Longmont CollaBEERation 5K Race Report

Whoa, no 5Ks for a few years and I ran two in a week!

CollabeerationThe CollaBEERation is a collaboration between Left Hand Brewery and the unique Shoes and Brews running-store-and-bar in Longmont. The race started at the brewery and ran to the store, where there was an outdoor beerfest with a handful of local breweries, a band, and plenty of raffle prizes. Sounded like a great way to spend a Saturday, so we signed up and dragged along my friend Andrea.

This wasn’t intended to be a real ‘race’ – Sara and I were interested in the event details, but we thought we were going to have to run our long run the same day so we were just going to run 5 or 6 miles before the race and take it easy. However our plans changed and we decided the evening before just to do the actual race distance.

A race at 11am is annoying, until you realize it’s about an hour from home. We had a reasonably relaxing morning and then picked up Andrea and headed to the race. The packet pickup instructions said “Friay April 10th starting at 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Shoes and Brews or 9:30am-10:45am on raceday.” So I drove us to Shoes and Brews and we wandered in around 10:40. They quickly told us we had 5 minutes to get to the brewery to get our packets!! Thankfully it was only about a half mile away, so we got in our warmup right then!

Oddly enough, Sara had signed us up together and Andrea had also signed up the night before, but they only had my registration? They were very accommodating though and gave Sara and Andrea bibs right there without making a big fuss. The swag bag was sweet, with an insulated water bottle and honey stinger waffles. WAY better than a cotton tshirt!

We hit up the restrooms and then it was time to go! I was still holding out to the idea that this wasn’t a real race, so I stuck with Andrea and Sara and we headed up around where it said the 9 min pace was.

The gun went off and it took me a second to realize that this was old-school, no chip timing so we better get going! I started off with Andrea and Sara but within a half mile or so started putting the gas on a bit. It was a pretty day for a run, and the course was nice, on a bike path by a canal, around a little body of water and back. I was feeling pretty good, and starting a bit further back and slower than usual meant I was enjoying passing quite a few people.

I was enjoying passing everyone I was next to, in fact, except for one girl who decided to pass me around mile 2. Wha?? I wasn’t excited about that, so I tucked in right behind her and put on some speed to keep up. She gapped me a bit but I made her my goal. Because we’d run from the store earlier I knew that we’d come off the bike path onto the wider road about a quarter mile from the finish. We got there (passing a few more girls en route) and then I let go. I cruised by her right before we hit the finishing chute – I was so glad she was there!

Collabeeration milesI was shocked to see the finishing clock as I cruised in.. Remember last week when I ran 22:12? The clock read 22:17 as I crossed the finish! That was good enough for 3rd in my age group, 6th female overall.

I was astounded! Sure my last mile this time was tough b/c I was chasing that girl, but this race felt so.. not like a race for most of it! Especially the first mile when I felt I was taking it relatively easy.

It’s crazy to think that I can run almost exactly the same time with dramatically different approaches. I guess this means this is about the level I’m at?

22619_10152744546810079_7803696025753132755_nSoon enough Andrea and Sara came in – Sara managed to carve off a good 20-some seconds from last week, so she PRed! Then the three of us hung out and enjoyed some of the beer and sunshine. We hung out with my old massage therapist Geoff (the one who told me I had a rather large psoas) for awhile before heading home. The store was pretty cool and their beer selection inside was pretty impressive, I wouldn’t mind hanging out there if it were in my neighbourhood.

So that was yesterday, and today Sara and I went out for long runs, both feeling pretty good despite the race and beer. I thought it was a great event and I was really pleasantly surprised with how we did. It’s so great to have a partner to do this stuff with. :^)