Saturday, I ran my second 5k within a week of the first, the Anything Is Possible 5k. The event started at 1:50 A.M. and I finished at roughly 1:30 A.M Saturday evening/Sunday morning. Of course the race was designed to give you a negative 5k time by straddling the 2 A.M. clock shift, when clocks go back an hour. The race was held in the parking lot of a local Atlanta suburban mall, Town Center Mall Kennesaw, and as soon as I pulled up into the parking lot, I realized this race was going to be very different from the Monster Dash 5k I dd a week earlier(report here).
The Monster Dash was fun, but it was purely a race. The organizers tried to foster the spirit of a costume party with a live band and costume contest, but it just fell flat. The after race food was oatmeal bars and bananas and thankfully some bottled water. I did not stick around long as I was starving and ready for some food. Also, most people were leaving as soon as they were done and not sticking around. The Anything Possible race was a stark contrast and exactly the opposite. Before the race started everyone was excited and already excited. People were dressed in costumes and tons of variations of lights. The race organizers had tents set up in the parking lot where they were taking last minute registrations and different local organizations and companies were show casing products and services. It felt almost circus like and was a highly energized environment. Part of the difference might have been the fact this event occurred at 1:50 A.M,, other factors could have included tons of local business and community support. There were easily over a thousand people at the event.
Eventually the hour arrived and we all lined up ready to run. People with blinking lights, and glow sticks all packed together ready to race. Then the race started and we were off, running a course around the mall. My watch had difficulty catching GPS signal being so near to the mall and mall buildings that I had no idea my pace til a mile later. I am sure I went out too fast and too hard, as my legs did not last very long and got tired before mile two, I found myself having to slow and walk for a few seconds every so often. Later when the GPS did fix I kept finding my pace to be in the 13 minute mile pace,even though I felt like I was going slower, closer to the 14 minute mile pace. So another race where I had to fight my pace and my time suffered due to pacing issues.
Just after passing mile one they had an area set up with blinking lights and mysterious time warp style noises to let you know you had entered the time warp, when the clock goes back an hour. Overall the course had a little bit of steepness, but it was not too bad. It was really cool running at night around the mall with everyone in an extremely festive mood. As I neared the end of mile three I hit a wall, I bonked big time. I ate three hours earlier and figured I would not need to eat a gel before this race like the last one. I felt like it was possibly too much last time and frivolous. Nope, I needed to do the gel before the start. I ran out of gas and fought with myself just to keep pushing and to finish. Won’t make that mistake again.
This event was a time chipped event so I got my first official run time in this race and pulled out a 45:41 finish. There is definitely work to be finished there. It was fun figuring out how to attach the strip for the first time, but it was easy once instructions were properly read. I now have an official time, I know could have been a minute or two shorter if I could have gotten my pacing down. But its a start.
Once I crossed the finish line, that is when the party began. I mean party, music and food and excitement. I joined the end of the impromptu food line and as the line moved forward it passed numerous tables, first water, then chicken sandwiches, then dunkin doughnuts and pizza and stew and corn bread and wings and sushi and muscle milk. Everyone in line was having a good time recounting their runs, meeting new people and we were all standing there stuffing our mouths with one hand and holding four or five food items in our other hands. It was fantastic and just great fun. There was a DJ playing music and getting the crowd into the excitement. It was great fun, but I did not stay too long as it was still very late in the evening and my wife, who did not participate was ready to go home. Of course I went home and rode the adrenaline for another two hours before going to bed.
This event was awesome. It was very well managed, planned and executed. The food and party afterword were amazing and its theme was great fun. I am going to add this to my calendar every year as this is truly one great run and after party. I obviously still need to work on pacing a bit and nutrition on race day, but I am still buzzing about how great of an event the Anything Possible 5k truly was. I’ll get another chance to work on the mechanics in two weeks. Til next time.