-do race for the year!  It was well organized.  The food was BY FAR the best of any race I've ever done.  The atmosphere in the gym after was fantastic!  I wish every race could be this well organized and fun!

And then, after we left - I headed out and did a little shopping spree at Tri-It Multisport.   I was only planning to buy the Run Love Compression Socks, but then I found Sock Guy socks with Coffee on them.  And a book on Natural Posture Running.  And then the Grape Nuun just jumped into my hands.   It was a good thing I didn't like any of the prints on the Sweaty Bands....

One of the midgets loved the coffee socks - she kept trying to swipe took 3 tries to get a shot where she hadn't grabbed them.

Oh - and now for the geekery....


  1. Love the tutus and photos -- you looked great and ran awesome :) !!! And I LOVE the medal :)

  2. Congrats on the race! I love that race and think it's one of the best organized in the Calgary area.

  3. Congrats on the PR!! Love the pictures, smiles and tutus! Can I ask you a question(need a little first hand knowledge:). I've signed up for this race(first ever), I'm really over weight, and I've been exercising pretty intense for a year, but over the past three months really gave up, and injured my back. Now back on track and just starting to run/walk this week. When you ran did you see people of all sizes, people walking the whole thing(not just breaking for a cramp:-). I also noticed in the rankings the slowest person was around 1 hour, I don't think I can be under that. Do they list everybody that runs? Hope it's ok I ask this here. Take Care:-)


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