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