Midwinters Cruise 5K – 2012

Today brought the annual Midwinters Cruise 5K in Park Forest, which is hosted by the Park Forest Running and Pancake Club.  This is definitely a theme race and the “Midwinters Cruise” name insinuates that you are taking a nice cruise vacation rather than preparing to run the frozen streets of Park Forest in January.  Upon entering the school for packet pick up/registration we were given a flower lei just as if you were stepping on board a cruise ship.  Nice touch.

I run the Midwinters Cruise each year for several reasons.  1)  I love the PFRPC.  They are a very friendly group and they are super welcoming to new runners.  They welcomed me on my very first group run many years ago.  2)  I was a member up until this month (renewal time) although I haven’t run with them since Mr. Michael’s appearance and 3)  Please let me out of the house for a Midwinters Cruise in January……anytime, anywhere, I’m in.

Lots of friends showed up today to run.  Lots of old friends were on site or out in the cold managing the race.   All the friendly faces makes the race even better.  Our group today:   Maggie, Me, Aurelia, Judy, Kristina, Kelly, April & Kerry

After this photo a few of us went out for a short warm up.  Then we were called to the start line with 10 minutes til start.  My favorite thing about this race is definitely the pancakes indoor waiting area and bathrooms pre-race.  However, it was cold and windy on the start.  Once we are off, it is the ever so familiar certified course with 2 flat loops then a side shot into the finish.  This year the race was chip timed and as always, they had people calling out mile splits at the 1, 1.5, 2 and 3 mile marks.  The course was well-marked, had signs for each mile marker and one water stop.  It started on time and was a great race.  The temps, which the PFRPC can’t control, were in the low 20’s, a chilly light wind, and the streets were clear except for a few snowy/icy corners.  Thanks for another great race PFRPC!  I’ll see you next year.

The F’N Running Club made a great showing.  Several PRs today for Maggie, Aurelia, Kristina, & April.  This was April’s (bottom center pick with Kerry who is just coming back from injury) VERY first 5K, so technically a guaranteed PR but she totally killed it, especially since she has only been logging miles for 2 weeks.  Yep, first race with only 2 weeks of running under her belt.  Now what was your excuse?    And the center top pic is of me and another former pancaker who has turned IronWOman.  Always great to see Mel, she is an inspiration.   Left pic is of me and Aurelia pre-race.  Love her smile, she always seems so happy.  I like that.  Then that’s Kristina & I on the right.  She likes to race almost as much as me and has just signed up for her first 10 mile race.  I can totally see the marathon in Kristina’s not so distant future.

The pic below is the F’N Running Club members who were able to grab some age group awards.   Great story, each race we have run lately, Maggie and Kelly so far have been neck & neck.  Last race, Kelly beat Maggie by 1 second and this time Maggie beat Kelly by 2 seconds.  Unfortunately, both are in the same age group.  However, this time their was award waiting for both of them…..that’s what I like to see.  Kelly – 2nd Age Group, Me – 1st Age Group, Maggie – 1st Age Group.  Thankfully, I’m much older and wiser and don’t have to compete against those youngin’s cuz they have been kicking my butt as of late.

Great race and so GREAT to get out with friends for some ME time!  Thanks to all of you ladies who braved the cold to run today!

I’m not yet back to 5K shape, ran this race 43 seconds slower than last year and didn’t run hard last year, but I refuse to let that stop me.  I will keep running them and will hopefully start showing better.  If not, I’ll keep running cuz that is what I do.  I had another lucky one in that most of the “fasties” from my age group must have decided to stay home in bed today.  I won the age group with a 24:13, just in front of IronWOman Mel.  I ran as hard as I could run for today so am very happy with the end result, a pain-free FINISH.

This is a fun race, close to home and cheap.  My kind of race.  What kind of races do you like: big/small, theme, town/country course, flat/hilly?  Tell me!

Happy Running,                                                                                                                 Amanda – TooTallFritz

13 thoughts on “Midwinters Cruise 5K – 2012

  1. TTF!!! I can’t thank you enough for twisting my arm.. er… convincing me that I could do this & for coming back to find me & finish with me! You have no idea what that meant. Overall I am very proud of what I did & I even learned a few valuable lessons for the next one! YES! There WILL be a next one! I am just wondering if 2 months is enough time to be able to stretch my distance to a 5K for the Shamrock Shuffle!! (I think this is going to become an addiction)…

    Again thanks to you & everyone else from the F’NRC who helped me through this first race! The first one is DONE so only onward & upward from here!

  2. Fantastic job! SO happy to see several of our Wednesday night F’N Runners participating in this local run. You girls inspire me so much. Wish I could have joined you for the run, but hopefully next time! At least I never have to worry about competing for age group awards with you young ‘uns, because you girls have rocket speed! Keep up the great work! Sounds like a very fun event.

  3. In any 5k race is someone in shape to run them all-out? Not me – LOL! Yes…it was great to see ya TTF out there and ya gotta smile on your face heading thru mile 2 so that’s a good sign…then ya come around a 3rd time! That really through this timer for a loop!

    Not sure if I recognized many of your F’N runners…but I am sure if they passed me at 2-miles…they got some cheering or encouragement. Will take me some time to peg those names of the gals or yours with real-world faces, but ya, Mel Neuwman an Iron Woman that can run her game and rocks in those tri-events. I live in awe of that capability, but remain thankful I can run marathons as fast as I do (at least most).

    Kudos to ya for giving this race good billing. It is South-Suburbs “Premiere” winter race and someday I want to see 500 runners out there doing it! Based on last year and this year’s turn-out…we are half-way there to that 500 goal…but you are oh-so correct in stating this is one great race to do…not expensive….lots of freebies and prizes….and just a lot of good-ole race kharma that makes it a race to do each year.

    I ran it last year as a “Coach” for Fleet-Feet and run alongside the trainees and encourage them on. I ran it once in the first year I was a member of PFRPC…but most years…I just out there helping out and cheering everyone on!

    One nice thing bout being a split-timer is ya see the “lead” pack come through…this time a single runner followed blocks back by a pack of handful of others duking it out for 2nd and 3rd place. That lead runner with oh-so skinny legs cruised by me at 1-mile at 5 + some change minutes, and when I was at 2-mile split it was 10:34 or something like that (long story why I was at both mile splits; mistake on someone else’s part). But the key here is that dude cruised by and didn’t look all that fast, nor did I see or hear any signs of labored running….was just cruising along way in the lead. Had such a high back-leg butt kick in his gait…something that every other runner passing by lacked 0(even the others pushing slightly sub-6 or low 6 min pace). This lead runner was fast, effortless, controlled and seemingly at ease.

    I learned something there about form and technique…but what is really important isn’t being first or being all that “fast”….but just running your own race and enjoying it and reveling in the accomplishment when you cross the line. As I reminded many that passed me at 2-miles, speed is relative…and if they didn’t understand the true meaning of that comment…it simply means you are awesome in the fact you run your race at what ya can muster or feel good with come race day. Any “true” runner will always find glory in other runners that do the race irrespective of time or finish place….just that ya do it!

    It was an awesome day….just as it has always been in years past that I have been there. Way to go F’N and good job TTF in tending to your flock of runners…and don’t matter bout membership or what….ya always a Pancaker!


    • Loved seeing you at BOTH mile markers. I was surprised. LOL! I just love to run and am happy to be out there…..when I have friendly faces around, it just makes it that much better!

  4. I love small races for the familiar faces, uncrowded course, goodies at the end and of course it’s actually possible to get an award! Sometimes big races are fun just for the experience, but they also come with headaches – crowds, high registration fees, parking hassles (and more fees).

    Great job out there! I’m so happy to hear that you are still pain free!

  5. Congrats on your AG win! It’s so cool to see the pics of all your buddies out there! It’s fun to do a race with so many friends 🙂

    It is a good thing Kelly and Maggie have been 1st and 2nd and not 2nd and 3rd… or worse, 3rd and 4th 🙂

  6. Pingback: Park Forest Running & Pancake Club – Turtle 10 – 2012 | TooTallFritz

  7. Pingback: Midwinters Cruise 5K – 2013 & My Achilles Heel…. | TooTallFritz

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