Sunday, July 21, 2013

Harford County Farm Fair 5K

Harford County Farm Fair 5K

Bel Air, Md
 21 July 2013

     When you sign up for races with no care for the venue, you wind up with pleasant surprises.  

     I signed up for this race just to get another under my belt for the year.  The venue was 15 miles from my Apartment so I left early so I could get to packet pick up and warm up.  The fair does not actually start for a few days and this is the kickoff event for it.  The workers were still setting up the tents and other venues coming to the equestrian center July 25-27th.  

     This race was held on a closed course mostly on trails around the park.  The trails narrowed at times but since there was only a moderate amount of runners there was not a bottleneck.  

        This is my third race in the area and my second in Maryland.  I like the small races because there is more friendly runners than at the big events.  You actually get a feel for the running community when you see 200 or less runners at an event.  The fact it was on a Sunday made it more impressive.  I am coming off some personal health issues so it is good to start at the small ones before jumping in with the wolves at the big races.  

     This is another race I will most likely run next year to see what improvements I have made. 
Elite Race Management put on another professional race.  On to the next!!

Pirate Fest 5K

Havre De Grace Pirate Fest 5K
13 July 2013

A beautiful clear hot summer day in July.  

Argg Mateys should have been the theme for the day.  

     Elite Race Management was in charge of the event which was raising funds for the Susquehanna Lock House Museum.  The lock house sits on the harbor in Havre De Grace, Md.  As the 425 or so runners milled around the start line waiting for the horn to go off, the announcer lets us know that the water station has been stolen.  What??????

     Who steals a water station?  I guess it is a sign of the times.  This did not bother me so much since I never stop for water on 5Ks.  Today however the heat index was crazy and I was planning on grabbing some.  

     Well with water thievery aside.  The runners lined up ready to go.  The siren goes off and we take off.  The heat is not bad till we turn onto Juanita Street.  It is wide open with no trees for shade.  It is hot and draining.  I decided that a PR was not going to happen so I just cruised along.  I was tempted to go in a store and buy water, but drove on.  

     The course was actually pretty flat with maybe one hill of concern at the start.  The run took you through most of the Historic portion of the city.  Along the water for the last 2/3 of the race till you turned for the finish where role players were there dressed as pirates and selling their goods.  
This was a fun race and I will most likely be at it again next year. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

What drives you to sign up for a race? The Start

     Every week now if you look on a local calendar you can find a race of some sort.  In some areas you may see as many as 3 5Ks in a 15 mile radius.  That is some stiff competition.  SO what makes one more desirable than the other? 

     A few years ago when I first started to participate in runs, I chose those whose price was fair for their distance, and close to my comfort area.  Now my comfort area is a lot bigger but I am still picky about prices for races.  How much will you pay for a 5K?, 10K?, Half-Marathon? Or Marathon?

     I also find myself looking at events which have a good history.  They have been around for a while.  Do you look to run for races that give out swag?  What is the swag you live for in a 5K?  Does it matter? 

     Do you just look at your schedule and mark off the race that fits in where it can? 

Cranford Jaycees 34th Annual Firecracker 4 Miler

The heat is intense, it is the fourth of July you are about the run 4 miles starting at 9 o'clock in the morning.

Approximately 1300 people have lined up to start this race. Many are hoping they will make their PR today, some know it will be due to it being a different distance.  As the gun goes off well maybe cannon (it was pretty loud) everyone jumps and start running The FireCracker 4Miler in Cranford, NJ.  The event is equipped with chip timing in our bibs.  However, the timing is started at the gun not as you cross the start line. The first mile or so takes you away from the park and onto the main road through town, it is easy to get lost in your pace here, then it is a nice winding course till the switch back around Nomehagen park after running through a couple neighborhoods you wind your way back into the park for the final approx half mile to the finish. This may be the first time I have been on a course which described itself as flat and it was. 

      People are lining the streets cheering on all the runners.the Cranford Jaycees put on a pretty good event.  EMTs on bicycle riding around the course with water stations spread evenly through the course.  There were many specators all over the course to keep you motivated.   The organizers had truck loads of water at the finish to replenish you. 

     This event showed it has been around for a while.  All of the volunteers were at their respective stations and happily were helping people.  I enjoyed the race for another reason it was the first time I have run a race in my home state.  If I could change something about the race I would start it an hour earlier and have the chip timing start as you cross the start line. 

Good Work Cranford Jaycees!!!