Krispy Kreme Challenge – Race Recap

Race day was today, 2/6/16.  A local event sponsored and run by students of NC State, benefitting North Carolina Children’s Hospital.  This event has transformed over the course of a decade from a small event among ten friends, to a nationally recognized charity race.  Here are the details….

Running from the Belltower on the campus of North Carolina State (where my oldest son is a student), runners run 2.5 miles through Raleigh to the Krispy Kreme Doughnut shop on the corner of Peace and Person streets.  This is where the real fun begins!  Runners in the challenge then have to eat a dozen doughnuts before taking off and running another 2.5 miles back to campus.  Sounds like a real treat, doesn’t it?  Well, the glazed treats don’t feel like a treat when you’re trying to stuff your face with them.  This challenge all has to be completed in under an hour.

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This was my first time running this event, the 11th installment of the race, which has grown and grown over the years.  Believe it or not, there were almost 3,000 runners in the challenge, and over 3,500 in the casual division (which doesn’t include having to finish the 12 doughnuts).

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I met my son at the Belltower about a half hour before the race began.  The temperature was like 30 degees, so I decided since the race was only 5 miles long, I would wear running pants.  There were runners in every direction as we got ready.  The costume contest was a riot, and many runners took on the challenge.  I saw Dancing Bears, donut costumes of all kinds, Little Red Riding Hoods being chased by two guys wearing a Wolfpack costume, guys in speedos, you name it!

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Take a look at this unique costume!

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We lined up in a sea of nearly 7,000 runners.  We got fairly close to the front so the crowding wouldn’t be too bad.  It was a blast!  I hadn’t run in nearly a week, but I went out at a fairly good clip.  Mile 1 was done before I knew it.  You know, I’m so used to running long distance that I rarely run at the pace I was running today.  I zoomed through mile 1 at a pace of 7:16.  Some ups and down in mile 2, I ran that mile in 7:19.  As I got closer and closer to the half way point, I started fearing the doughnuts.  Pretty soon the doughnut shop came into view, and table after table were piled high with doughnut boxes.  Each runner was to grab a box, and consume the 12 doughnuts before getting back on the course.

I grabbed a box, and found my son in the parking lot to start eating.  He had already finished two doughnuts by the time I found him.  I found getting that first one down was a real struggle.  I mean, when was the last time you ran a fast paced mile or two, and then immediately tried to eat something?  I never have!  It was tough!  I was breathing so hard, my dry mouth I’m sure didn’t help.  I can’t tell you how difficult it is to try to eat those things at such a fast pace.  It wouldn’t be as bad if the doughnuts were nice a warm and melty like they are when you get them hot from the conveyor belt in the shop.  These doughnuts were cold from sitting outside in 30 degree weather, and were probably at least several hours old.  They were glazed stickiness but quite dry.

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That was just the beginning!  I had eleven more to go…..  A few doughnuts later, I started hating them.  It was so not easy!

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Half way there!  OMG!  It sucked!  I hated doughnuts so much now!  How would I ever be able to complete them?  I looked at my watch, I was already trying to choke these things down for almost 10 minutes.  I had to turn up the heat!  Get it done!  Eventually I was eating my last one, tossing the box in the trash and heading to the timing mat marking my completion of the eating portion of the race.  I hit the split at 30:45.  That meant I spent about 15 minutes eating.  It was awful.  I didn’t see a single person vomit though, which was a real surprise to me.

I knew that with a belly full of doughnuts, the run back would not be as fast, or as fun.  It felt like I was carrying a bowling ball in my stomach.  I felt so bloated and very uncomfortable.  Needless to say, my mile 3 which included the doughnut stop was damn near 20 minutes.  I ticked off mile 4 at 8:12 pace, and came to the finish without puking with a mile split of 8:13.  I had done it!  Survived the KK Challenge without barfing, even though I probably could have just after finishing.

Look how the timing clock has “Krispy” on it!  Hilarious!  My son finished well in front of me, but my official time was 49:43.  I beat the hour challenge!  I finished 337/2560 finishers in the Challenge.  Average pace (including doughnut stop) was 9:56.  Not bad!

It’s a very unique race, tons of fun, and thousands of people.  A great way to spend a Saturday morning, especially since the proceeds go to charity.  Since I cherish every small amount of time I get to spend with my college student son now, I really most enjoyed seeing him and spending the morning with him.  I don’t think I’ve seen him since Christmas, so it was a treat.  I am so lucky to be able to run a few races a year with him.  Thankfully his fondness for racing hasn’t diminished at all in the past few years.

Here is a look at my race shirt and medal.  (They don’t give medals to finishers)  you can actually buy a medal, with the proceeds going to charity.  Dylan and I raised $100 that went straight to the charity, so we actually earned a medal through our fundraising efforts.  The Krispy Kreme Challenge is a race to try at least once.  For me?  It’s a one and done type race.  It is a very unique race experience that everyone should try, but many probably do it just once.

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10 days til @nycmarathon

Only one race remains on my 2015 running calendar, and it’s a big one!  It truly has been another epic year of running for me, and I get to cap it off with another of the six marathon majors in just 10 days!

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Yes, the New York City Marathon is quickly approaching.  Deep into taper mode at this point, it’s really all now about the planning.  Logistics and mental preparedness.  The body is ready.  Legs have recovered from Chicago, and the only things that remain for me before the race are a few short runs, and a road trip to New York.

Tomorrow is my last day off from work until I leave on my NY journey next Wednesday.  I plan on getting my race shirt emblazoned with the names of my charity donors.  It’s not too late to donate.  I still have not hit my fundraising goal, so with any donation to my charity partner, the James Blake Foundation, your name will be proudly inscribed on my shirt!  Your thoughtfulness will get permanently written on my shirt so that you too, will get to run the streets of NYC with me.

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Click on the following link to be taken directly to my fundraising page on Crowdrise, where you can make a donation in any amount with just a few clicks.  Thank you so much for your help in the fight against cancer.

Because of the fact that I am going to absolutely slay this race, I have been placed into Corral 1, right along with all of the Professional men.  Yep, starting with the likes of Meb Keflezghi.  Yes, he is my special friend and inspiration.

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I gest.  Yes, we’ve clearly met, but I doubt I’ll even see him on race day.  Only in my dreams could I run as fast as he can.  :). I do, however, plan on giving this race my all.  I will be running with inspiration.  Running for my charity partner.  Running for those suffering with cancer.

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So, as the countdown to New York continues, tomorrow we enter the single digits.  It’s all becoming very real.  The countless hours I’ve spent fundraising, the countless hours pounding the pavement will all culminate as I line up on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge at 9:50am for a three hour plus run through the streets of New York City.  I couldn’t be more excited!  It all begins in just ten days.

2016 Revel Big Cottonwood Discount

Registration is already open for Big Cottonwood Marathon & Half for 2016.  Talk about a jump start!  The 2015 race was just a few weeks ago.  They open it early so that folks can plan in advance, and get in on the lowest pricing.

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With that being said, current pricing is as follows, and will stay at this price until 4/12/16.

Half Marathon $79.95

Full Marathon $99.95

My plan is to head back to Utah for this race in 2016 (since it’s one of my absolute favorites) and have created a team that you can join for an even lower price.  Joining my team gets you an additional $5 off current pricing, and if you “Like” them on Facebook during checkout they offer another $5 off.

My team name is “Chasing Boston”, so when registering, just choose “join a team”, and enter that name.  We don’t have to run together, but we can save money together, right?  This past race I had over 20 people join my team, all saving money along the way.

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The Big Cottonwood course is a fast, downhill race that qualifies tons of folks every year for Boston, hence the team name I chose.  So?  What are you waiting for?  Join in on the fun in Salt Lake City.  You may even see a moose or two during your race down Cottonwood Canyon.

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Marine Corps Half Marathon- Race Recap

This past Saturday, 9/19/15, my oldest son and I ran an amazing race together.  A new Half Marathon to us, but a tried and true tradition for years about a two and a half hour drive from home.  This race has been on my radar for a few years now, but timing and obligations always seemed to get in the way.  Not this year!  Back at the beginning of the Summer my son called me and said “let’s sign up for a race”.  You know me, I love running races with my boys, so I searched and searched to find us a race.  Because I didn’t have a September marathon planned this year, this Half Marathon at Camp LeJeune was the perfect choice.

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This race would be my sons 5th Half, and my 29th!  The weather the week prior to the race was finally cooling off a bit.  For a few weeks I had been able to get in some training runs in more moderately warm conditions versus down right hot ones.  My son was taking this race very seriously.  He has recently gotten a lot fitter, and had really taken training for this race to a new level for him.  Based on the runs he had in the month leading up to the race, I knew if he had a good day that he would leave Dad in the dust right at the start.  Time would tell.

This race location is an interesting one for us.  Being about 150 miles away from home, it seemed too close to commit to an overnight in a hotel, but meant getting up mega early on race morning to drive there.  I chose to drive on race morning since they offered race day packet pick up.  It was way more difficult to do this than I had ever imagined.  We had to leave the house by 3am!!  Yes, 3:00am.  Ugh!  It wasn’t a big deal to my son, who threw on some headphones, and curled up in the passenger seat.  To me?  Not fun!  Because of added security measures at Camp LeJeune, they suggested we get there 90 minutes before the race.  We had to submit personal info prior to the race like drivers license info, make and model of the car I would be driving, etc..  Getting there early would mean I would have the needed time to get my parking pass, find parking on base, pick up our packets, and get prepared to race.  It all worked out just fine, it was just a very long morning.

Our race preparations went as planned.  I was a bit disappointed that the cooler morning temperatures of the prior week had decided to end abruptly that day.  When I had gotten up at 1:30am, the temperature was 70 degrees.  By the time the race started it was 72, and humid.  We hydrated the best we could before the race began, and I hoped for the best.

This race also includes a 5k, and 10k so there were plenty of runners everywhere.  A very nice large holding area/finish area, it never felt too crowded but I knew that based on previous runnings of this event that there was over 1,000 runners there ready to race.  We lined up at 6:45, and promptly at 7am, the race began.  I told my son to race smart, and to hydrate and be sure to take his gels.  Within the first 30 seconds he was well out in front of me.  I hoped he hadn’t gone out too fast, only to lose it on the second half.  United States Marines manned intersections and kept traffic under control.  Since this entire race course was taking place in their home it was only fitting.

The race course was quiet and mostly flat.  I was clocking mile paces in the 7:30 range at the beginning. This would change, and all too soon.  It was incredibly sticky outside, and by mile three began to feel more like I was running through a swamp and not running on the road.  It was tough.  The condition were not ripe for a brilliantly fast race for me, and considering I had run another Half Marathon six days prior, I wasn’t trying to set any records.  I just knew it wouldn’t happen, especially with the heat of the morning.  The race course was beautiful though.  Several signs along the way, families in their driveways cheering us on.  It felt cozy and warm.  The section of the race course along the water was very scenic and tranquil.

My race shirt usually gets soaked with sweat during a race, but this was extreme.  My shirt was soaked by mile five, and my shorts were already getting that way.  I had a guy pass me around mile five that was literally dripping from head to toe.  He was drenched!  I think he was almost leaving wet footprints as he ran by me.  It was humid!  I was enjoying myself though, and found myself hoping that I would never catch another glimpse of my son until the finish line.  I wanted him to have a great race.  He trained hard for it, and I wanted him to succeed.

My race felt dauntingly slow.  As my pace crept upward I made a goal to come in faster than 1:49:00, a mark I was using to pace myself the prior week at the Carowinds Half.  I felt this goal was achievable, even in the heat.  Beyond the midway point in the race the pack was very thin.  I raced in and around the same group of guys for quite some time.  We traded positions at every aid station.  Water was every two miles on the course up to mile 8, and then every mile until the finish.  I knew based on how much I was sweating that I had better take advantage of each one until the end.  I would skip the last one.

The later miles were tough.  I just wanted to finish.  The effort I expended during this race was far more than my previous race, and it was all because of the heat and humidity.  It really zonked my energy.  Nearing the end, I couldn’t wait to see my son.  I wanted to know how he did.  I never caught up to him, but found myself doing a double take at mile 13 when I ran up next to an ambulance and medics loading a runner onto a stretcher.  Luckily it wasn’t him, but felt badly for that guy.  Been there, done that.  Not fun.  Racing in these conditions can land you in the hospital if not properly prepared.

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The finish line finally in view, I managed to hold my pace under my goal.  I crossed the line in 1:48:08.  Receiving my medal from a U.S. marine in uniform was very nice!  My son was there to congratulate me and tell me all about his run.  We swapped war stories of the heat and how we managed to push through to the finish.  He beat me by about four minutes.  He did start out too fast, and really slowed down the last few miles.  He was pleased though with his race.

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We gathered some water and Gatorade, and tried to cool down.  Once we did, we walked right over to the car to change clothes.  It was nice to be able to do that so easily.  The car was right there!  I guess that was a benefit to getting there early that morning.  We made our way over to the large lawn that was filled with runners, family and friends.  They had quite the spread.  Tons of food, everything from funnel cakes to hotdogs, and everything inbetween.  Fruit, sweets, beer, the list goes on and on.  It was very nice.  My calves started cramping up the minute I sat down.  Even though I tried my best to stay hydrated, the heat, sun and humidity of the morning left me a bit dehydrated.

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We hung around for the award ceremony, you know, just in case one of us won something.  Plus it was just a really nice atmosphere, and much needed recuperation time before driving back home.  I’m glad we stuck around!  As they began announcing the Half Marathon awards they started with teams, then masters, then age groups.  Low and behold, my name was announced!  Second place!  Then, as they progressed to the younger age groups, my sons name was announced, too.  He had won second place in his age group!

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We were both thrilled!  The medals are beautiful, too!  We couldn’t have asked for a better way to cap off this event than with an extra medal each!  Father and son had succeeded the best we could that day given the conditions.  I’m so glad we finally ran this race, and I have to say, may become a tradition for us.  A cooler day would have been more optimal, but we had a great time together.

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My son finished in 65th place out of 975 runners!  Just amazing!  His time was 1:44:39

I finished 94th with a 1:48:08.

#RunBullCity – Bull City Race Fest Discount Code

Just wanted to take a moment and spread some hype about a great local race.  The Bull City Race Fest is taking place this year on October 18th, in downtown Durham, NC.  This race festival includes a family friendly 1 mile run, an awesome 5 mile run, and the ever popular Half Marathon.

An amazing Food Truck Rodeo greets runners at the finish line.  And let me just say that the race course is beautiful!  Challenging, but gorgeous!

I have a friends and family discount to offer when you sign up.  Save $5 by entering code “USB13” at checkout.  Check out the race website at https://www.bullcityracefest.com.

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Join in me this Fall at one of our areas most amazing races!  Follow them on Twitter at @BullCityRace.

are you #UnStoppaBull?  Prove it this Fall!

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BQ Ready

I’ve done all I can.  I’ve run set paces, I’ve run hills, I’ve been eating better.  I’ve been hydrating.  I’ve lost about 7 pounds, and feel good.

That moment of hitting the starting line in hopes of running a Boston Qualifier time is quickly approaching.  I’ve already started doubting myself, but I guess that’s only natural.  If it will be, it will be.

This will not be easy!  Getting a BQ is something I’ve never been able to achieve.  Granted, I’ve really only ever realistically tried to run a BQ only once before.  It’s funny for me to even think of it that way, but it’s true.  I really only tried once before.  Last October at Big Cottonwood.  I went into that race just after being sick with bronchitis, and with aching hamstrings.  This time, no illnesses, fingers crossed.  This time no hamstring issues.  I came away with a 3:41 at that race.  16 minutes too slow.

This time I feel more mentally ready.  Let’s face it though, anything can happen on race day!  Anything!  All of the stars must align just perfectly for me to hit my mark.  My best marathon finish to date is a 3:32 at a City of Oaks a few years ago. Just 7 minutes shy of my mark.  I wasn’t even trying for a BQ.  The course was hard, but the weather was perfectly cooperative.  To this day I don’t know how I managed to run that fast on that course.  Maybe it’s because I wasn’t stressed.  I ran free.  I ran with abandon.

The Revel Rockies Marathon a week from today will be my 20th marathon.  It’s only fitting I make another attempt to qualify for Boston at this race.  It would be so sweet!

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I am going to give it my all.  If it all falls into place, then I will be as happy as a clam.  Not sure anyone will be happier than me on that flight from Denver to Raleigh later that evening.  I’m going to take it easy this week.  Yes, I have to work the next three days, but I have Thursday off, and fly to Denver on Friday.  I’m going to do some meditation, and try to keep myself very calm leading up to race day.  I have a few slow pace runs planned over the next few days, and of course, my shake out on Saturday in Aspen.  All the rest I have to leave up to chance, and how my body feels on race day.  I’m not an elite athlete, so it’s going to take the race of my life, but hey, I am an optimist.

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Revel Rockies Race Discount

With just a little over a month to go before race day on 7/19/15, I wanted to once again share a way to save money for those of you out there on the fence about running this race.

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My team “Running Down a Dream” as of today is 20 runners strong!  We had 20 signed up about two weeks ago when one member had to defer her race entry until 2016.  With that, we had 19.  Today, we had another runner sign up on the team, so we are back to 20.  BUT….. There is room for more!

If you still would like to race either the Half or a Full Marathon consider joining my team.  You will save $5 for joining, and also save another $5 if you “like” Revel Races on Facebook when you checkout.  So, with a savings of $10, why not join us?

I will be running the marathon with a BQ in mind, but every kind of runner is accepted and welcomed on the team.  So far we have about 6 running the Half and the remainder running the Full.  We don’t have to run together, as being on the same team doesn’t mean it’s a relay.  Being on a team just means you save money when you register, and we can, if you want, get together for a group photo at the start or finish, or both!  It’s a fun way to meet new runners, and I am really looking forward to it.

I have teams created for the other two Revel races this year as well.  You can join team “Chasing Boston” if you want to run a Big Cottonwood, and/or Canyon City.

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For Rockies in July though, search for team “Running Down a Dream” when you are signing up, to save $$.

If you have any questions before or after registration, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout.  See you in Colorado!