Saturday, September 6, 2014

Fun runs are FUN!

I don't sign up for very many local small races these days, as I'm so focused on my half marathon goals. As such, it is easy to forget about how fun a local 5K or fun run can be. But when your kid's school has a fundraiser run, you really should get involved, and I'm so glad our family did. My oldest daughter's school held its inaugural 5K last year, but unfortunately I was away running another race and couldn't make it. I was so happy when the race date was announced this year and I was available. 
Thanks in large part to my cousin Robbie who expressed interest last year in doing the run in the future, I was spurred on to invite family and friends to join the race. I'm thrilled to say that my mother's side of the family came out in large numbers to support the school and get some morning fitness done. It was a hot day, but we had lots of fun together and many successes amongst our group. 
Team Frost ready to roll!
My husband and I volunteered to help out with set up, and my girls signed up for the kids' race, while I signed up for the mile race. The race changed from a 5K to a one mile race this year. I thought this was an interesting move, as I read a neat article in Runner's World this past year about the growing popularity of one mile races. Apparently lots of old time track runners who are now in their 40's and 50's and beyond are challenging themselves to see how fast they can run a mile these days and to see how close they can get to their old records. Fun, right? I'm not much of a sprinter or miler myself, but a one mile fundraising race is completely doable for nearly anyone. No question we would do it.
Kids' race line up...Runners on your mark...GO!
The morning started off with a kids quarter mile race. Our girls lined up along with our cousin Liam and a bunch of other kids. The Central Connecticut State University softball team members were in attendance to volunteer with the race. Those girls were awesome! They ran with the kids to keep them safe and cheered them on to the finish. Our cousin, Liam, finished first for the boys and our daughter Lily finished third for the girls. Ella received a ribbon for being a participant, while the other two received place ribbons for their categories. So exciting! It was great to watch them finish and cheer them on. One note about this race that is fantastic...the finish is all downhill. 
Ella finishes with the CCSU softball girls.
When the kids were done, the adult race lined up and took off up the hill. Two short laps around the neighborhood later, and we were already shooting down the downhill finish. I went in to this race knowing that I wasn't going to sprint. I'm so not a sprinter. But I am a competitor, so of course, I just wanted to do my best and run with as much strength as I could. 
Much to my surprise, as I made the final turn for the downhill finish, I was the leading female runner! This was so cool to me on many levels. First, I've never been in this position in a race before. (Perks of running a small, local race, for sure!). Second, it was completely outrageous to experience what the elite women feel, albeit on a microscopic scale...knowing that no one is in front of you...worrying who might be on your heels...enjoying the cheers of those clapping for you as the leading lady. So fantastic! Third, waiting around for the awards and hearing your name announced as first place female. Awesome! I ran a 7:09 mile, which is terrific for me. I might not win in a large race, but it was enough for this one, and for that I'm thrilled. 
Like daughter, like mother.
To round out the family success, my mom won top honors and a medal in her age group. Like daughter, like mother! We had some good laughs, got some great exercise and then came home to enjoy pizza and cannoli from Russo's for my husband's birthday which is today. Many thanks to my family for supporting our school. Many thanks to all the volunteers who came out to make the day so great, too. I met some fantastic people today (Including Scott Ryder who organizes the Hazardville Memorial School 5k) and had stellar fun. It was a great day all around! Way to go, SBS!
A morning of family fitness & fun. And happy birthday to Craig!

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