Dopey Challenge – Day 1

Despite a few minor snags with travel arrangements {due to weather}, I managed to get to FL with plenty of time to hit the expo, pick up the Dopey Challenge packets have a few beers, and be ready to run the 5K by this morning. Myself, Jason & Judy at the expo.

As expected, the expo was packed but we did our best to look around, make a few unique purchases, grab all of our shirts, and get the boys skirted by Sparkle Athletic. All 6 shirts are pictured below. A green cotton tee for the 5K {which I got in Michael’s size}, a red gender specific long sleeve for the 10K, a navy gender specific LS for the half, a powder blue gender specific LS for the full, a black gender specific LS for the Goofy Challenge, and a white gender specific LS for the Dopey Challenge. I know a lot of people don’t like white but I was super happy with that being the color of the Dopey shirt. The color alone upped the chances that I’ll actually wear it. See the shirts below, along with the two bibs. We will be wearing the green bib for the 5K & 10K and the grey one for the half & full marathons.


This morning started bright and early. We got up at 3:30 am (2:30 am Chicago time!) and hit the road by 4am. The race started promptly at 6:15am but that was the only thing prompt about the day. There was a lot of time spent getting into position in order to run the race, which gave us plenty of time to scout the crowd, pick out our favorite outfit, and find our friends. I’d like to send an unofficial shout out to the family who was dressed as the 101 dalmations, even the young tot was decked out in dots and had a dog collar. Then another favorite of mine was seeing young Belle {from Beauty and the Beast} who was dressed in her blue frock with white apron and she was even carrying a basket and a book WHILE she ran the 5K. Wow. That’s dedication to the charactor. As for myself and my friends, we were decked out in the Sparkle Athletic skirts and even the guys were good sports and joined the fun.


We were in Corral B. There were only 5 corrals for the 5K with approximately 10,000 people running the event. I must say that I saw A LOT of Dopey bibs!! The race started in the dark with fireworks sending off every corral {yes, I missed the photo of the firewords}.


We ran the majority of the race in the dark while attempting to be carful of footing and watching for slippery spots due to a light rain which fell prior to the race start. The majority of the 5K took place in and around Epcot. All the lights were on and everything was lit very well. It was a beautiful run, even if a bit crowded. Jason, Dawn, Judy and I at a prime photo spot.


There were a couple spots for Disney Character photo ops too but the lines were pretty long, especially for Dopey. I bet the little guy never knew he was going to be so popular. 🙂 In all we busted thru Epcot for the 5K in about 29 minutes (with several photo stops). The pace was very random. There was a lot of weaving around people. It was exactly what I expected: super cool, crowded, fun, loads of amazing costumes, families everywhere run/walking, happy volunteers and beautiful sites. So far, so good.

As soon as we finished the 5K, the Dopey people were herded into a separate area to receive our bracelets.


There is a bit of confusion as to what will happen next. Some say that we will accumulate a bracelet every day, for a total of 4 by the end in order to collect our Dopey Challenge medal. Others say that volunteers will cut off our 5K bracelets tomorrow and replace them with one which shows that we also completed the 10K. I’m not really sure and too lazy to look it up in our info booklet. Time will tell. I’m in no rush this weekend so just plan to take in as much as possible and not worry so much about details. 🙂

So that’s what’s happening so far in the Dopey Challenge arena. I’m off to take a nap now and attempt to recharge “my battery” a bit. I’m definitely tired from traveling and the new schedule, plus I’m having a few aches & pains due to a few snow related incidents that occurred at home before I left. I’m definitely not a 100% (or even close) and I felt it for sure today in the 5K. With only 3.1 miles down and another 45.5 miles left to run, I will be focusing on recovery quite a bit over the next couple of days.

** You May Be Goofy But I’ve GONE Dopey! ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Uno 5K Carrera de los Muertos Race Review


I run a lot of races each year and while I enjoy them all to a certain degree, only a few hold a special spot on my heart and demand a repeat.  I must say that the “Race of the
Dead” which is officially called the Uno 5K Carrera de los Muertos is one which I have been anticipating for well over a year.  And it did not disappoint. 

Race of the Dead

This is a themed race for a local community to celebrate the passing of loved ones.  There was an alter, or memorial site, to honor those who passed, plus lots of costumes, painted faces, etc. to make it a full celebration rather than just a memorial atmosphere.  So much fun!  Seriously. 

I’ve heard from previous year’s participants that both the shirts and the age group awards are “one of a kind” and to be honest, I didn’t sign up for a shirt.  I really wanted a hand painted/crafted skull that the local art department creates for each year’s age group awards.  After looking at the past results, I knew that it would be “almost” impossible to win one but that didn’t stop me from trying.  At some point, EVERYONE will have a perfect race.  Who knows, today could be that day?

Swag on the left, including an amazing gender specific tech shirt which is super cool, bonus in that it actually fits!  The back of the shirt and the 2013 age group awards are on the right.

Race of the Dead_swag Race of the Dead_back of shirt & skull Race of the Dead_AG Skulls

I knew I needed to be in the 21s, probably a 21:30 finish {at the slowest} to even have a shot at the third place award in my division (35-39 women).  Well, the third place lady in my AG took it with a 21:30 but that wasn’t me!  I was almost 2 minutes behind her and that put me in 6th place.  🙂

No worries, I’m not upset.  I’m not injured.  I did start a bit too far back, even with the chip timing.  I found my pace group sign and stood there awaiting the start, thinking that the people in front of me would run faster than me.  They did not.  It was a community/neighborhood event and well, the community started in front of me without concern about pace, or time.  It surprised me a bit and I did my best to be polite as I attempted to squeeze thru every crack I could find; however, I never really got in a rhythm due the crowds.  It thinned out at the half way point but I failed to rally back and increase my pace.  I actually slowed down much to my dismay in that third mile.

Regardless, the entire race was awesome.  Lots of on course entertainment.  And I do mean a lot.  I was focused on getting thru the crowds but the entertainment and cheering crowds were constantly garnering my attention and that’s super cool.    Lots of costumed runners, which I absolutely LOVE.   Lots of community spirit.  One aid station at the half way point.  Lots of potties at the start/finish area.  Massive block party style “after party” with a band, food from community vendors and a few other vendors on site.  Really good time.  Really fun atmosphere.  Great event for the entire family.  I can’t wait to go back next year and try to put myself in a better position to snag an AG award!!  A few photos of the after party below.

Race of the Dead_party2     Race of the Dead_party3

Race of the Dead_party

My girl, Nicki, & I after the race (on the left).  We tried to dress for the race theme in our Spandits “Skull” pants & she added a few “day of the dead” tats for decoration!  And our “babies” (on the right) went to see all the costumes be our support crew.

Race of the Dead_Nicki & I   Race of the Dead_kid support

Great day.  Perfect race weather.  Amazing neighborhood race.  I hope to be able to go back next year because it’s honestly one of the most fun non Shamrock Shuffle, non Chicago Marathon races I’ve ran in our area.  I’d highly recommend your giving it a try in 2014!

** Run Fast & Have Fun ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Short Run Long Day 5K

Yesterday was the hottest longest day of the year.  Every year for the last 12 years, Frankfort, IL does a 5K in the evening of the “long day”.  According to the Frankfort Patch, this year drew more participants than any previous year with 403 individuals registered for this evening, weekday race.  Those are good numbers for a work/school night!

I’d like to think that the Frankfort New Lenox Running Club helped up those numbers.  🙂  Here is a pic of our skeleton crew for the night.  Lots of our regular runners couldn’t make the run but we did our best to represent!

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Although I registered myself and Aby for the race, I did not run run because of the torn tendon in my foot.  Nor have I run in previous years because a night race when one has a baby/toddler, is a bit difficult but no worries, I fed everyone ice cream for dinner after the race so we could go right home and go to bed!

The packet pick up was smooth and moved quickly.  The only complaint I heard on the entire race that one of the volunteers in packet pick up was very rude less than friendly.  Please know that if you do not want to volunteer at a race or other event, please don’t let someone strong-arm you into doing it.  We have so much respect and love for the volunteers that come out to help, they add so much to our race experience that we don’t want one person to give any race a bad name.   Photo below from the Frankfort Park District Facebook Page.  That’s Susan D in the gold FNRC shirt.


The goodie bag was sparse but we don’t run for the goodies, do we?

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The race was family/kid friendly with sprinklers & a bounce house.

bounce house

The race course was certified with chip timing and really good according to the comments of racers and members of the F’N Running Club.  The race started in front of Main Park on Locust, headed toward the bike path, thru Frankfort and busted ass back thru the streets to the finish. 


I heard really good reports on the running aspect of the race.  There was one water stop at the halfway mark, no complaints of overcrowding and everyone was praising the shaded bike path and the mature trees throughout the neighborhood.  Apparently, one of the best aspects of the race was a homeowner who took his hose to the street and was spraying the runners!  Although the temps were high at 97 degrees as we were driving to the race, the winds kicked up and cooled things down quickly before the start.  Even so, temps were not ideal but everyone looked happy and seemed to have ran good times.  It’s always a good race when people finish with smiles on their face and plan to go back again for next year!  Here are a billion some pics, in random order, which I captured of the F’N Runners as the whizzed past me.  Thankfully their bright gold shirts gave me a good heads up that they were coming my way.  I didn’t get everyone as I was also trying to watch the little cheer squad (Michael & Jack below) and some photos were just too blurry to salvage.

Michael & Jack

Susan M zooms past on her way for a 3rd place finish in her age group!

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Nicole Fritz placed 2nd in her age group but was too fast for me to catch on film!

Kristin Kotara, snagged a first in a full out sprint as our fastest F’N Runner who raced the Short Run Long Day.  She may, or may not, have blistered the course in a 21:05 and my camera was barely fast enough to get her, thank goodness Susan did better in the first photo!  Last photo from the Frankfort Park District Facebook Page.

kristin_frankfort 5k   Picture 065   kristin2_frankfort 5k

Eve Jensen also took a first in her age group but I didn’t capture that either!

Aby was mid pack trying to trip Amanda W so I missed her “in action”.   She ran a 29:46 though and was super happy with the race and shaded course!  Great job, Aby!  Here she is coming back to give her brother a high-five after the finish.

Aby & Michael_Frankfort 5K

Sean & Meg testing their finishing kick with Barb & Jenny eating their dust close behind!  

Jake & Meg_Frankfort 5K                 Barb & Jeni_Frankfort 5K      

Kate S & Company:  Picture 078

Melissa, Lisa & Brian F who arrived late and didn’t get his gold shirt in time.

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Nicole R is a blurrrrrrr running past with her two little men in the double jogger!

Picture 071 Jeni H is ALL smiles, just like always!!  And I spy, Kathy H &  Amanda W in the background of the first photo! 

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Go Betsy!!!   Picture 068

All in all, it seemed to be the perfect day and the perfect place to spend time with our friends doing our favorite thing, RUNNING!  We will definitely be back next year to participate in the fun.  Look out were growing and we now have an official color that will “almost” glow in the dark.  You can’t miss us.  Honest!   Come out and celebrate with us for 2013!

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **