This past weekend I ran a 5k in the Adrenaline Race Series in West Bend, WI. It was the first time I ran in this event and I was really kind of surprised at how big and how well organized the event was. I say surprised because the race website was a little underwhelming and a bit hard to navigate. It really made it seem like a really small production. However, one we got there, as I mentioned above, I was really positively surprised.
The Adrenaline Race Series has distances of 5k, quarter-marathon, half-marathon, and full marathon. So, right off the bat there really is a distance for everyone. Packet pickup and registration was held at the newly constructed Cast Iron Luxury Apartments in West Bend. Which sounds strange, but it was a huge, beautiful facility right on the trail where the race was held.
The start area had was very professional with tons of port-o-potties, music, awards station, first-aide station, etc. The announcer did a great job of hyping up the crowd and letting everyone know how close it was to race time. The siren went off on time, and it was off to the races… literally. Lol.
After the race they had a large tent with all the post-race goodies you could hope for, and more! One thing that was really unique about this race, is that they had local business there providing the post-race food. They had the usual bagels, cookies, bananas and oranges. But they also had chips and salsa from Casa Tequila, mac and cheese from Noodles & Co., various chips and Italian ice from Culver’s, and peanuts from Texas Roadhouse. For beverages they had water, Gatorade, coffee, chocolate milk, and ice tea.
For the kids they also had mascots from Culver’s restaurant, the local semi-pro hockey team the Admirals, and the armadillo from Texas Roadhouse. They were taking pictures with kids and having a good time. For race results they had a table that they taped the printed sheets to. Lastly, they had finisher medals for everyone, an extra medal for the top 3 in each age group, and plaques for top male and female finishers in each race, and a hand-made piece of artwork for the winners as well.
The course was on a paved section of the Eisenbahn Trail. A beautiful trail that has ponds and river’s on either side. I’ve never been on the trail before but we’ll definitely be going back! The paved trail was wide enough for runners to have plenty of space while return runners came back through. Also, the entire 5k course was extremely flat, which obviously is a huge benefit to race time and enjoyment.
I can’t speak for the whole course because I only ran the 5k, but they had one water/Gatorade station at the 1 mile mark, that way for the 5k we passed it at 1 mile and 2.1 miles. I thought it was at a perfect position. I’m sure it served the longer distance runners well too, as they would have gotten a refreshment with one mile left.
There were race photographers on the course as well, which is always a nice touch. Also, there were volunteers with signs for support at several points along the course.
This race was a little different in that instead of being at the finish line to support me, my wife, Melissa, and her Mom, Patti, got in on the action and walked in the 5k while I ran it. This gave me the opportunity to be there for them and take pictures as they crossed the finish line!
But it really turned into a special day for the three of us. First of all, my wife is over 5 months pregnant, so I was really proud of her for getting out there and staying so active. My mother-in-law had open heart surgery for a heart condition only 5 months ago! 5 months! And to a lesser extent, me, I have lost over 47 pounds in the last 6 months. So all in all, the three of us together doing the race, felt really special.
I set a goal for this race to set a PR, and finally break the 30 minute barrier. Which may not sound too impressive to a lot of seasoned runners, but it would be a major accomplishment for me. Especially from where I started. I started running at 325 pounds and ran my first training 5ks in about 45 minutes. And as of this race, I’m proud to say I hit my goal! At 283 pounds I ran the 5k in 29:46! Not much time to spare, but I did it. That was a 9:36 pace. I finished #38 out of 178 runners and #5 out of 11 in my age group. All of those numbers seem so surreal to me. But it just proves what dedication can do and clarifies to me that I am on a good path and can keep improving!
For a full list of my race results click here.
In summary, I really enjoyed the Adrenaline Race Series and my Wife, her Mom, and myself will 100% be back next year!
Thanks for reading, and I hope you too can get out there soon for a local race.