Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Run Like the Wind for Haiti Halloween 5K

I had been looking for a fun Halloween race for the family and came upon Run Like the Wind for Haiti 5K sponsored by the Warrenton Presbyterian Church to raise money for the Northern Haiti Hope Foundation.  I liked this race because it was on a Saturday evening, local, new course for me, inexpensive family registration, and for a really good cause. 
Really liked the shirt design!

So we arrived in Warrenton early to pick up our packets and to get a good parking space.    Packet pick up was really easy, and the race shirts although cotton were really cute.  I also appreciated that they had kid sizes which a lot of races do not.  We had some time to kill before the race so we went over to Great Harvest Bread Company so JD could grab a coffee since he was sitting out rehabbing the foot. 
Very appropriate sign in Great Harvest

Then we headed back over to the church to hang out and wait for the race to start.  The church was open for use of the restrooms.  I was also very impressed that they were offering free childcare during the race so that parents could run and leave their younger children to be entertained in the church.

The race director (dressed as Dracula) announced that the Kid Dash would be starting.  Nic had inadvertently been assigned a bib for the Kid Dash since he is 6, and the race organizers didn't think a 6 year old could run a 5K.  To quote Zach, "That's just crazy because they don't know how awesome Nic is."  So Nic was going to run the 5K anyway, but he wasn't going to get an official time for it (which was no big deal).  JD and I asked if the boys wanted to do the Dash before the main race.  After sizing up the field, they decided that they would do it.  Some young guys dressed like Erkel (did I do that?) led the kids about 400 yards up the street and got them all psyched up to run, and then they were off.  Zach shot off the line pretty quick, but there was an older girl who was slightly faster.  He tried hard to catch her at the end, but he couldn't quite get her. 
Zach finishing second in the Kid Dash

Nic was right on Zach's tail the whole way.  Zach was second place and first boy, and Nic finished in third place and second boy so they were really glad that they had done the Dash.
Here comes Nic in 3rd!

Now it was time for the 5K.  So Dracula offered up a pre-race prayer, and we got ready to run.  I knew the course was going to be hilly because Warrenton is just hilly all over town so we weren't planning to push the pace and just have a nice run.  After running down Main Street, we started our first climb.  Running through Old Town Warrenton was really nice.  There were a lot of beautiful historic homes.  There were also a lot of runners in costume.  I wish I had taken more photos of the costumed runners.  My favorite was a man dressed as a lumberjack who was running in jeans, flannel shirt, and work boots while carrying an axe (pretend, of course).  He was pretty fast too.  Once we got out of Old Town Warrenton, we hit the Warrenton Greenway.  This was the best part of the run as it was scenic bike path and very flat.  We passed some historic train tracks and even a historic caboose.  After that the course just got crazy!  It was starting to get dark, and there were lots of turns to make.  They also had not stopped traffic in town so I didn't like running on the road with the cars coming to our back in the dark.  The street lights weren't great in this section so I was wishing that I had a headlamp for a little more visibility to the cars.  I should note that there were a lot of course volunteers, and they were doing a great job trying to get the cars to slow down and direct runners to the correct path.  I eventually just moved Nicolas and I up to the sidewalk, but that was annoying as well since some of the sidewalks in Warrenton had big drop offs so Nicolas kept having to stop to step down from them.  The course got really hilly in this section as well.  I had thought that Nicolas maybe had a chance at a sub-30 again when we were in mile 2, but once we hit the hilly section I knew he wouldn't be able to do it.  He did a great job getting up all of the hills and ran the whole way except for one short 15 second walk break on the worst hill.  He hit Main Street and asked if he should sprint now since he saw the finish line.  I told him to go for it.  I heard him whisper, "I'm going to get a PR."  Then he took off.  He obviously still thought he had a chance at it so I let him go.  He did a great job and finished at 31:30 which would have put him at 14/25 in his age group.  Zach finished right ahead at 29:44...another awesome sub-30 finish and 13/25 in his age group; however the age group was 1-16 so all of the kids in front of him were were 10+ with most over 13.  I actually ended up 8/22 in my age group even pacing Nicolas. 
Me and my guys pre-run

Overall we had a really fun time and were happy to be able to run for a great cause.

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