Pumpkin Pacer 5k Hantsport: Race Recap

Good things about fall races, It’s not too hot, they start later in the day, fall foliage and you can wear a costume even if it’s not an official thing. Loves it! Last year I made a chace the ace running outfit for the YMCA Trick or Treat Trot in Bridgewater since they said there would be a prize and let me tell you I was ROBBED! The prizes were only for the children. So I wanted to wear it again and even though it wasn’t an official costume race the date and the name made me think I could get away with it. But it gives me a grown up reason to wear black nail polish so that’s fun. PS I will be wearing all black and writing angsty poetry like a sullen teenager for the rest of the evening because of it. My knee has been acting up a bit the last two weeks perhaps because its a few degrees colder plus my outfit had a lot of wind resistance built in so I wasn’t expecting much.

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A bit about the race: It’s for the food bank in Hantsport Nova Scotia near Windsor and you are asked to bring a donation to the food bank. Based on some of the posts afterwards I think $10 of each registration went to the foodbank. So its definitely a good cause charitable race. It’s held the weekend before halloween and there is no official invitation to wear an outfit, but you can lots of people did. The fire department did course support and it’s definitely one of those little good cause races. That being said there wasn’t a whole lot of info online. The Facebook page is the best recourse but I found it hard to find. The link on race roster to the website is dead. I took the back road up but most people will take the 101 from the city. If you do take the back road there is a gps dead zone for navigation but it comes back in plenty of time to get you there.

Parking and weather: There is good signage to the field you are to park in and everything is really well organized when you get there so you don’t need a whole lot of extra time. Mind you it’s right at the very start of the town once you leave the hi-way so be prepared. They even had a couple of porte-potties on site. The weather the morning of was hella colder than predicted one degree Celsius or 34 Fahrenheit leaving the house. We couldn’t find the ice scrapper the first day were needed it so the credit card trick had to do. I expected the weather to be about 7 but when we got there it was 9 so better than I had thought. On the way I watched the temperature gauge in the car the whole way.

Cheer squad: Honey came with me and was pretty excited or at least was able to convince me he was pretty excited compared to the drive last time. This is a bigger deal than average because my outfit is pretty embarrassing and he knew it wasn’t an official costume race so there is that too. He even offered to hold my bag and tutu while I checked in. Some of the other ladies commented that that was a guy who was secure in his masculinity and he liked that. One chick came up and told me she was at the Bridgewater race last year and I had her favourite running costume ever, so that was pretty cool too. I also walked the organizers of EPIC trough how I made it so they could make their own for next year. I should do a post on that too. He insisted on taking a picture of me at the start gate. It was pretty chilly if you weren’t running around in a big circle so he waited for me in the truck while I ran. I was a bit earlier through the gate then expected but he came running out for the after picture too. This race includes a post race breakfast which we didn’t go to since one of honey’s favourite diners is in the neighbouring town.

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Before: This outfit creates a lot of drag!

Course: So Hantsport appears to be a town that defies physics, a lot of it is uphill. The first two km out of the gate are uphill followed by a short 1 km downhill then a couple of rolling km. I was worried about my knee, winded from the hill and then going faster than I expected and thinking about a PR for the whole time so I’m not sure what I ran past to tell you the truth. Richard asked me if it was pretty and I said I had no idea, there was probably trees but I don’t remember any. I checked the map after and we went by water so that’s probably pretty. But going out on a hill sets your effort level high and can make for a fast run. I took about four 100m walk breaks, two for hills and two for my knee. There was only one option for distance and I think it was $30 when I registered

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Today this whole town seemed uphill

Logistics and support: Pretty dang good! There must have been fire department vehicles at 5 locations, volunteers at three more and a water stop halfway. On one of the downhill’s a little kid fell and they were there to help out right away. I knew that there would be a water stop so I went without bottles of my own. A lot of people weren’t stopping but let me tell you I needed it! 139 people participated this year, after a rainy one last year I heard so there are enough people there to contribute to a great atmosphere. About 25 people had something halloween-y on so if you are so inclined, go for it. Timing was once again done my Atlantic Chip via ankle straps and they had the results up within an hour. In the last week before they added a no frills cheaper option.

Race goals: Officially have fun and give my costume a second wear. But… you know how sometimes you have a secret goal you don’t tell anyone because your not sure you can do it. So that makes you extra weird and nervous and you can’t sleep the night before and you have to say “fine” all the time when someone asks you what’s wrong? That was me for this one. Even though my knee has sucked a bit this season, I didn’t train for anything big in the end and crossed all the fun ones that I mean to get to off the list I’ve been getting faster. I PR’ed in the 5k and the 10k this year and despite my knee sucking and for the last two weeks I’ve had a couple of accidentally fast weekday runs. So I was thinking that a PR could be possible, but not very likely in a tutu and stupid jaunty hat cause you know, wind resistance. I’ve been secretly dreaming of running a sub 30- 5k since July 1st 2016 and it just hasn’t happened, but I usually sign up for the 10k since that’s my favourite. But pulling of a PR (by 6 seconds) today pretty much meant doing just that so… I was 10% hopeful 90% resigned to just having fun and collecting a medal, plus you know the stupid outfit.

Swag: Once again pretty great! We got a medal and a bib of course but also a touque and a cheap rain poncho which might have been a nod to last year’s rainy day in a cute pumpkin bag. We also got a $50 gift certificate to hello fresh (an online food delivery deal) which seems to be getting pretty standard.

Results:  Whoo hooo PR baby! I’m now a sub 30 minute 5k runner! And I am FREAKIN’ excited about it! My watch Nike app hasn’t been playing nice with my phone app since September so I had no idea of my current pace on my watch but still had in ear audio updates each km. At km 1 I knew I was running under 6 minutes, a bit slower but still under 6 at two km and by km 4, I could have slowed my current pace by 34 seconds and still PR’ed so I knew that would happen. By km 3 I was going for it and wanted to leave it all out there today. But I had no idea even then that I was in for such a great time. I took a short walk break on a little hill in the last km and then turned it up, apparently by enough. When I rounded the corner and saw the gate read 28:40 I knew I was about to be getting into the sub 30 the club and I was thrilled. I think I even did the arms over the head thing when I crossed. Gun time of 29:12 baby!

•Time: 29:12 (PR)

•Overall: 49/ 139

•Gender: 28 / 105

•Category (F 30-39): 8 / 24

•Shoes: Adidas Boston Boost 5

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After: Happy sub 30 5k runner!

Looking back: I would do this race again for sure. My knee is still sore so time to do the physiotherapy exercises again. The drive up with the valley was beautiful with the fall colours and no complaints on the race at all. I’m really liking the timing of a Halloween race in the season but I like taking my costume to new places though. So as strongly as I would recommend this one I might opt for a different race next year. PS everyone loved the costume here this year too! Next up parade of light red nose run!

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