Cupid’s Chase – One Race, 25 Cities

Very cold day for a race! Onondaga Lake, Liverpool, NY

Love is in the air? Well, it really was more likely your breath in the air/condensation. After “mild” weather this week (season), temperatures in upstate NY plummeted (it figures!) and at race time it was in the 20s  at the Syracuse location of the Cupid’s Chase 5k this past Saturday. All I know is that it was cold – very, very cold. Brrrr!!!

Cupid’s Chase is a 5K  that takes place in 25 cities in 10 states, on the same day/at the same time. Envisioning others in other cities huffing and puffing their way thru a course gives me comfort, so I was all for this event. It’s a great cause too – proceeds go to host Community Options, a nonprofit that supports people with disabilities. I wanted to do this race last year, but I chose to run the Dash For The Dome in Buffalo instead. That was also a frigid day.

The race started at 10 a.m. Syracuse is an hour and half from where I live, so it called for an early start driving there (ugh!). The great thing was that I had someone to attend this race with, which is not always the case. My friend and running buddy, Margaret, ran the race last year and was up for running it this year. I met Margaret at the half marathon training group I did this summer thru Medved. She is a great person and a weight loss success story. I want to feature Margaret in a future blog post – my new Runner of the Month series. 🙂

I was up at 6 a.m., got ready and drove to meet Margaret in Canandaigua. Roads from my house were pretty slick, so it was a slow go, but once we left, it was much better. Cold, but better. We got to the park and got our bibs and our “Available” tshirts (more about those later). They had raffles and you could get your pic taken and receive the print immediately for $2. I thought that was a nice idea – great way for them to raise money and get a souvenir. We then headed out for a short warmup.

A little while later, at 10 a.m., we (along with others in 24 other cities!) were off. The course was along Onondaga Lake in Liverpool, NY.  It was COLD and slippery in spots. Not a lot of snow, but you definitely had to watch your footing. It was an “up and back” course. Those courses are not my favorite, since the leaders are always heading back when you still have a ways to go. It can be kinda discouraging.

Margaret is a thinner, faster (and younger) runner than me, and she sped off. I was much, much slower. It ended up being my slowest 5k ever. Not good, not good at all. I actually thought I was going faster than I was. It took me over 35 minutes (11.21 min pace, 141/174, 13/17 age/gender) Oh well. I remember when I would never run a race in over 30, sigh… Still proud I ran on a frigid day. In stark contrast, Margaret did awesome, winning 3rd in her age group!! So proud of her. It was her second best 5k ever. She ran a great pace, not even having done interval training or a lot of outdoor winter running. I, on the other hand, have been running outside all winter, so I have no excuse. 🙂

After the race, they had healthy snacks (bananas, apples, string cheese, yogurt).  Prior to the race were less healthy options – heart shaped doughnuts (oh how I love those, but I was good).  They then drew the raffle winners (darn, I did not win!) and gave out the awards. I should have gone inside and changed, because I started to get a Raynauds attack. That part was not good. The attack lasted the whole drive home. Changing out of sweaty clothes immediately is a must when you deal with this issue.

I did finally end up changing into my race t shirt. At registration, you got to pick up your tshirt. You could get an “Available” tshirt or “Unavailable” tshirt. They were trying to promote love connections among fellow runners. During the race, I wore my own Cupid’s American Eagle shirt. It was so cold, that I had it covered with another jacket. Most of the people I saw had the white “unavailable” tshirts (or maybe their “available” tshirts were just covered up).

Anyway, overall I liked this race. I liked the theme, decorations, bibs (cute cupid on them), t shirt, raffles and post race food. You also got a nice red drawstring bag at registration with lots of goodies, including a water bottle, brain shaped eraser head for a pencil (random, but love that), Cupid’s Chase bracelet and even chocolate! Only about 175 people did the Syracuse 5k. It was a very cold day, so I am sure that made a big difference in how many people came out. I know how much I hate being in the cold on a blustery, gray day, so I am sure others feel the same way.

A big shout out to all the people in all the host cities – Amarillo to Albuquerque, Chicago to Chattanooga, you all rule and I was proud to be a part of this group run. I didn’t make any love connections, but it was a good workout for a good cause. Plus, running this race gives you an excuse to indulge a bit in Valentine’s day candy. Now, I just need to find an Easter race so I can start eating some marshmallow peeps guilt-free.

If you want to learn more about Cupid’s Chase races around the country, visit them here. Also, more photos from the Syracuse race can be found here. Results can be found here. Video from Syracuse race.

Have a sweet Valentine’s Day!

Pros: Cute holiday themed race, Love the idea of having others run the race in different cities. Glad there was a water stop – some winter races don’t have them. Real bathrooms in building- nice, as opposed to having porta potties. I also liked the goodie bag. A big thank you to all the volunteers!

Cons: Too cold (I realize that cannot be controlled). Also, the price- great cause, but $35 ($50 if you wait til the day of to register) is high when compared to other 5k entry fees. I think they might get more people if they could find a way to reduce the fee.

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