What better way to get into the spirit of the season than by running a Grinch inspired race? This event fit into the theme of Whoville for the Business district in downtown Hornell, NY. There were many events prior to this race, including a parade, carriage rides and various contests (hair, costume and decorating.)
I love Dr. Seuss and the Grinch, so I decided to head to Hornell to give it a try. The race was a night race, starting at 7 pm. Hornell is about an hour from me. Costumes were encouraged, so I decided to be Cindy Lou Who. For some reason, I already had a blonde Halloween wig at home, so I did my best to recreate her hairstyle. Not easy mind you! Also, not easy to run in. I fashioned a headband inside to secure it. The top of her hair was made by wrapping hair around a dixie cup. Making this wig also involved gluing, cutting, braiding and attaching other fasteners. I bought the shirt/skirt on Etsy. The seller threw in the arm bands for free – score! Good thing I am not afraid to look ridiculous!
I got to Hornell around 5:45 and picked up my bib and tshirt. It was freezing out. I don’t do well with the cold, so I went to my car. Then, I headed over to the nearby Burger King to use the restroom. I saw Porta Potties, but there wasn’t a lot of light, so I didn’t want to use those. Around 6:30, I headed back to the starting area. They had a dj playing music with lights. It was very festive. I talked to a few people – some had run a 5k that morning, and a few had run two! My teeth were chattering, and I was ready to start running. When you have Raynauds attacks in your hands, temperatures in the 30s are not your friend. As always, I had my trusty hand warmers.
Around 6:50, we headed toward the start on the main street. I couldn’t hear the person on the megaphone, but at around 7 we were off. The course involved a lot of turns. It was around their business district and then down side streets. It was nice to see the homes and businesses decorated with lights. They had volunteers with signs showing people where to go. They also had cars beaming their lights on in various parts of the course.
I always end up running at a pace where no one is in front or behind me. Normally, that’s not a problem. However, in this case, there was an issue at the very end. There was one guy ahead of me. He had no idea where to go toward the final part and neither did I. I had looked over the route map. but somehow we ended up going the back way behind where the finish was. I knew it was wrong – just not sure how I made a wrong turn. I wish there had been in a few more volunteers in that area. It was also desolate in one area. I’ve run almost 80 races, and this has never happened before. So, I ran to the finish from the wrong way and had to back track. I know that cost me a couple minutes. UGH! That part was such a disappointment to me. I felt so strong during this race, and know I was equally as fast as my last race, if not faster. Oh well – there is always the next race.
At the finish, you could turn in a ticket for a free hot cocoa or coffee. They also had oranges, granola bars and water bottles. Age group winners got fleece blankets. I was cold and sweaty and had an hour drive home, so I didn’t stay for the awards ceremony. There were around 200+ people running or walking this inaugural race.
Overall, this was a very nice race. It was a fun theme, good crowd and nicely organized. I’m not a huge fan of running in the dark or on streets where there is traffic, but that’s just me. I can see this race growing in popularity. I also like that it’s not huge – I don’t like races where thousands run. I have one more race left for the year. Once I run that, I’ll be able to get my Masters runners plaque (bronze). Can’t wait for that!
Course: Mainly flat on streets in and around the Hornell business district
Time: 7 pm start
Weather: mid 30s, slight breeze at times
Location: Hornell, NY
Results: 75 out of ? (maybe 200+), 6th in age group (40-49), 33:41, 10:52 min/mile
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1778646615749033/
I have my last race for 2016 next Saturday, but driving weather looks questionable. Once again, I picked a race that is a bit of a drive away. I’m hoping for the best, but we’ll see. Until next time – see you on the roads!