Wednesday, September 14, 2016

2016 Burning Pine 5K Recap!

The race shirts came in both men's and women's cut, technical fabric.  The organizers had a design contest for this year's shirt, and when we saw the winner, we were all "there's a water tower at the park??" - turns out, there IS one, but it's across the road from the park.  Not sure why that was notable, but the colors are cute on the shirt, and mine fits me well, so it's all good.

On Saturday, for the second year in a row, we ran the Burning Pine race at Bastrop State Park.  Once again I chose to run the 5K, but instead of me being the only person out of our group to do so, more than half of us picked that distance.  I think we were all glad we did, as the hills are so freaking steep!  But I'm getting ahead of myself - here's the recap from the beginning.

Jeff and I, along with Andi, Julia, and Diane carpooled to Bastrop in Andi's van, with Jeff driving.  Just before we got to the park, we stopped at Buc-ee's to use their awesome restrooms - we knew there would be porta potties at the race, but why not take advantage of real restrooms while we could?  Then we got to the parking area across from the park, met up with the rest of our group, got our bibs (Cary's mom did packet pickup for us the day before, since she lives nearby), and got on the school bus for the short shuttle ride into the park.

We took our traditional pre-race sunrise picture:
Jeff, Julia, me, Diane, Karen, Andi, Laura, Cristy, Cindy (Cristy and Cary's mom), Cary, Brian.
Here's a better shot of the sunrise - perk of being a runner, getting to see many sunrises.

The 10K started first, and I managed to get a picture of Jeff doing jazz hands as he passed by:
Karen and Cary are behind him.  Note that they get to start on a slight uphill; luckily, the 5K started at the top of this slope.

We took a quick selfie as the 5K group lined up:
Me, Julia, Andi, and Diane.

And then we were off!  I ran with Diane...this was her first time doing this race, and she'd only heard about the hills.  The first part - less than a half mile - is fairly flat, but then it starts to climb, and climb, and climb.  The road also curved, so you couldn't see just how far up you had to go; I knew it was going to be bad for a while, but Diane kept asking if that was it - nope.  We walked to the top of the first hill and then got to run down it, and that was glorious.  I went from feeling like "why am I doing this" to "I CAN RUN!!!" so basically for my running mental health, I should only run downhill, haha.  Then we hit the next hill, which was even steeper than the first.  More walking, but hey, that gave us time for pictures:
I believe we were actually running in the middle picture.

It was much hotter and way more humid this year - 73 degrees, 100% humidity, and the sun was beating down on us - and we were pretty wiped out after the hills, so we did random intervals (run to that orange cone then walk until the sign up ahead, for example) for the rest of the race.  We must have looked bad because just about every volunteer we passed by called out for us to keep hydrating - and we did take water at all three of the aid stations - but I think we looked pretty good when we crossed the finish line:
photo credit:  Jimmymeow
We got our medals (which were the same as last year's, only with a different colored ribbon) and then went over to wait for the 10K peeps to finish.

This collage includes both the 5K and 10K Renegade Runners:
Tough course; everyone was glad to be done!

Afterward, you could check your finish stats via a computer, which printed out a little receipt with your info on it.  Brian placed third in his age group, and Laura placed third in hers!  We waited around for the awards, but when they did the 5K awards, Laura's name wasn't called.  She went back and rechecked her info, and it was updated to place her fourth, whomp whomp.  So in between the award ceremonies, we had her stand on the third place podium:
You're still a winner to us, Laura!

We waited quite a while before they announced the 10K winners - I'm not sure why there was such a long break in between the two distances.  Everyone was getting tired of standing around:
Diane, Jeff, and Julia, just hanging out on the winner's podiums.

We took our traditional post-race finisher's picture with the #RunYourAshOff sign:
The gang.  You know who we are at this point.

And then we did some individual shots:
Give us a camera and a prop, and we'll entertain ourselves.

Finally, the 10K awards started.  Brian's name was called and we hooted and hollered for him:
Winners got a cool white hat.

At that point, even though we'd had some donut holes and coffee courtesy of Dunkin Donuts, we were all pretty hungry, so we hustled over to the shuttle bus and rode back to our vehicles:
Renegade Run Club - anytime we're together, it's fun, even on an old school bus!

We planned on going to Maxine's Cafe again for breakfast, but we all wanted to change into dry clothes, so Cary and Brian went ahead to the restaurant to put our names in on the waiting list and change there, but our group went back to Buc-ee's to change in their nice restrooms.  That would be trip number two, if you're keeping track.

We didn't have to wait too long for our table at Maxine's, and we actually had the same waitress as last year.  She was super nice and patient with us, and even took our picture:
We were seated in a little side room which was perfect - no worries about disturbing the other diners with our exuberance.

My appetite has not been great ever since I came back from California; I'm just about over that cold, but it's been weird to not be hungry.  I'm not complaining (always the dieter) - however, I'd like to feel more energetic.  Any case, I ordered a biscuit meal and ate about half of it:
No ginormous pancake for me this year...maybe next time.

We spent a couple hours at Maxine's, and then we all headed for home - but not before making one last stop at Buc-ee's!  Whoever was watching their security cameras that day must have thought we were a strange bunch, going in so often, and appearing in different outfits as well.  Thanks for having such nice clean restrooms, Buc-ee's!

Couple more things - this was the fifth year for the Burning Pine race, so they had extra goodies you could tack onto your registration, sight unseen.  Since it's a fundraiser, I went ahead and ordered the hat and coffee mug.  This is what we got:
Cool hat; either Jeff or I would be happy wearing it.
Somehow the coffee mug became a gigantic beer stein.  I actually weighed it on my food scale - it was 2.75 pounds, empty!!  Even Jeff thought it would be too heavy with liquid in it, so it's decorating his desk now.

All in all, this was a fun day with my Renegades.  The race is hard, but it's for a great cause - the proceeds fund planting new trees to replace the ones lost in the fire of 2011 - and we'll be back next year...and maybe by then I'll have forgotten how steep those hills are!


  1. That sure was a fun day. I always enjoy your race reports with your running peeps.

    1. Thanks - I like writing them, so it's nice to hear that you like reading them! :)

  2. This race sounds like the hilly 5k I ran on the 4th of July in the heat! It's fun that you got to watch for the rest of the group to finish the 10K. That's one thing I like about races that offer 2 distances at the same time. I usually pick the shorter distance and then I can cheer for my friends!! (obviously that's not the only reason..haha). Ya know, I have never seen a winners podium at any race I've been at.

    1. I learned the hard way to choose the shorter distance - boy, that was a hard lesson (a race in Maui in 2010).

  3. I say you get bonus points for knowing about those damn hills and going back to do the race again. That counts for a lot!! I'm pretty sure I have never re-run a race once I found out it was super hilly.

    1. My hamstrings are just now feeling less sore - those hills were steep! It's a good cause. Which is what I kept telling myself as we trudged up, up, and up!

  4. This looks like a fun event! Your group always seems to be enjoying themselves. Great job!

    1. We do have a good time together, and I suspect that even if the race was bad, we'd still find a way to make it humorous.

  5. Hills are pretty much part of most races around here LOL. Only downtown Saratoga courses are flat.

    I love how much fun your group has!

    1. Good to know, if I ever get out your way...check elevation before signing up for a race! ;)

  6. Your group looks like its growing! Maybe its just because there's more of you in one place this time?

    I love your race reports. Was that the same Buc-ee's that you took me to?

    1. Different Buc-ee's - I think I've been to four of them now (what an achievement)(but really, their restrooms can't be beat).

      We were crammed into a 10-person table, so maybe that's why it looks like there are more of us - CC and Lolo weren't there, but Laura is new (she comes with Cristy), and of course Cindy (mom) was there. :)

  7. This looks like a fun day with friends! Run your ash off! Very clever. That's a very nice hat you scored as extra swag. I adore anything with lime green. Also -- Sometimes, I think the sunrise is the best running perk.

  8. Another fun recap of a great race!!! Congratulations Shelley! PS: Glad your cold is on the way out!!!

  9. Hey Shelley,
    Still reading and loving your blog just have not commented for ages sorry! The husband and I are just back from a US trip where we spent a couple of weeks based out of Houston. Oh my goodness the humidity! I managed a couple of walk/runs and it was like running in a sauna/spa pool. Laughed out loud at you visiting Buc-ee's for the restroom I think that place is a Texas tourist destination all on it's own. Loved the restrooms but could not for the life of me get my head around the weird and wonderful merchandise for sale. Our Kiwi friends who we stayed with in Houston were staring at our faces when we entered the store and burst out laughing as we were looking around.
    Back to the running I think you are amazing to even run fullstop in Texas in summer it is like nothing I have experienced back home in New Zealand.
    Sam from NZ

    1. So good to hear from you, Sam! How cool that you got to visit Texas, but ugh, Houston is just about the most humid spot in the entire state. Good on ya for attempting any exercise when you're not used to that weather.

      Great description of Buc-ee's - it is something you have to see to understand.

  10. Man, you can see the hills in the pics! Nice job! Don't you love those tricky hills on windy roads that seem to never end?

    The hat and mug are cool! And I love that that guy had his dog with him on the podium, ha!

    1. I also meant to say, hope you feel better soon and get your appetite back!

    2. Thanks! And I thought the dog on the podium was cool, too. :)

  11. What a bunch of beautiful pictures! I love you in that blue compliments you!


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