I was really jacked up for the 2017 Flannel 5k! It was my first time running in the event, and first time running a race put on by Silver Circle Sports Events. The race start time was at 9am and fortunately the race was only about 20 minutes from home. So, I got up about 7am, had my standard low-carb, pre-race breakfast; 2 eggs with extra butter, 3 sausage links, and two spoonfuls of peanut butter. The butter and sausage are pretty high in fat so that along with the carbs from the peanut butter provide a little extra fuel for the race. In an ideal world I would load up on a few more carbs, but my low-carb, weight-loss diet doesn’t really allow for it.
The flannel 5k was held in Naga-waukee county park in Hartland, WI., which was a really nice touch. Most races are on city streets, but the park really made for some nice scenery. The weather was not ideal, but then again, this is February in Wisconsin. At the start of the race it was about 22 degrees, with a pretty gnarly 25 mph wind. Also, the night before it had sleeted, froze, and snowed so there was a fair amount of ice on the course. I did see 4-5 people fall, which stinks, but thankfully I din’t see anyone get injured. The course conditions made it a fun challenge, but certainly tough to push for a PR. But PRs aren’t always a reality when it comes to bad weather. (for more info on running in cold weather, check out: 8 tips for running in the cold)
The course had nice rolling hills, that is until we hit one MAJOR hill right towards the end. Far too large for this novice runner to conquer. I ended up having to walk the majority of the hill, which really took a little fun out of the run and really hurt my race time. Event organizer can’t really help this though given the confines of the park.
The Event Organization
As I mentioned earlier, this is the first event I’ve ran in hosted by Silver Circle. However, I will be the first to admit, they do a great job. They had a great shirt, chip timed bibs, a very professional start/finish line with an announcer. They also had a pavilion that was blocked off from the wind for people to pick up there bibs and wait for the race to begin. Also, their website and registration is very user-friendly. They had a hot chocolate bar after the race was a really nice touch! Finally, from the enthusiasm and friendliness of the runners there, it was clear that they really love running in Silver Circle’s events.
A Couple Minor Drawbacks of the Flannel 5k
The minor critiques of the event put on by Silver Circle Sports Events are; Being a beginner runner, I am a big fan of finisher medals. I know it’s like a participation trophy, but I think it makes the event more fun for all levels of runners. However, if I were an elite runner, I probably would prefer a run without finisher medals. But the truth is, most runners are not elite. Also, the bibs are not personalized or specific to the race. They are generic for all of Silver Circle’s running events. For people like me that like to keep their bibs and display them, a personalized bib is a nice touch.
My wife’s biggest pet peeve, was that there were not bathrooms close by. So if you needed to use a restroom right before the race, you were out of luck. Lastly, being the middle of winter in Wisconsin, it would be nice to have an indoor area to check in at near the starting line. The pavilion helped, but it was still freezing cold and it was so small, only about 1/2 the runners could fit inside. It also appears that about 25% of the registered runners didn’t show up for the race; likely due to the poor weather. Had they shown up, it would have been that much more difficult to get in.
Overall, I really enjoyed the race (minus that last hill, lol) . I will definitely take part in races in this Chilly Willy Run Series in the future, or any other event hosted by Silver Circle.
5k time: 35:11
~ Jogger’s Journey