Race not sponsored by IHOP...but we wouldn't turn them down, if they offered.
On Saturday, my fellow Renegades and I ran the RRC's first annual Panqueque 5K race - yes, a race put on for and solely run by our running group. What can I say...we like to have fun and mix things up with our training!
This origin of this race stemmed from the year 2010, when I was training for my first half marathon. While I was running with a group, our breakfast club hadn't yet formed, so after my long run on Saturdays I'd go home, get Jeff (who wasn't running yet), and we'd go out to breakfast...often at IHOP, where Jeff noticed that the Spanish word for pancake was panqueque (the menus are bilingual), and much like Buddy the Elf who couldn't stop saying the word "Francisco" (Francisco...Franciiiisco), Jeff latched onto panqueque. Which was never annoying, haha. Eventually, as Jeff started running and doing races, he wondered why there wasn't an official Panqueque 5K race - so we made it happen and put it into our training schedule.
This ended up coming at the right time, as it was a good distraction from last week's sadness. I was able to round up some leftover race bibs and personalized them:
Official race bibs, ready for our runners!
And for packet pickup, I put together race bags. Going on the random theme that seems to be prevalent in most race bags (you get whatever the sponsor donates), I gathered up my saved shopping bags and some items that I had on hand, plus I asked Jeff to see if he had anything at work to donate, and I also asked Kendall, the volunteer coordinator at the hospital, if she could add to our bags. Being as the hospital has been the sponsor of our town's December marathon, I figured they had something lying around. I was surprised when she came up with cooling towels - that was prefect! Here's the loot:
Doesn't every runner get a bar of hotel soap in their race bag at some point? And a random training DVD? As an homage to all race bags, I went by our running store and picked up flyers for an upcoming race...that's usually what fills most bags.
Bags and bibs all ready:
I can't be the only person to save all the "good" bags that come from shopping, can I?
Race day dawned early - my committee (Jeff) and I got to the IHOP parking lot and set up for packet pickup:
There was a north wind blowing and I had to put on my sweatshirt!!!
Ready for the runners!
The racers arrived and got their bibs and bags - packet pickup went smoothly and was a success, whew! Because we were in charge, we had a start time of 6:00 am which is unusual for most 5K races, but that's the beauty of hosting your own race - you get to do it your way! The race started just a few minutes late, as we were waiting on one runner who insisted on running to the start line from his house. There's always one overachiever in the group, LOL. We lined up at the invisible start line (because I'd forgotten about getting chalk until the middle of the night prior to the race - oops), and with a "ready set GO" we began running.
This race was an out-and-back, from the IHOP parking lot. The weather was perfect - 63 degrees, with less humidity than normal, plus there was a slight north wind. Julia, Diane and I ran together - we started out running into the wind, on a slight incline. I felt a little out of breath but we arrived at a major intersection and had to stop for traffic (yes, traffic at 6:00 am - college football game day in Aggieland), and that little break was all I needed - once we started running again I felt fine. We didn't do intervals; we just ran for a mile and then took a short walking break, then ran the next mile; another walking break; then we were on the home stretch. The last bit ended up being slightly downhill and it was fabulous...I felt like I was flying!
When we finished and joined the rest of our group, everyone remarked on how great the downhill finish was. I even high-fived myself at how nicely that worked out - honestly, the route was that way because that's where the pancakes were, but it sure made for a great end to the race!
We had a raffle drawing for the finishers, and Diane won the prize:
Pumpkin pancake mix! From Kerbey Lane, no less - our favorite breakfast restaurant in Austin.
We attempted a couple of post-race group pictures, but it wasn't easy seeing as it was still dark:
Diane, Julia, Karen, me, Jeff, Brian, Cary, Loretta, and CC.
Afterward, we headed into IHOP for breakfast, where the best part of running with our renegades comes - the talking, the razzing, and the completely inappropriate humor, which we try to tone down when we're in public. It isn't always easy:
Diane and CC trying to hold it together...
Karen and Jimmymeow pretty much losing it. What can I say, we find all kinds of things to laugh at!
I had some pumpkin spice pancakes, lots of coffee, and a lot of fun - this was a great race and I'll definitely sign up for it again next year!