Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Silo District 5K Race Recap!

 The medal - front and back.  It's quite large, and the center part is a spinner!

On Sunday, several of my fellow Renegades and I ran the inaugural Silo District race, which was being held in conjunction with Fixer Upper host Chip Gaines running his first marathon.  Cary, Julia, and Diane ran the half marathon, while Karen and I ran the 5K - hey, we weren't as crazy as the others...running a half marathon in May in TEXAS?  No thank you.  As it turns out, we made a good decision because Texas skipped spring and went right to summer - it got up to 87 degrees, which made for a particularly brutal race.

When we first heard about this race, we were IN - having been to Magnolia Market in Waco recently and having seen how nice everything was done there, we figured that they would put on a good race, even with it being their first one.  The race was a fundraiser for rare cancers and 100% of the proceeds went to the Brave Like Gabe foundation - Gabriele Gruenwald is a runner who was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer but not only has she continued to run, she trained Chip for his first marathon!  The entry fees were higher than usual - I paid $50 for a 5K, which is a lot, but knowing all the money was going to such a special charity helped.  My mother had a rare cancer, so any additional research in this arena is very welcome.

Waco is about a 90 minute drive from our town; we could have gotten there extra early on race day to do packet pickup, but Diane very nicely volunteered to make the trip on Saturday and came home loaded up with all of our swag:
A technical shirt - the back has the saying on it that I very nearly bought as a sign when I was at the market last fall!  The front has the silos, and if you look closely you can see the silhouette of a runner in front of them.  We also received a canvas tote bag as well as a painted burlap tote bag.  We all purchased a soft cotton t-shirt with the logo on race day as well.
On the shuttle - gotta love the photobomber!

On Sunday we woke up super early and were on the road by 4:00 am.  Diane rode with Jeff and I, and we made good time...oddly enough, there was no traffic on the way to Waco - hah!  The only hard part of the race came with parking - we were to park at one location and hop on a shuttle to the Silos.  The parking area was very dark; they had a few temporary lights set up but not nearly enough, and the people working parking detail were hard to see - only one had a lit baton, so that was a bit of a mess.  Anyway, we got ourselves parked and hopped on a shuttle very easily after that.

Once we arrived at the Silos, we found the rest of our group and hung out, taking a few pictures:
The green Willys makes for a nice backdrop - plus the sun was rising over the silos, turning everything orange.
It was too early to strike a fun pose for this - Diane looks happy while I have my usual look of pre-race trepidation going on.
But then I found a puppy!  OMG, this was the sweetest little guy - a four month old Corgi named Buxton.  I loved him so much.  He was like a fluffy dachshund!  Even Jeff fell for this puppy.  Do you guys think Paco would mind getting a baby brother?

The marathon started half an hour before the other races, so we got to watch the start on a jumbo monitor:
And yes, that there is Chip, wearing an old-school sweatband - and his leather tool belt!  I thought he was just wearing it for the photo op at the start of the race, but no.  That crazy man ran all 26.2 miles in it!  I can't imagine the chafing and bruising that he got - it was the real deal, and it had to have put the hurt on him.

As it was getting closer to race time, our three halfers made their way to the start line, while Karen and I, along with Jimmymeow and Jeff, walked about half a mile to the 5K start.  Along the way we got stopped by a train:
Just waiting for the train to go by...
And then we got to the 5K corral - if you click on this picture, you can see the orange start banner waaaaaaay in the distance.  

Jeff and Jimmy stayed with us for a while but finally left to go hang with Brian and Logan.  The race countdown began, a horn sounded, and...we didn't move.  Usually you start shuffling toward the front, but it took forever - seriously, we started 20 minutes after the first runners!  They announced that of the 6000 participants in the race, over 3000 were doing the 5K.  When we got close to the front we realized they were releasing everyone in small waves, which ended up being great as it never felt congested once we started.

So the race.  Being as we had a garage sale the day before, and with all the prep for it the day before that, I knew I was not in good running shape, plus six weeks of renovation craziness had contributed to my overall feeling of being worn out, plus my eating has been pretty bad.  I decided ahead of time that I'd just hold my phone and take pictures, enjoy the new-to-me town and route, and not stress about running at all.  And that's exactly what I did, which turned out to be extra good because it was HOT - there wasn't a cloud in the sky, the sun was out and shining down on us, and we were running on hot asphalt.  I ran and walked, and as it got hotter, I ran in the shady areas and walked in the sunny areas.  I still got plenty hot, but it could have been a lot worse had I forced myself to run more of the race.  Here's some of pictures I took:
 One one bridge, taking a selfie with another in the background.  I was over the Brazos river here.
Start of the next bridge.
This was a pretty one!  
The first two bridges were nice and flat, which I appreciated a lot.
Selfie with cattle sculptures at the other side of the bridge, which was part of the Chisholm Trail.
I really loved seeing all of the motivational signs throughout the race!
Mile marker 1 for the 5K - these Chipisms are very good.
My artsy shot of the Alico building, which you see in every episode of Fixer Upper (and from pretty much everywhere in Waco).
I joked to Karen, when we were in the starting corral, that my goal was to catch Jimmy Don, who was the 5K team captain.  He's the guy who does all of the metal work on Fixer Upper.  Anyway, I was heading into downtown when I saw a group of people, and realized that he was in the middle!  So I asked for a picture and walked with him for a bit - he was wearing, no joke, cowboy boots, jeans, a cotton t-shirt (you can see how sweat-soaked he was) and his cowboy hat.  He's the same in person as on TV - I was really happy to get to chat with him.
Yet another cute area of Waco - they planned the route through a lot of neat spots that I'd like to go back and check out.
More Chipisms!
Here's the much-appreciated second water station - did I mention how hot it was?  Also, look what is looming up ahead - one heck of a steep bridge.
But first, a little entertainment in the form of the Baylor University drum line, woohoo!
This hill was steep!  Everyone was trudging up it.  When we got to the top it leveled out - no rewarding downhill to run down, boohoo.  But I had to laugh when the two women next to me were indignant about that very thing - I guess we're all alike, we want our treat for making it up a hill.
Finally, the finish line!  I saw Jeff there and he got a good picture of me, phone in hand, haha.
I really, REALLY loved this last Chipism.  It struck a chord with me.

This race was so nice - there were a lot of people doing it who absolutely weren't runners, but rather, were Fixer Upper fans, so there was a different feel to it.  There were tons of walkers, lots of groups of friends, and there was a lot of chit chat and camaraderie coming from everyone.  It was much more than a 5K - it was an event.  If they hold this race again, I highly recommend it, even if you're not a runner, and even with the heat.  It was that good.

After I finished, I received an ice-cold towel, a bottle of water, my medal, a banana, and a huge sugar cookie from the Silos Baking Company:
A little heat-delirious, but happy with my medal and my cookie.  That cookie was so good!  I was nice and split it with Jeff - spectating is hard work.

A few more thoughts about this race.  While I had a great time, I know that it would have been a different story had I tried to run a longer distance.  Karen and I had plenty of time to cool down, change into dry clothes, have lunch, and even do a little shopping at Magnolia Market while we waited for our half marathoners to come in.  And the post-race party was the best - THE BEST - that I've ever been at.  There was plenty of space for participants and their friends/family to hang out - we snagged a picnic table with a canopy so we had shade which was wonderful.  But people were everywhere, relaxing and hanging out on the lawn, doing some shopping, and it made me realize how crummy most other post-race "parties" are - we weren't rushed off, we could be with our non-runners, everyone could eat and drink - it was awesome.

The grounds of the Silo District are lined with food trucks.  Jeff and I split the most amazing grilled cheese sandwich:
Gouda, bacon, and fresh basil - it was so good!

And most of our group ended up buying $8 iced teas, which sounds ridiculous until you were there and did I mention how hot it was?  You got a glass mason jar to keep, and refills were only $2, so we all went back for refills a couple times.  Jeff and I shared this - well, I drank the first one and then we shared:
It says sweet tea on the jar, but they had unsweet, which is the only way I can drink iced tea.

Cary came in, looking hot but really good!  This was her first half marathon since having Logan (she didn't get to run Houston as she was the first to be felled by food poisoning that weekend):
Logan liked his new teether!

Julia and Diane finished, and after a while, we heard that Chip was coming toward the finish line, so we went to watch him on the monitor:
He'd traded in his sweatband for a baseball hat, but that crazy man still had on his tool belt - oh, and he also wore long jogger pants the entire time.  I bet if he'd worn different clothing, he might have finished in under 5 hours, but that's Chip Gaines for you - determined to finish despite all obstacles!


  1. This sounds like so much fun, even in spite of the heat!!! I had no idea that Waco was such a rockin' place--I don't watch Chip or any HGTV show, altho I've certainly heard of Chip and Joanna. I'd love to do this race but the heat would be tough. Love that finisher medal. Congrats!!!

    1. Yep, there's Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin...and WACO. LOL.

  2. That's the way to throw a race. Makes you feel like the higher fee was well worth it. And what a great turnout for a first effort. I predict they could end up with such a big crowd they have to run a lottery and/or cut off registrations for future races. Not a bad problem, especially since it's for charity.

    1. Honestly, I'd pay that higher fee again - they did that good of a job!

  3. What a fun event!! I laughed at your train picture - in my town, we have not one, but TWO railroad tracks that go right through the busiest parts of town in different places. I've been told that 60 trains go through here daily, so getting caught by the train is a way of life. We've even coined the slogan "Embrace the Train" because really, that's all you can do!

    This recap almost makes me want to start running 5ks again...almost. :)

    1. LOLing at Embrace the Train, because what else can you do with that many trains, right?

  4. What a great race and a fun report!! I'm so glad you decided to enjoy the day. The pictures you got were great--I really loved the Texas longhorn statues.

    1. Next time you come out here, we'll have to make the trip to Waco. :)

  5. Wow, what a great event! The course sounds really neat (the bridges are so pretty even though HILLz), and I like the Chipisms, especially the last one, like you said! I've never seen this show, and don't know who that is, but I was listening to a podcast interviewing Gabriele Gruenwald and she mentioned how she ran in to Chip in Central Park and then was going to train him. I love that the race proceeds went toward her charity!

    I cannot imagine being out there for the half in that weather! Let alone the 5K! Nice work!!! And how fun to chill after and see so many people milling about. They truly made it in to an enjoyable event.


    1. I still can't believe I don't have a corgi puppy...

  6. I really like when races are more about the camaraderie aspect and less about being a speedy runner. I know that hardly makes sense to some people but I know you get it, right? This does look like a fun race and I love all the motivational signs and the huge You Got This sign!

    1. The race was very inclusive, which was a nice thing for all of the Fixer Upper fans, I'm sure!

  7. Gorgeous area and this sounds like a really fun race (despite the heat)! If I lived closer, I would totally be all over this!! Congrats! :)

    1. You and your runner friends should plan a racecation to Waco next year!

  8. What a wonderful race!!!!!! And if they do it again next year you’ve gotta do it again! I bet knowing the vibe of it, you won’t even have any pre-race angst!!!

    1. Yep, I think this one will go on next year's list for sure.


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