Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 S-No-W Fun 5 Miler Race Recap and Video

Race Highlights:
* Ran a course PR of 34:06
* Coldest race (0º windchill) I've ever run
* Finished 3rd in my age group (however, these are ONE year age groups)
* Best race after-party ever

I stayed at the Grand Geneva resort and spa in Wisconsin (where the race was held) and the patio off of my room was approximately 5 feet from the course. I had planned on just "training through" this race (i.e. no taper), so my legs would not be fresh going into it. The day before the race (Friday), I ran twice for 10 miles total (three miles outside, seven miles on the treadmill in the spa). Then the morning of the race (Saturday), I ran a 3 mile shakeout run on the course. My legs were pretty tired by early Saturday afternoon, so I decided that right before the race I would go back to the spa and swim some laps for about 45 minutes to loosen them up a bit. At about 2:00 pm I got out of the pool, took a shower, got dressed, pinned my bib on and ran over to the start line for the 2:30 pm start.
Race morning shakeout run on the 5 Mile "Snow Fun" course
The Race:
The race temp was 14º  with a windchill of zero. Considering that the day before the race the windchill was -20º, it actually didn't feel too cold. My legs were tight from all of the running I had done over the previous two days, so I was just targeting about 7:00/miles, when normally I would try for something like 6:20/mile. I knew the footing would also be a problem, since the course was 90% unsalted, snowy roads.

Runners chilled beer on their patios
The course was out-and-back and the wind was to our backs on the way out, so I knew I needed to save a little in the tank for the return trip. It was hard to pass other runners as the only non-slippery (i.e. icy) part of the course were the two narrow "tire tracks" in the middle of the road which is where most runners hung out. Maybe if I were to do it again, I would start further up in the start corral, so I would not have had to spend so much time slipping and sliding in order to pass.

Anyway, the return trip was much harsher than the outbound trip as the wind was gusting in our faces. I heard one guy curse out loud at how he disliked the course, but his breathing was pretty heavy at mile three, so it was probably more appropriate for him to curse his too fast of a start. During the last mile there is a hill with (according to my Garmin) a 90 foot incline. I was able to pass a few people on the hill and then sprint down the other side of the hill to the finish area.

The downhill portion near the finish line
I turned the corner at the bottom of the hill, passed a couple more runners just before the finish line and I was done! 

Finish Time: 34:06
Course PR (out of 2 races)
Splits: 6:54, 6:56, 6:55, 6:50, 6:35. Average Pace: 6:49
One year AG: 3rd out of 12 (top 25%)
Overall: 42nd out of 657 (top 6%)

Yes, my one year age group was competitive!

Post Race:
I walked the 100 yards from the finish line back over to my hotel patio to watch the finish of the race. The guy who was standing on the balcony above me was throwing cans beers down to runners wearing Bears jerseys. I also saw a bachelorette party run by and they were taking turns drinking out of a flask!
Standing on my patio, watchin' the race
I also saw Darth Vader run by, although sadly, he was not offered a beer:
Sad Darth Vader without beer running the "Snow Fun Run"
I also shot a video:

I started to get the chills, so I went inside and took a hot shower before I made my way to the post-race festivities. In the festival hall, there was the traditional table of schnapps which had several delicious varieties. Then it was on to the buffet table to stuff my face with Wisconsin brats, burgers and serve-yourself craft beer. I saw a few of Mo's friends from last year's race and I said "hi". Then I went over to the awards table in order claim what I thought would be my age group medal since the age groups were one year as opposed to the traditional five year. However, I had actually come in third place and the woman behind the table informed me that there was no medal for third place. I hung my head in shame and slowly, sulked away. My spirits were soon brightened, however, when I was able to view the legendary "Sausage Dance" relatively close to the stage. The dance was quite interesting, but it was sorely missing Sausage Queen Erin and her dance moves. I also witnessed the "Hunk of Cheese" dance and drank a couple of beers. There was lots of revelry and the festivities went late into the evening until everyone moved the party to the pool and/or the nightclub at the resort.

This is one of those events that keeps people coming back year after year. It's basically a 40 minute race in the snow followed by and eight hour post-race party indoors. In any case, it's a great way to spend a wintry afternoon and evening!

Next Up: F^3 Half Marathon


  1. WOW you just keep getting faster! Great job! I am a wimp in these temps, so have gone back to the 'Mill as I wait for warmer weather!

    1. Thanks! Don't feel bad about using the dreadmill. I have used it twice already this week and would have again today, but they were all being used at the gym so I had to run outside instead. Looks like we will get a warm-up for you this weekend?

    2. My weekend got so busy I didn't make it outside, but that's ok! I'm easing back slowly!!! <3

    3. Good to hear you are getting back to it. Easing back slowly is the best/smartest way to stay healthy! :)

  2. Congrats on your AG placement!! Sad to see the WRCE didn't have a good showing again this year. We were on the fence, but then coming off of holiday spending decided to stay home. Maybe next year will work out better.

    1. Thanks! Yes, it was sad that the greatest sausage-related race of the year was attended by only one WRCE member! Oh well, at least it provided an excuse for a mini-vacation for me. Yes, hopefully next year will work out better and you guys can make it! :)

  3. I thought about doing this one but I'm supposed to be taking it easy as I start to ramp up for my March Florida half training. Sounds like fun and maybe I"ll head up their next year!

    Great job! Weird about the AG awards...

    1. Yes, you should experience the race (and the post-race festivities) at least once! Thanks!

  4. Congrats on your (almost) award! I call top 3 a win regardless if they medal you or not. Glad you met up with my friends - I told them to look out for you!

    Sorry I couldn't make it this year. Jakre was having x-rays and MRIs done on his back this week, and I didn't want to plan anything in case it was severe. I'll plan on 2016 though :)

    1. Thanks. I think your friends were representing Ragnar at the race as they were all wearing Ragnar gear and sitting at a Ragnar table! Hope Jakre's back is okay!

  5. Congrats on the AG place! Looks like 2015 is going to be a great year for running. Good luck this Saturday!

    1. Thanks Sara! Yes, fingers crossed that 2015 is going to be a great year for running! Thanks! :)