Sunday, December 15, 2013

Baker's Dozen Half Marathon-December 14

The Baker's Dozen Half Marathon will go down in history as one of my favorite races. How can it not be just a big party when so much food and fun is involved with running, and when Cory Reese (aka-Buddy the elf) is the race director?  He puts on a pretty sweet little race.  The running community in Hurricane is very close knit and they all know and love each other.  It's fun to get to feel a little of their love while there.

This race is about a 4 hour drive away.  I finished up early with my teaching on Friday and me and hubby headed down.  We got a motel stay at the local Super 8 and settled in.  As I was laying out my stuff for race morning I had a panic moment.   I had forgotten my garmin. 
I posted on FB to my friends of my grief about this dilemma and not too much later Cherie, who lives here offered to let me use hers.  She doesn't run with one and hasn't for a long time.  She charged it up for me and was so kind to just hand it over on race morning.  I was super thrilled, especially since if I run a race a second time I want to try and better my time from the previous year.  She was most definitely a life saver for me this morning.  Sure, I could have tried an app on my phone but I wasn't familiar with it and I really didn't want to run with my phone.  The garmin was perfect and I will be forever grateful for her kindness. 
Mark and I then went out for a little drive and I showed him the 3.25 mile loop I would be running four times the next day.  He doesn't get excited about my races, but he does like to take the vacations with me.  I was a little surprised by how much snow and ice were on some parts of the trail.  I just knew I would need to be a little more cautious when running.  I was just grateful it wasn't raining like last year.  I'll take the snow on the ground versus running in a rainstorm. 
I got up super early to get ready, probably way too early, 6:00 am.  The race didn't start until 8:00 am.  I headed down to the motel lobby for some breakfast of a waffle and a little bit of raisin bran.  It was delish. Mark joined me for breakfast a few minutes later and we took our time eating and chatting.  We headed back to the room with another half hour before we needed to leave to the starting line.  It was literally just down the road from where we were staying.  We finally headed out about 7:30 am and got there 5 minutes later.
I headed over to packet pick up and visited with a few familiar faces.  I also decided to go check out the facilities before any lines started forming.  Alex Santiago was doing the photography again this year and wanted a picture of someone coming out of one of these very interesting portapotties.  Seriously it was the weirdest thing I've ever seen.  If you want more of the scoop about them go here. The toilet was already filled with sawdust and after you do your thing you just scoop fresh stuff on top.  The smell of the chips was very pleasant, almost like being in the woods.  There was no blue chemical water and no stinky smells.  It was very cool!

I headed back to the car to get my costume on.  Last year I was a twinkie and I had several people asking me where the twinkie costume was?  I should have just worn it instead of forking out money for this cupcake.  I'll admit I was slightly disappointed in it.  The picture on the internet looks nothing like what it actually looks like on me. Isn't that the way it usually goes though? Oh well, live and learn?  Mark helped me get all the stuffing and fluffing crammed inside the pink part.  He took a photo and I headed over to the starting line area to wait for the race to start.   
Alex was there snapping photos of people in their costumes.  Lots of people dressed up.  It was fun to see the variety of costumes.  Below is the group photo before the race started.  I think almost 200 people ran this race.  It just gets bigger every year.  I told Cory that it's just going to keep growing all the time.  I hope he continues to put it on each year.
This race wasn't officially timed and so when Cory got done with announcements he counted us down and off we went.  I started up my borrowed garmin and was super happy to be out running on a cool morning.
This section of trail was the hardest part to run and I was so tempted every loop to just run on the road but we were told that was a big no-no.  So I was obedient and ran through the crunchy stuff.  Besides, this was good training for trail running when you have to watch your footing and be cautious.  It also uses different muscles in your feet and ankles and strengthens them.  That is just what I had to keep telling myself.

As I came into my first loop completed, Mark was there to greet me and did a little filming.  He then headed back to the motel just down the street to wait until I was finished.  It was a bit chilly out there.  The sun seemed to be taking it's time coming up over the ridge.

I ate a few delicious goodies at the sugar shack.  Actually, it's a requirement to run this race, a minimum of one treat per loop.  OK, no problem.  I like treats.  There is a contest that Cory does.  The person who consumes the most goodies during the race becomes the Sugar Slayer and receives a prize and the title for the year.  This was definitely not something I was aspiring to do.  I like my treats but not bad enough to make myself sick.  A friend of mine, Rebecca, who lives in Colorado actually won the title this year.  She commented on her blog she will NOT be trying for it again next year.  You can read all about her experience here.
Nice work Sugar Slayer!!
Second loop around and Alex was there again taking photos.  If you know Cory Reese at all you know he is the jumping king.  He has inspired so many people all over blog land and Facebook to attempt all kinds of jumping shots.  Of course we wanted to get in on the action as well.
Oh look, the sun has finally peeked over the hills and that makes me even more happy!  Or maybe I was just so happy this was my final loop.  I couldn't tell you exactly.  Mark was here at the end and got me on film when I was just too tired to jump very high.  I headed over to run through the finish line arch and got my medal.
Afterwards, I enjoyed a few more goodies in the sugar shack and visited a few awesome people.  Jessica Mecham I met at this very race last year was here again.  She is super swell, as is Melanie Reese, Cory's wife.

Lyle Anderson has been a FB friend for a little bit and has inspired many people through his trials with MS. He has lost a lot of weight and has gone on to become an Iron man.  Our RA Facebook group did a virtual run this Summer to raise funds to help him get to Kona, Hawaii to compete.  It was so awesome to finally get to meet him in real life.  He is just as genuine and kind in real life as can be.
 Thank you again to Cherie Santiago for the use of her Garmin and a HUGE HUGE HUGE (I can't say that word enough times) thanks to Cory Reese for an absolutely fabulous race.  Hurricane, Utah is a sweet small town with fun people and fun times.  And a big thanks to his family for all the hard work they do in putting on this race each year.
I finished this race with a time of 2 hours and 17 minutes, an improvement over last year of almost 25 minutes.  Yeah, that made me a little bit happy.  Maybe running in a soggy twinkie was a little bit of an issue for me last year.


Becca Jane said...

If I stick around this area, I want to run this next year! Looks like a blast!

Michael said...

You make an adorable cupcake. I would love to come and do this race some time. Cory puts on a pretty great event...or so it seems!

Cory Reese said...

Great report Susette! You are basically amazing. Can't wait to run 100 miles with you next month!