Saturday, April 11, 2015

Cheryl’s 5K Run to Home!

The Route of the 5K So we drove out to Davenport this morning to run a short 5K across the Mississippi River.   It was a chilly beginning with Frost and Fog as we raced out for the early packet pickup.  Early Morning  Packet Pick up Since Davenport was so close, we decided to pick it up in the morning rather than last night.   The Race was mapped out to cross the river twice.   


All was good,   Cheryl dressed appropriately for this one, knowing that the temps would climb to around 40 when the race eventually started.  We have been here before, and finding parking at 7:30 AM on a Saturday was surprisingly easyPacket in hand,  let's see what we have..   With Packet in hand,   Cheryl spent the next half hour struggling to get her “chip” on her shoe.   Why was she having such a difficult time? Wrestling with Zip Ties   Because this race had zip ties instead of the usual twisties.   I guess twisties are a female thing and zip ties are more “Guy Friendly” .   Don’t believe me?   Ask any married man if he ever puts the twist ties back on the bread package. Refusing my help,  Cheryl soldiers on through my taunts.   However,  when they are assembling the audio visual equipment, they always have a handful of zip ties in their back pocket. I didn’t make the rules…I just follow them. 

Eventually,  Cheryl managed to figure out the complicated Zip Ties and attach the chip to her shoe.  Even with the delay, we still had an hour and a half to kill before the race.   We decided to check out the water and find the start point.  

Pelican taking off,  Check out the Bill! The water was easy…it is difficult to miss the Mississippi.  It even has “miss” in it’s name!   (Grin!)   The strange birds that are currently migrating through are the very cool White Freshwater Pelican.   ( Ok,  Freshwater may not be in their name…I just added that as a descriptor.)  I managed to take several dozen pictures of some, but ended up selecting the closest one flying.  White pelican on Migration. Notice the black wing tips, white plumage, and bright yellow bill with the top protrusion.   The Brown Pelican in from Florida is very different.  ( Google it!  They have pictures.)

Balloon Start Point....Cheryl Approves!  Eventually we found the start as they were inflating the large balloon.   This is a mark of a “good” raceBalloon Inflation:   Check! according to Cheryl’s new standards.   The last several races were lacking in this department.  It took them mere moments to fill it up and put it in place. It is one of those “special”  touches that help the runner find the start point…I guess.This is the case there was any confusion.

I decided to head out in front and try to capture a mid race picture rather than fight to find Cheryl in the crowd.   Usually she disappears behind some cluster of “racing buddies”, and I lose sight of her.

   Cheryl in the crowd Biker Chick wondering why I'm photographing her.


I walked up on the bridge.    Rather tall might I add.  I was able to get a cool bird’s eye view of the area.   I might have missed the National Anthem,

 Bird's Eye View on the Bridge 



 Close up from a distancebut I was able to get the first cluster of people as they climbed up the bridge.   I was impressed when Cheryl was near the front of the first group.  Cheryl hidden, but coming into view My ONLY clean shot of her.   I took more pictures of the Kid in the yellow hat than her! I rapidly snapped several pics at close range,  capturing the runner in front of her.  Eventually she ran in front of my lens again and I was able to see her as she ran away.   Kid in hat is finally out of the way,  But Cheryl has passed me!

I then raced back to the finish line in the stadium.     Bird's Eye of Cheryl racing to the finish!I could see Cheryl approaching from the top rail and snapped a couple distance shots.  I was paying close attention to the female finishers in frontAlmost to the stadium! of her and I noted that she was making pretty good time.   I quickly raced down to the finish just before Home Plate. 

Inside the stadium!     My suspicions were correct that she was in the top 10 female finishersRacing towards Home Plate!…..It was unfortunate that one of the finishers before her happened to be in her age group.   Ah well…..She still received a medal.The Medal is well earned this time! 


The FInal Score Card!   Cheryl is 7th over all female.   2nd in her Age Group!


This race was a little different in that they did not hand out finishers medals to everyone.   Instead you needed to finish within the top three of your age group.  2nd Place means Podium position, bragging rights, and Status!   Second place still gets a place on the podium! 

After that,   we headed to the party section.   Free beer, burgers, hot dogs, and Pizza along with the usual bananas and granola bars.  Even Cheryl liked the breakfast pizza.   I can’t believe we were drinking Beer before 10 AM!Only the top three get medals! 

And Finally  we got to pose with the Bandit the Mascot. Grabbing the Mascot before he can get away...or pose with anyone else.   We pushed our way through a bunch of children to grab him before he could even get out of the chute.   Add another Mascot to the archive!

It was too bad we did not win with the raffle.   I guess there was a stuffed toy Cheryl wanted in the “kids basket.    She thought that our odds were better because there were not as many kids. Cheryl studies the Awards,   We missed out of the Middle of the pack and the Kids Raffle     I personally wanted to try for the beer or wine romance packet, but Cheryl won out.  The top three runners received autographed baseball bats.  

Overall, it was a great day.   Cheryl actually complained that the race was over too quickly.   I guess when you set another personal best time,  5K might seem like it is beneath you.   Her official time for the 5K was 23:47 with an average pace of 7:41 per mile.  She got 2nd place for females ages 40-44 ( out of 36) and 7th place out of 340 women over all.  57th place out of 562 finishers.    Her previous PR was 24:11  in a training run.   Her Previous OFFICIAL  5 K  (at the Polar Dash on Jan 1st) was 27:25.   This last section was put in here at Cheryl's request so she can access the information without digging through the files. 

 Proving Running is seductiveWe had to wait to get home before Cheryl could model the shirt.  And there is a chance that we might revisit that stadium to watch the ball club play.   We received a free ticket with our race packet, and the tickets are affordable anyway.   I personally am not into baseball all that much, but the food and beer has its appeal.  We shall see.     Check out all the remaining photos in the album below. 

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