Race Recap: 2017 Chili Run

What do you get when you add runners with chili and beer?

You get a good time, that’s what!

What exactly is The Chili Run? It’s an out and back, 2 mile race in Pitman, New Jersey hosted by Good Day for a Run. It starts and finishes at a favorite restaurant of my family’s, Carolina Blue. After the run, that’s where the chili and beer comes in!

As soon as I heard about this race, it piqued my interest. Why?

Because I (mostly) love to run.

And I love to eat chili.

And I love to drink beer.

My friends have raved about it in the past, solidifying its place on my race bucket list. There are not many races in New Jersey in the winter months so I was looking to keep my training alive and also to socialize. Yes, I said it. I wanted to see my friends!

Jog ‘n Hog buddy, Rachel, heard the siren song of chili and running as well, so we signed up together. Run 856 and Run 215 unite!

Registration was $35 after a group discount, plus a processing fee.

Packet pick-up was a breeze. They had race day pick-up as well set times at the local running store. I chose to grab mine the day before at Mullica Hill Running Company, Rachel got her packet the morning of the race. No muss, no fuss.

Prior to the start, we hung out in the heated tent area of Carolina Blue. It was a runner’s reunion, seeing both new and old running pals.

The race started at 10am. Hello, awesome! Usually races start right around sunrise so this was appreciated. We headed to the start around 10 minutes prior; after announcements, safety information, and the National Anthem, we were off.

The weather was perfect and hills were, well, hills. It was only 2 miles so we prepared for the challenge. Rachel and I hadn’t seen each other since the summer so it was a great time to catch up and chat as we ran together.

The feeling of this race was one of camaraderie, which is always the best feeling, in my opinion! There was a lot of hooting and hollering and high fiving as we passed on the out and back. I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire time.

As we approached the finish line, I saw familiar faces in the crowd of people hanging out and cheering. My husband and kiddos were there! It was a terrific surprise!

They stopped while on their way to Lowe’s! Yay for hometown races!

So, you all know that I’m a Type A planner but there’s one thing for which I did not plan well.

I started the Advocare 24 Day Challenge last Monday, which meant no chili or beer for me! I didn’t want to self-sabotage during this 24 day period. No biggie though, I joined Rachel as she grabbed hers and we chatted some more (no surprise there!).

That cheese looks really good though, not gonna lie.

There were other fun things like an ugly sweater contest, prizes for the fastest team, biggest team (yay Run 856/609!), and free photos.

 

Communication from Ken at Good Day for a Run was fantastic both leading up to the event and after, from the packet pick-up and race information to links with results and pictures.

The super cute swag! I know my younger son has his eyes on it already because he loves penguins. 😉

Also, I got EXTRA swag, not from the race coordinators but from Rachel! Her cousin makes these gorgeous cookies and while I can’t eat it right now, it’s waiting for me in the freezer.

Are you local and sad because you missed out on this? Good news, there’s a second date for The Chili Run – February 11th. I have a feeling it is going to sell out FAST so if you want to register, get stepping!

2016 Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge 10k Recap

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A lot can change in four years. 2012 seems like a lifetime ago at this point but it was actually the first time I participated in the Run the Bridge 10k. Dinosaurs weren’t exactly roaming the earth but it was pre-Scoot a Doot days, when I used to blog about my races on Tumblr, so I think that’s saying something.

Packet pickup was quick and easy – I live right near one location of the South Jersey Running Company. When you register you are able to choose your packet pickup location of choice.

I was in and out of the store in less than 3 minutes, although they did offer bridge runners 20% off that day. I refrained but it was a challenge! There was also a 15% coupon in the race packet so my plan is to get back there soon for new Mizunos for the Philly half.

The packet had the race bib, long sleeved cotton t-shirt, and a couple of papers regarding the course and other little odds and ends.

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The race benefits the LARC school, which is a local school that assists students with disabilities at no cost to the families. It’s a great cause and one that I feel really good about supporting while participating in the race.

The emails from the race management were informative and they kept good communication lines, which is always appreciated! They suggested getting to the parking lots early and I did just that. Roads apparently started closing around 7am so I arrived at 6:30. Plenty of time to tailgate in my car with water and a banana and play on social media – #runnertailgating.

Most races I’ve done I wind up carpool with friends or meeting up with them for pre-race pictures/post-race drinks. I was solo for this race – I saw a lot of people I recognized from other races and our local Run 856 group, but I wasn’t there with anyone. I missed my buddies!

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Campbell’s Field used to host the Camden Riversharks, a minor league baseball team, but within the past year the organization disbanded. I’m not sure what they’re doing with the stadium now that the Riversharks are no longer playing there but it was well kept and ready to host 4,000 runners and walkers.

A plus of being at the stadium was that there are real bathrooms to use prior to the race. I will always opt for that over port-a-potties. They were also offering coffee and other assorted things, as well as checking IDs for the post-race beer garden. Very cushy in comparison to other races!

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The walk from the stadium to the bridge provided a warm up and there were two lines of port-a-potties along the way, as well.

As the name suggests, the Ben Franklin Bridge is a huge portion of this race. Once on the bridge, there were no official corrals but they did have pace markers for people to self-seed. I placed myself in between the 11-12 minute mile, which I knew was what I would be doing for this run.

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We started exactly at 8:30. I don’t have any pictures from the course because I was just trying to focus on breathing and getting up the hills of the bridge. I haven’t done much hill training so the incline, while slow and steady, was still felt. I definitely took advantage of the downhills. There was brief stint in Philadelphia around the loop and then it’s back for round two of the bridge.

The second part of the race is through the streets of Camden, along the waterfront, near the Battleship New Jersey, and then back to the stadium. There were 3 water stations and plenty of police and volunteers throughout the route. Not many spectators but the enthusiasm of the volunteers was fantastic!

My legs weren’t too pleased during the second portion of the race. Additionally I think I made a mistake with pre-race fuel by taking it too early. I wound up finishing in 1:13. Not my best, but given the course it was pretty much what I anticipated. I’m definitely proud of getting out there and getting it done!

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Finishing on the field is always exciting and immediately after volunteers had medals waiting for us.

There was plenty of water, chocolate milk, snack bags, bagels, waiting for the dinners. There were lines for each and I wasn’t exactly sure what was what so I just found the end of one and stood in it. You can probably imagine my happiness when I found out it was the beer line! YES PLEASE! I think this was the first year that they offered a beer at the end of this race. (Yards, for those interested.)

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Easy getting to my car and I was back home before noon. Mother Nature had my back this time because the weather was perfect! A lot can change in four years but this race stays consistently challenging and great.

Next race for me is the Philly half. I’d like to get a couple of training runs in before then – possibly do a bit more hill work in the interim. But first, this week is the start of No-school-vember – my kids are off Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Give me strength! 😉

Race Recap – Stomp the Grapes 5k

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A little under an hour from my home, tucked away in the town of Egg Harbor City lies a winery that hold a special in my heart: the historic Renault Winery. 

Nearly 15 years ago my husband proposed marriage to me in the gourmet restaurant; We hosted our wedding in its banquet hall 13 years ago in May. We’ve been back many times since then for festivals, wine tours, dinners, and brunches.

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But I’d never been there for a run before! When Chrissy (my long-time friend and running partner in crime) asked if I would be interested in doing the DQ Events Stomp the Grapes 5k at the Renault Winery, my immediate response was YES!

Chrissy and I have been on a bit of a training run hiatus for the summer months so I was really looking forward to meet up with her! As an added bonus, the Renault Winery is exactly the same travel distance for each of us, so it made perfect sense.

There was day of packet pickup which is always appreciated. We got our cotton t-shirts (originally the description said they were supposed to be tech t-shirts so we were a little disappointed with that change) and our race bibs.

We met up nearly an hour before the race began so we were able to take our sweet time and meander around the grounds for a bit.

We stared longingly through the gift shop window, which didn't open until 10am.

We stared longingly through the gift shop window, which didn’t open until 10am – thankfully we were able to visit after the run!

And relaxed on the patio with a fan whirling overhead.

Relaxing on the patio with a fan whirling overhead.

It was great to take that hour to just nose around the area and catch up on each other’s lives. We wandered around, chatted with other runners, and eventually found our way to the starting area.

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This wasn’t the start line but how much fun is Prohibition Alley? The Renault is one of the oldest continuous running wineries in the U.S.A.

It was a chipped course but there was no mat at the start so your time began when the clock did. We lined up near the back of the 250 participants and waited for our instructions. We knew that the course was an out and back and it was mainly going to be on a dirt trail.

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I haven’t participated in any 5ks recently so it was a nice change to get back to a shorter distance, especially in the hot summer months.

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However, I will say that this course was no joke! The dirt trail was sand, rather than compact dirt, so each step was an effort that seemed to slog on longer than it should. The humidity didn’t help either and while the trees gave us nice shade, the air was soupy.

I was a little disappointed because while the run takes place on the Renault Winery grounds, I thought we might be running a bit closer to the vineyards. This course didn’t have much of a winery feel. How can I stomp the grapes if I’m not near any grapes?

This was the only portion of the run near the vineyards - right at the very beginning and very end of the course.

This was the only portion of the run near the vineyards – right at the very beginning and very end of the course.

The volunteers along the course were great and we made friends while we were running with people keeping the same pace as us. We pushed along, walking for little spurts but mostly running and reminding ourselves that it would be over quickly and then we’d be getting our reward of wine!

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The finishers wine glass with celebratory wine. There was also a meal option for an additional $10 which we opted not to pre-purchase.

There were 3 wine choices and both Chrissy and I went with the Pink Lady. It was refreshing after a hot run! And we also got a chance to go back to the gift shop once it opened. For the record, I got Blueberry Champagne, a favorite among the wedding buddies back then and now!

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You say banana, I say bah-na-na!

I’m already counting the days until Chrissy and I start our weekly training runs in Atlantic City again in the fall! I’ve missed this girl like crazy!

The fall races I’m registered for are in November: Run the Bridge event and the Philly Half. Who wants to make a bet that I’ll sign up for more in the interim? It’s probably a sure thing.

Hey, have we connected via all the social media outlets? Drop a note with your blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter links (click on the words to find us at each!).

A Non-Runner’s First Mudderella

Friday night, I went to bed so nervous I thought I was going to be sick. Saturday morning, I got in my car and drove to Englishtown Mudderella 2016 praying to baby Jesus the entire drive. I was finally going to participate in my first Mudderella and I was petrified!

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My name is Ana and here is my story.

Last October, I signed up for my first Mudderella with my best friend and big sister. Two weeks later we had a team of 22 women! O.M.G. It just got real. I was no longer participating in an event with my two besties, now there were other people! I felt pressured!

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So I did what every logical human being would do. I trained for the event. I started going to the gym to run. Except there’s one problem… I HATE RUNNING! I mean, I seriously hate running. I have always hated running. Let me put this in perspective for you. In the twelve years that I played softball, my goal was to either walk or hit a home run because neither of these would require me to run hard. I quit the basketball team because there was too much running. It was that drastic…. and it still is.

But, I signed up for a Mudderella and now I had to train.

I spent many days in the gym running and trying to do pull-ups, push-ups, core strengthening exercises, and anything else my former Marine of a husband suggested. This lasted 3 weeks.

Then a kidney stone decided to take it’s sweet time and kept me out of the gym for about 6 weeks. But determined, I went back to the gym.

Then I sprained a rib from a nasty cough…a few more weeks out of the gym.

All of a sudden it’s April and being an entrepreneur, bouncing two kids to track (they don’t take after me) and band is kicking my butt!

Then May… at this point why even bother training.

Look! It’s June! This is when I renew my faith and start praying. No wonder I felt sick to my stomach last night. I am totally unprepared for my first Mudderella.

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Muddy sisters!

My sister and I decide to walk it. Our goal for the day was to complete the entire event without having to use our medical insurance benefits. And we succeeded! Yes, we walked the ENTIRE event! We also completed EVERY obstacle! I even got over the difficult wall without any help. But that was not a shocker to me. You see, I can do the obstacles. It’s the running that I cannot do.

So, as we walked through the entire event, I felt a little “pang” in my gut. I felt as if I was cutting myself short by not running the event. I watched women and men of all ages and sizes run past me, covered in mud and feeling empowered.

As we completed one obstacle at a time, I realized something. I realized that I still hate running and the only reason I wanted to run is because everyone else was running. In reality, who cares? So what if I can’t run, some of the runners couldn’t pull their own weight. That doesn’t make them any less competitive. That doesn’t make them less worthy of feeling empowered.

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Once again, my big sister taught me a lesson by smiling and being herself. One’s empowerment does not come from Mudderella. One’s empowerment comes from inside! It comes from being able to handle a wacky 11 year old, curious 15 year old, stepchildren, former Marine husband, being an entrepreneur, and let’s not forget the trying relationship between the dogs and cat.

Honestly, we should already feel empowered with our daily accomplishments. I doubt anyone could handle my life without crying, and I doubt that I could handle yours. We all have different emotional, psychological, and physical strengths.

Retired in style!

Retired in style!

Mudderella was a BLAST and I would totally do it again! I will try to train and probably fail again, but I will be OK with that. I love working out and being outdoors but running isn’t that important to me. Simply put, I don’t like how it makes me my body feel. One twelve minute treadmill mile is my personal best, and that’s OK. So, for all you runners: GO GET IT GIRLS! YOU ROCK! For all of you who like to read about running in hopes that you’ll be inspired enough to complete your first 5K or Mudderella: I’LL TOTALLY WALK IT WITH YOU WITHOUT SHAME!

Who cares how you finish the race? Whether you walk or run, the distance and obstacles are all the same. Besides, you still get the Mudderella Finisher t-shirt at the end.

I deem my first Mudderella a success! Next will be the Inflatable 5K… now that looks like a fun time!

Ana Soley is an entrepreneur who opened her own business with her husband, Fast Response Plumbing, LLC She’s having a great time raising 2 kids and 2 stepkids while trying to keep her humble abode from imploding. Loves the outdoors, kayaking, archery, walking the dogs, and hiking. She’s a big fan of a good sweat but hates running, as can be determined by this blog post.

Tuesdays With Meri

Originally this post was going to be about the #communitybuild I participated in on Saturday, June 11th. It was a heart swelling in the chest moment when I saw everyone coming together for the greater good of our community and our children.

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And then Sunday morning happened. 

There is a lot of absolutely horrifying, crazy acts of violence and scariness in the world. While I cannot and do not turn a blind eye to it, I also wonder how I’m supposed to approach it. As a mother. As a person putting words on a screen. As a human being living on this planet.

I wonder how to present things to my children in a way that they will both understand and also not fear living and going about their day-to-day activities. Because, quite honestly, I’m scared of the next. And the next. And the next.

When my 11 year old asks me “But we’re safe, right?” how can I respond truthfully without scaring the ever-loving daylights out of him? It’s a very helpless feeling when you don’t know the answers to the questions that your children are asking and when you’re asking yourself the very same questions.

I’m sad. I’m tired. I don’t know how many different ways I can say the same thoughts for similar situations without it sounding formulaic. It’s no less heartfelt but how can the repetitiveness sound anything but that?

With that in mind, I choose to focus on love. And I realize that might sound a bit hippie-ish but it’s what I can do right in this moment to feel like I’m doing something.

Originally this post was going to be about the #communitybuild I participated in. It still is.

It's about the whoopsies that turned into my favorite heart, a watermelon.

It’s about the whoopsies that turned into my favorite heart, a watermelon. Because we are #fiberartists.

It's about spending the majority of a Saturday with a few people who mean the world to me and new people who also mean the world to me.

It’s about spending the majority of a Saturday with a few people who mean the world to me and new people who now also mean the world to me, because we shared this together.

It's about the kids in my community having a brand new playground that has age appropriate equipment.

It’s about the kids in my community having a brand new playground that has age appropriate equipment.

It's about the kids in my community having a playground that isn't vandalized.

It’s about the kids in my community having a playground that isn’t vandalized and the amazing volunteers that made it happen.

This post is about making a community feel safe and having children know that they are loved, cherished, and appreciated for the amazing little people they are.

It’s also about my kiddos. Because when they feel that way both outside and inside the home, it helps them make good choices, now and later on.

When they ask hard questions that I might not know the answer to, they still feel assured and confident that we are doing everything we possibly can to make their lives filled with love.

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It’s about starting each day with a dance party, because despite the scariness and uncertainty in the world, there’s still a lot to dance about.

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Hug your family and friends and know that I’m hugging you, too.

Run the Vineyards 5 Miler

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This is the race that almost wasn’t for me. I signed up on a whim after seeing friends talking about it on Facebook and promptly forgot that I signed up for it.

And then remember.

And then forgot again.

And then got an email about the event and re-remembered.

To say I’ve been a little preoccupied would be an extreme understatement. We’re selling our home. We’re buying a new home. Our entire family was in the best wedding of 2016 (not biased, just saying). And oh yes, I was a chairperson of the Color-A-Thon fundraiser at my kiddo’s elementary school, which was held on Saturday.

Anyway, what was I saying?

Oh yes, Run the Vineyards 5 miler was one that sounded really great when I signed up for it but then with all that’s going on, I was second-guessing my decision.

But… packet pick-up was at my favorite local Running Co.the race was held practically in my backyard at Heritage Vineyard, and some of my favorite local friends were going to be there. Not to mention the best part, WINE AT THE END. Hello. All the second-guessing was for naught. I was in!

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Brandi and Kate LOVE this race and were the ones who suggested I check it out. Thanks girls!

When I heard that it was partially road but mostly trail running, I got a touch of the nerves. Beat the Blerch NJ showed me just how much of a trail runner I am NOT. I really didn’t want a repeat of that experience. Kate and Brandi both reassured me, multiple times, that it wasn’t going to be anything like that which helped calm me down.

The race had about 600 runners, which felt like the perfect amount. I strategically placed myself among what I hoped would be similarly paced folks and hoped for the best. My goal was to run the first mile and then fall into 1:1 intervals, 1 minute walk/1 minute run.

Thankfully, I actually got my corral placement right because within the first mile, there wasn’t much room to do a lot of bobbing and weaving. This area was all dirt/grass trails and the smell of farm animals wafted through the air.

Soon we turned onto paved roads, which lasted for 2-ish miles. I loved this portion of the race because it was right near the house that we are moving into in just a few short weeks!

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It’s really easy to forget just how beautiful New Jersey can be, but runs like this help you to remember.

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Soon after we saw the Heritage Vineyards sign, we took a turn off the road and actually through rows and rows of vineyards. There were volunteers placed along this portion of the route to make sure we didn’t take a wrong turn.

Tell me more about this wine you speak of.

Tell me more about this wine you speak of.

As a wine (drinking) expert, it was really neat to see all the different grapes and signs for each.

I ran without music, something I’ve been doing more of recently, and just took in the sights and sounds.

We weaved through more of the vineyard and by this time the field had spread out a bit so there was plenty of room to open up with running.

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And also take pictures without risking myself or others.

Did I mention the fact that I was feeling really good the entire course? Pushing on the run intervals, I was able to keep a pretty consistent pace. I had a goal of finishing in an hour, which would put me at a solid 12 minute mile. It’s not my best but it’s given the terrain, I figured it would be achievable.

I was warned about a hill near the end of the race. I don’t feel like you can get the full grasp of the angle from the picture, it was definitely a bit more intense than the other hills throughout the course.

I kept going with my 1:1 intervals and motored up the hill. Eh, it felt like I was motoring anyway.

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After this there was only about a half mile to go before the race was over and the majority of it was downhill, so I picked up the pace a bit more and crossed the finish line at an hour… and one minute. I missed my time goal by one measly minute. Figures!

Immediately after crossing the finish line, I ran into more friends; another perk of a local race. Friendly faces everywhere!

I got my finisher’s “medal”… a wine tumbler! Of course, I took advantage of my wine ticket.

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Jersey Blue

Busy Bee Brandi had to leave for another engagement but Kate and I planted ourselves on the ground and enjoyed our wine while catching up with one another. It was a Good Day For A Run, for sure, and I can’t wait for another.

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You can find me this Sunday running with 40,000 of my closest friends at Broad Street in Philly. What race do you have next? How’s training going? Have you ever chaired a fundraising event? 

East Coast Beat the Blerch 10k

In the past I’ve talked about the differences between North and South Jersey. Besides sports team preferences (don’t tell anyone but I give not one iota about sports), city preferences, and the way you say water, there is also a very vast terrain difference.

Which normally is not a big deal. A non-issue really.

Except if you sign up for a run in North Jersey.

When you’re from South Jersey, you’re used to all smooth sailing with the occasional bump that we call a hill down here. But if you sign up for Beat the Blerch at Lewes Park in Morristown you can expect trails, hills, and rugged terrain.

Which I knew when I registered because my dear friend Sharon hosts the Phillips 5k/10k Trail Run/Walk there each year. I’d seen the pictures.

But um, I sorta forgot.

Until we were driving up a deep winding road to get to the parking and the reluctant runner, Jay, turned to me and asked, “So, what do you think the course will be like?”

Not wanting to lie, I said, “Well, I think we’re in for an adventure.”

It's like Jersey, only NORTH!

It’s like Jersey, only NORTH!

At that point we made our one and only race goal: don’t get hurt.

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We want to LIVE.

Solid plan, right? We decided that we would run where we could and just try not to get hurt and/or hurt anyone else. We arrived early (because we are those people, always) and it’s a good thing that we did because there was a bit of a line for the buses to the race site.

This was the first time that Beat the Blerch came to the east coast, based on the popular comic by The Oatmeal (if you haven’t read it, stop reading this and go check it out. Seriously. Go. I’ll wait!) so we expected there to be a few snafus on the inaugural race. And there were, but we rolled with it. Because it’s so much easier and we were going to expend all energy on the course.

The 10k was slotted to start at 9:30 but from what I understand, there was an issue with many people getting there in time for the half marathon (which started at 9am) so they pushed the 10k start time back to 10am. A small wrinkle as a 10k runner, but one that if I were a half marathoner, I would have appreciated.

We used the extra time to hit the line of portapotties. Given the size of the event, they probably should have had twice the amount, at least.

Visiting with the Blerch was a must and he even offered us a seat on the couch. What a great guy!

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All races should have free pictures! MAKE IT SO, UNIVERSE.

Just go. I'll catch up. Never.

“Just go. I’ll catch up. Never.”

We somewhat reluctantly made our way to the start (those couches were really comfy) and soon we were off to the sounds of the Lion King and an announcer in a bacon suit. Mmmm, bacon.

Me = optimist Jay = realist

Me = optimist
Jay = realist

Very, very quickly we realized it was survival mode. Game on. We ran when we were able to. We walked when it wasn’t possible (for us – I’m sure those who run trails regularly were just fine). I stuck to the right hand side, trying not to fall off any slopes and also making myself as small as possible as to not be in the way of those who were confident to run.

I watched the trail runners for tips, their toes pointed slightly out and their quick light feet, especially on the downhill. The trails I have run are compacted dirt and this one was filled with roots and rocks so the tripping potential was high.

The trail was gorgeous but I can’t really say that I got the full beauty feel of it because I was busy looking at the ground the majority of the time. It was also very narrow at certain points so unless you decided to run through the brush (some did, I did not), it was very single file.

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How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

While neither Jay or I got hurt, we saw people getting busted up left and right. We saw bloody knees, bloody elbows, sprained wrists, twisted ankles. There were emergency vehicles placed throughout the route and they were being fully utilized.

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This was right around mile 3. After I took this pic I ran up the hill because Jay texted me that there was CAKE.

This was right around mile 3. After I took this pic I ran up the hill because Jay texted me that there was CAKE.

The day was gorgeous but I felt a bit dehydrated throughout. Thankfully it was cool enough and the tree coverage made it less of an issue, but the tiny cups at the water stations weren’t doing it for me. The volunteers were trying their hardest to keep everything filled but I don’t think they were prepared for the amount of people coming through.

CAKE, you complete me.

You complete me.

We took a selfie at the stop, hitched up our boot straps and prepared for the second half of the trail.

Note: while I have the earbuds in, there was no tunes. I needed all my senses out there.

Note: while I have the earbuds in, there was no tunes. I needed all my senses out there.

Here’s where things got a little (more) hairy, because the half marathon and 10k routes converged onto one path. I hugged the right as much as possible while walking and made sure to check behind me if I planned to hit the left to run.

I questioned my sanity multiple times. The miles dragged and while I was fine endurance wise, around mile 5 I was ready for the race to be over.

Soon enough, we came to a clearing and we had about a quarter mile to go. At least that’s what the volunteers told me at the bend. My watch lost signal while we were romping around in the mountains (I might be exaggerating slightly but it felt mountainous).

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And the Blerch was there, right near the finish line! He quite obviously missed me.beattheblerch8

He tried to sideline me with the offer of a selfie, which I happily accepted. Because when you can take a selfie with the Blerch, even if the finish line is 300 feet away, YOU TAKE IT.

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And then I politely said, “Excuse me, I have to go beat you now.”

Me = optim

And then I got my medal and my banana (which tastes really good with Nutella) and the aforementioned Nutella and cake and purple drink.

So the good? The medal, banana, Nutella, cake, and purple drink. And free race pictures! And the Blerch! Also the fact that I didn’t die, fall off a cliff, fall in any which way (and trust me, that was a real possibility for me, the girl who falls often).

The “needs improvement” category is basically just logistics. The Interwebs rumblings are that transportation company that was originally supposed to work the race backed out. There were 6 school buses that were making the rounds for a lot of runners to get to and from the parking lot to the race site.

The line to get to the race was a bit long but bearable.

The line to get from the race site back to the cars was much more tedious.

Additionally, there were just too many people out on the course for the size of the trails. If everyone were going the exact same speed, I don’t think it would have been a problem (or maybe less of a problem?) but it was tough with everyone at different skill levels – it felt very “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”.

But despite all that, I beat the Blerch. And for that I call it a win!

beattheblerch10

Have you Beat the Blerch? What do you prefer, roads or trails? North or South? East or West?