Fleadh – festive event of Irish traditional music and dancing; festival of Irish or Celtic culture.
Where to start in regards to the Oak Forest Fleadh 5K? Well, it’s a great big party and when it comes to parties that include running, I like to be right there in the middle of it, especially when the party is basically in my own backyard. Yep, I’m there. I was number 59, so it “might” be safe to assume that I signed up early too.
A lot of things have changed over the last few years, one thing is that I have
attempted stopped being so serious. Not as serious about my seriously messy house, or my crazy toddler who seems to always be defining death safety and not as serious about me or my running. Part of that transition has allowed me to have more fun while running and do stupid stuff like dressing up. The St Paddy’s Day races are the BEST for dressing up. I highly recommend you being as OUTRAGEOUS as possible and trust me, you will fit right in with all the other lunitics runners. Our group had previously chosen a green sparkle skirt from Team Sparkle for our St Paddy’s Day racing fun! Here are the F’N Runners minus Susan M who was floating around with her friends and family. Top left: Kim, April, Judy, Gennie, Kristina, Nicki. Bottom left: Aurelia, Maggie – MagMileRunner, Melissa – MadMamaOf4, Aby, & Me.
Judy F. was also a 3rd place finisher but must have
been frozen and had to leave bailed before awards and Nicole F. (F is for FRITZ!! WHOOOOOOP!) took 2nd. I believe it was possibly a PR day for most, if not all, of the F’N Runners other than myself.
The LOOT:Holy crap, this is one of the largest loot bags I have ever received. There was some cool stuff, lots of coupons that can be actually used and some fun things like: cups, can cozies, pens/pencils, stick-it pads of paper, letter openers, screw driver, cookies, candy, gripper pad to open jars. And the award for the ODDEST goodie bag item ever has to go to the “Convenience Bag” for the disposal of vomit and urine. Ummmm, Thanks?
Overall though, Oak Forest puts on a great race. This is one of my favorite courses because it is soooo easy. And I don’t mean easy as in flat because this isn’t the case but it breaks down into 3 parts very easily and you know exactly where you are and how far to go at all times. The finish will never sneak up on you here unless you are too involved in running up the
gigantic hill into the nasty wind or you were merely absorbed in your music. From the start line, it is almost one mile out (north) on Cicero Avenue, then one mile in a neighborhood, then one mile back south on Cicero to the finish. Done. Perfect. I believe I saw 2 waterstops and there were a few spectators. It was short and sweet. Not easy but well defined.
As for my race, I’m getting faster. This race was a 23:47, which is the fastest 5K thus far for 2012, and considering the wind and hills, plus the near 40 miles that I ran in the last 7 days, I’ll take it. Although my legs were definitely fatigued, I was more mentally prepared for both the wind and hills this year and did improve over last year’s 24:19 finish. So that is a definite win! I still have a lot of work to do but things are looking UP! And it was a total bonus to be able to run the first mile with Maggie, so I had somebody to at least talk to a little bit. Not that we said much but it was “kinda” like we were in it together for a minute before she ran away from me to secure another PR for herself. Go, Maggie!!!!
This race really grew in size this year too. Last year they recorded 330 finishers with the last recorded finisher at 1 hour and this year they had 542 finisher under the 1 hour mark. Plus, last year I won my age group and was considerably slower
in this race. In my opinion, this year’s 3rd place finish is even more rewarding since the competition is getting better. That’s what I like, let’s ALL get better and kick some ass! Yay!
So if you have a chance to run the Oak Forest Fleadh in the years to come, I would definitely recommend it! The post race party delivered raffles, lots of food, FRS, massages and a free beer at one of the local establishments! Plus the community also had a full day of Fleadh events including a parade for the family!
Happy FESTIVE Running, Amanda – TooTallFritz