Saturday, March 19, 2011

Leprechaun Chase 5k Race Results

The weather on race day was a bit overcast and cool. The temperature was supposed to get to low 40’s but I’m not sure if it ever did. And, since the race was held at the Strategic Air and Space Museum/Mahoney State Park, it was breezy which made it feel pretty chilly.

Luckily, the packet pickup was in one of the exhibit areas among the planes that are on display. The before/after festivities and start/finish line were inside the adjoining museum hangar. Actually, it was one large hangar separating the areas by a very large movable wall. It was the perfect size to hold the 1,000 participants, volunteers, and a few vendors. Massages were offered free from the Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital. And of course there was a beer (green of course!) garden.

Me dressed for the race
I expected a festive atmosphere, lots of green and some strange outfits and I was right. There were several guys wearing kilts with running shorts underneath (thank goodness as the kilts were flapping in the breeze as they ran), a dozen women wearing tutus, lost of crazy hats and wigs, shamrock glasses, beaded necklaces, a few false beards and, of course, hundreds of crazy socks.

D2 dressed for the race. She decided not to wear the tutu.

Steve, Fitz, son-in-law, D2, N and her boyfriend
One woman was dressed in a total lime green body suit. This thing covered her head, face, hands, every inch of her body. You couldn’t even see her eyes unless you were close to her. The only thing she wore over it was a pair of green shorts, sunglasses, iPod in an arm bad, socks and running shoes. It was pretty cool! She won first place ($200 prize) for best costume.

The reason it’s called a chase is because the men chase the women. The women started five and a half minutes ahead of the guys. The first person to cross the finish line would win a free beer for everyone of their gender.

The race started inside the hangar and out through the huge hangar door. We had to run around a few planes and around the museum building. We ran a loop around a rocket at the front of the building (I think that’s what it is) that stands on its end pointing up into the sky. The course then cut around the other side of the building through the grass, down a hill and looped around to a trail that runs right down to the road inside Mahoney State Park. Shortly after entering the park we came up to the one mile marker.

The women at the start of the race
The first hill on the side of the museum
The tail that runs into the park
The rest of the run is along the winding roads, going uphill then downhill, running on wooden walkways that across the ponds, past the various buildings, a driving range, swimming pool, miniature golf course, and horse stables. It looped back onto the trail up and around the museum ending back inside the hangar where we started.

I thought I would do slightly better or at least as well as my first 10k last September. I was so wrong! I forgot how much more difficult it is (to me) to run outside versus running on a treadmill. Not to mention, I forgot my inhaler. I remember taking it out of my purse to put in my jacket pocket, but evidently I mindlessly put it back. And, since I carpooled with my daughter and son-in-law, I left my purse at their house.

My friend Fitz, from the running group, and I ran together. We’re both slow and we can usually keep each other going. The first mile is usually a struggle and then I get into a nice steady pace and my breathing relaxes. But, not this time.

It was difficult for me from the start. My lungs weren’t able to expand completely. I felt like I had a tight band wrapped around my chest. This caused me to breathe faster, so I had to consciously monitor my breathing. I made it about three fourths of a mile and started walking a few steps. Fitz would give me a few encouraging words and I’d start running again.

We made it to the first mile marker and could see the guys running down the trail to the park road. We decided to do some walk/run breaks until Fitz’s husband Steve caught up to us. I was pretty thankful for the break! From then on the three of us would run until one of us (usually me) needed to walk. We always made sure not to walk for more than two minutes.

Just before we reached mile three we saw the lead bikers coming and right behind them was a petite, very fast young lady. She had a look of determination on her face! She won the race, coming in around 20 seconds before the first guy.

By the time we got to mile six I was struggling big time. I wasn’t sure I could keep going. I did more walking the last three quarter mile. But Fitz and Steve kept me going. Finally, as we were coming around the side of the museum, Steve picked it up and left us. Just before hitting the area with the planes, Fitz picked up her pace a bit and I somehow managed to squeak out just a bit more, coming across the finish two seconds after her.

Once inside I thought I was going to cough up a lung. I felt horrible. My daughter said she was getting concerned because it was taking me so long. She managed to drag me over to get our times. My time was 1:30:26. I was disappointed, but just glad I kept going. At least I wasn’t last. There were about a dozen people that came in after me.

Since the winner was female, all the women got a free beer. Since I don't drink beer, I gave it to my son-in-law. He was pretty happy.

As for running this week, not much. It was a crazy week that kept me from getting home until after eight, sometimes nine. My days start at 4:30 a.m. so I was pretty tired. I did run at the lake on Monday, only one mile. Wednesday I ran with the group and got in three miles.

Next week I’ll focus on getting in 15 miles – outside!


ajh said...

Congrats on doing the race and finishing. It looks like you are just running in a field in that hill picture. Was there even a trail? I might wear a body suit for 200 dollars. Sweet prize!

Teresa said...

Pei pa koa is pretty decent cough medicine (from herbal as I remembered), great non alcoholic medicine, some western cough medicine are more effective, but this is non drowsy.

You can access info online @

Darlene said...

You finished and didn't give up. That's winning!

Nej said...

You went, you stuck with it and finished.....I think that's the important part!! Takes allot of strength and courage to do that, way to go!!!!!