Also known as: that time I fell.
So, spoiler alert, I fell during this race. It was bound to happen; I’ve watched other people fall during races (wincing on their behalf) and knew it was only a matter of time before I was the one going BOOM.
It was my time and it was a spectacular fall. But man, I am so grateful because it could have been so much worse.
As always, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let me set the stage: it was a cold, blustery day here in New Jersey on Sunday. The rain was non-stop the day prior and everything was still wet from the storm. And it was cold. So cold. Even though it was low 40s, the wind was relentless, making it feel much colder than that.
Dude, Pooks and I piled on the layers and traveled the half hour from my parents house to Six Flags Great Adventure (fun fact: most other Six Flags parks are called “Six Flags” but we Jersey folk like to refer to ours as Great Adventure). I’d registered for the 10k and Pooks was doing the Kids Mile Fun Run!
We’d driven up from our house the day prior to do packet pick-up and spent the evening in central Jersey. Once we arrived at the race site, we found that people were still registering and doing packet pick-up. I wish I had known that was an option, as I would have definitely done the morning of the race. Ah well, there’s always next time.
The race village was fairly small and looking around, it seemed like most people there were participating in the 5k, with a smattering of 10kers. We didn’t see many kids at first, but there were about 20 who participated in the Kids Fun Run when the time rolled around.
Dan and Jackie Evans, Biggest Loser season 5, were the event hosts and made everyone feel welcome. I heard them introduce Jenn Widder, also from season 5 and she discussed having a baby and weight loss after pregnancy. It sounds like she’s doing great!
At the 8am, when the race was supposed to begin, many people were still getting their packets; in fact, the race start was pushed back 15 minutes to allow everyone to start at the same time. While I appreciate the sentiment of that, it was C-O-L-D and I was looking forward to moving.
Thankfully I had the company of Kim from Barking Mad About Running and her friend, Shannon, and that made the time pass more quickly! I’m so grateful that I was able to hook up with them at the start line – we stayed together throughout the race.
There were no official corrals. They asked that runners line up in the front, run/walkers in the middle, and walkers toward the back. It wasn’t an exact science but for the size of the race, it worked out well.
Dan, (whom you might remember is a musician) sang the Star Spangled Banner and then we were off!
Jackie and Pam Geil, Biggest Loser season 14, sent us on our way with high fives and cheers. I believe that Jay Jacobs was also there, but I missed seeing him because he was running the 5k. Good on ya, Jay!
My husband said that once everyone started the race, there were maybe 25 people hanging around, waiting for us to work our way through the park. Which just goes to show that people were doing this run/walk for themselves, which is always a wonderful thing to see.
The course wound its way through the Great Adventure parking lot and then into the park. A little less than a mile in, we found ourselves at a trail portion, which lead us past a lake and into the surrounding wooded area before wrapping us back around into the park and out to the village once more. The 10k race was a double loop of the 5k.
I have to admit that I didn’t really know too much about the course going into the race. I’d look at the map a day or two before, but other than seeing the names of a few of the coasters, I didn’t realize we’d be going off-road at all. Add the leaves and mud puddles (thanks to the rain) to the mix and it was definitely a slippery situation.
We started off running through the parking lot, chatting along the way. I grew up going to Great Adventure, but it’s bigger and even more coaster filled now!
We entered the park near the carnival games and it was still “dressed up” for Halloween, complete with a fountain that sprayed RED water. Spooky!
The first mile past quickly and soon we were on the trail portion. It was gorgeous scenery and I was pleasantly surprised; this was not what I expected at all.
At mile two there was a water and Gatorade station, along with a few HUGE muddy puddles. We squished a bit on the mud but I managed to stay upright there. I marveled over that fact… obviously that was a wee bit premature.
We were near the mile 5 marker (for the double loop). I’m not even sure what happened, exactly. All I know is that one minute, I was running and the next, my ankle was twisting and I was on the ground! I’m so glad that I didn’t take anyone else down with me because I came down HARD. It wasn’t a little fall. It was a heavy impact fall. There was no stopping or bracing myself. Timber!
I’m incredibly grateful for the woman who stopped to give me a hand up and for Kim and Shannon who walked with me until I reached the point where I felt comfortable running again. What I really loved about this race was the fellowship I felt with everyone else out there. People were friendly and supportive throughout the race. Like I said, it wasn’t a spectator type of event and everyone was doing this for themselves, but there was a family atmosphere from start to finish.
Now, I must admit, I went through a couple of trains of thought while I was evaluating my level of ability to continue the onto the 10k.
1. Got up, immediately knew I had messed up my ankle and possibly bruised my leg. Crap, I’ll just finish with the 5k. Thank goodness it’s a double loop.
2. No. No! I can run. I could TOTALLY do the 10k. “I’m doing the 10k!”
3. Just kidding. This really hurts. I need ice. Plus, I’ve run 3.1 miles today and I’ve got more races coming up. I’m finishing at the 5k.
After seeing monkeys in the safari area, we crossed the finish line. Pam welcomed everyone back with high fives and great spirit! That lady has spunk! Directly past the finish line we were handed our medals and there were tables set up with water, bagels and bananas for each person to grab.
I immediately sought out the medical tent to get ice. While doing that, I somehow lost Kim and Shannon but I know that I’ll being seeing them at races again in the future.
At the finish line, Dan was jamming out on his guitar and it was great to be able to relax and enjoy the music for a few moments.
Once I was all patched up (at least for the moment) I wandered around with Pooks and Dude because we had some time in between the my finish and the start for the Kids Run. At the Solutions tent I was able to meet Christina, who I’d been emailing with in regards to the event, and she was absolutely lovely! It’s always great to put a face to a name.
I also found Jackie and chatted with her for a couple of minutes about the chilly weather, the race series, and about how awesome our sons are. Of course, we needed to get a group shot. Dan was a bit busy but we made it work.
Pooks was a bit nervous leading up to the event but the day of, he was ready to go! At 9:45 the Kids Race was underway. The kids lined up at the start and took off. No timing chips, this was strictly FUN!
Originally we had planned for him to shed the outer layer but with the weather being so chilly, he decided to channel his inner Rocky and kept the gray theme going. My husband went about a tenth of a mile onto the course to cheer for him as he ran out and back.
The kids ran the opposite direction on the course so they were able to see the monkeys too!
And then, just like that, they were on their way back to the finish. Pooks hadn’t done a mile in awhile so he was happy to get out there and stretch his legs, especially after being sick all last week.
I was really grateful to be able to do this particular event with Pooks. We watch the Biggest Loser together and were so excited for the past month, leading up to the big day. While I wish we had warmer weather, and I certainly would have liked to have not fallen, I’m so glad that we got to experience this together!
Something that this race series does is provide FREE race pictures to participants. Um, how cool is that? They should be up on the website in a few days and I can’t wait to see them.
Have you ever participated in the Biggest Loser Run Walk Event? Which one? And have you ever fallen or injured yourself during a race? Thankfully, my ankle is feeling a lot better now! Thank you for the well-wishes via social media! xo
The Biggest Loser Run Walk Race Series compensated entry for both my son and myself. No other compensation was given. All opinions and any spectacular falls are my own.