Did you get all of that? It happened on Saturday, March 10th, at the sixth annual Leprechaun Chase 10K (Des Moines, IA).
This is such a fun event, with a most unique format. The lasses (all the girls) get a 5:30 head start, and the lads (all the guys) then follow suit. Almost everyone is dressed in green and most are on a quest for their fastest 10K finish possible. Whoever crosses the finish line first secures not only bragging rights for winning, but they also secure a free green beer for their entire entourage (fellow lads or lasses). The lads were leading, 3-2 (from the previous five years), prior to the start of the 2018 Chase.
Here's the low down on what happened this year:
The temps were mild (high 30's) and we had clear skies when we left town for the hour-long drive to Des Moines. The hubby and I rode with Barb (my famous running gal pal). Another friend, Amy, caravanned with us. The race didn't start until 10:00, and we arrived with plenty of time to meet up with another friend, Chuck (who had gotten all of our race packets for us).
|clockwise from left: Barb, Amy, Chuck, the hubby, and myself|
|Above left: lined up with the lasses, and (above) a better shot of the lads/lasses starting chutes|
Knowing I would not be able to maintain that pace for 5.2 additional miles, I really had to reign it back. There's about a 1/4-mile out and back segment right after the 1-mile mark, and that's where I saw the first of the lads working their way through the crowd of lasses. The lead lad passed me just before I made it back on the main road....and several more passed me a short while later.
Even though the sun had retreated behind the cloud cover, I didn't feel cold. I had a fleece-lined base layer under my black 1/4 zip jacket (and arm warmers between those two layers). I have to confess...my green leggings weren't "real" running tights (nor were they lined), but they were bright green, so I didn't care. The thigh high striped socks were a fun addition (and actually stayed in place!). At the last minute, I opted to add a running skirt, though, because the green leggings and the thigh highs just looked weird all on their own...almost like I had gotten dressed and forgotten something.
It wasn't until we'd turned onto MLK, Jr. Parkway (heading south) that I could really feel the wind, just after the 2-mile mark. Thankfully, I was able to slow my speed down considerably in that second mile...my watch showed 8:59. Whew! Although I'd prefer to be near the 8:45 range, I knew I needed to slow down (and hopefully not crash and burn from going out too fast at the start).
The third and fourth miles were pretty uneventful, but I could tell the wind was taking a toll on me. Both of these miles had us circling Gray's Lake, on our way to the east-bound trail south of the lake.
I could tell my body was ready for a short break. I glanced at my watch and saw my pace was staying pretty steady, but most of the final stretch of the race would have the SE wind in my face. I pulled over for a 50-second walk break, and that seemed to do the trick. Feeling recharged, I continued onward.
From (approximately) the 4.25 mile mark to the (approximate) 5.9 mile mark, the route was headed due east, on a paved trail that ran parallel to the Racoon River. At long last, I spotted the bridge up ahead...the bridge that would take us (north) across the river and back to the finish line.
I made it across the finish line with a 56:23 chip time. It was a couple minutes out from a PR, but definitely a finish time I was pleased with, considering I had started much faster than I should have.
Mile 1 - 8:25
Mile 2 - 8:59
Mile 3 - 9:00
Mile 4 - 9:00
Mile 5 - 9:45 (50 second walk break)
Mile 6 - 9:19 (another 10-second-ish walk break)
|Check it out--another 4th place AG finish LOL|
|Chuck, myself, Barb, and Dave|
|Doesn't everyone celebrate with a post-run Bloody Mary?|
As I have said before, this is a great event! I ran it in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and have every intention to return next year as well. It's reasonably priced...I paid $35 for early bird registration (back in December). In recent years, they have offered a free "upgrade" from the usual t-shirt for the early bird registrants...this year it was a pullover hoodie. Nice, huh!
|One of the Animal Rescue League's banners|
**I'm linking up with Marcia and Patty and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run. We're chatting about lucky endeavors....can you get any more lucky than running a fun leprechaun-themed race?