Race Review: Blue Back Mitten 5K – West Hartford, CT … Just outside of Hartford. Where people run for fun, instead of their lives. WARNING: Mittens not included. (Sunday, Dec 4th 2016 – weekend holiday shopping procrastination activity #1)
Things I loved:
- 10:30am start time. Late enough for you to get good sleep, regret going to Mexican the night before, eat a balanced breakfast, drink coffee and guilt people into coming to cheer for you.
- Solid crowd to porta potty ratio. No long pee-dancing waits and a couple minutes lead time on the person going in behind you, so you can avoid those oh-so-special awkward handoffs. Because the disgusted face you make on the way out isn’t fooling anyone.
- Excellent porta potty to starting line proximity. Passes the ultimate test: a round trip scramble for a last minute nervous pee.
- Starts on a downhill so you can gain some momentum into the rolling hills. Just think aerodynamic thoughts and act like a pinewood derby car. Tips from the pros: shave your entire body, move your arms as fast as you can & glue your ears back.
- Ends on a downhill so you can look like you were running super fast the whole time. In college we called that Trompe l’eoil, the trickery of masters!
- Competitive field of mostly local athletes, that can be stalked on social media for further motivation.
- Live tracking! So your time is posted on the wonderful world wide web as soon as you cross the finish line. Because even though you already know what your time was, it’s not really official until it’s googleable.
- They give you a winter hat for finishing instead of a metal and then everyone wheres that hat the following year in a live reenactment of Where’s Waldo, the story of an average Joe who’s only outfit becomes wildly popular.
- Vendors with free junk. I could care less, but I know 1 out of every 5 of you is a compulsive swag hoarder and this is a judgment-free zone.
- Well plotted course and decent amount of fans (see first bullet).
- Ends in the center of Blue Back square with lots of options for post-game food, shopping and revelry. I, for one, went straight to Whole Foods with my Oiselle gals for makeshift pancake tacos and boom sauce. Curve ball…. I drink beer too!
Things I didn’t love:
- Self-seeding is a such a silly, perfunctory exercise that just reconfirms the vast & incredibly sad disparity between the majority of peoples’ self perception and reality. Love the Thomas the Train attitude, but there’s nothing wrong with the caboose. Board the right car people! We will all go the distance.
- No free food, coffee or hot chocolate after? No free beer? I think I may have missed it somehow? I run for many reasons, 2 of the most important being food & drank. Do not deny me my completely guilt-free bagel.
Would I do it again?: Hells-to-the-yes. I’ll be there next year. 1 sec off my PR = unfinished business. Who’s comin’ with me?
Next stop: Ted Corbitt 15K, I reveal my favorite everyday winter chardonnay, drunk picture science experiment, human elf on a shelf and more. Much more.
You’re addicted to my magical fruit and you know it,