Wednesday, May 7, 2014

chocolate chase rabbit race 5k recap

The day before Easter (April 19), my mom and I ran a local 5k for the third year in a row. On Thursday, I went over to the Palos Heights Parks & Rec department to grab our goody bags (long sleeve shirt, water bottle, chocolate crisp bunny, some coupons, and  the usual sheets of paper with other races and local stores information). There was no one else there, so it was a quick pick-up, with very friendly workers. The race itself is small—I believe there were about 450 finishers this year.

Anyway, we got to the race at about 8:30 am, parked in a school parking lot across the street from the start, and sat in the car until 8:45 or so. It was a bit chilly out – a sunny, 45 degrees with a 10 MPH wind, making it feel more like 40. I wore capris, a short sleeve tech shirt, my hat, sunglasses, and my hot pink Saucony full-zip jacket, which helps cut some of the wind. Can't forget about my ifitness belt for my inhaler, kleenex, chapstick, and phone, with my interval timer clipped on.

The race started promptly at 9:00 am, though I wasn't sure when to start my watch because I'm used to running over mats that register the chips on the bibs, but there were no mats! There were some stand up things on each side of the road making beeping noises, so I assumed they were what tracked the chips/times, so I started the watch when I passed those. Way to confuse me, race!

The race takes you through the streets of the town, which aren't closed to drivers, but they had police and other volunteers to help keep the runners and walkers safe. For the most part, there weren't many cars out. I think I only saw one or two driving through the course/crossing the path. 

There was one water stop at about mile 2, but I brought my own water bottle (attached to my belt), because I like to be able to drink when I feel the need, rather than having to wait for a water stop (sometimes in the local races, there aren't any, or they don't provide the info prior to the race, so I just bring my own). I know most people don't need water for a 5k... but I'm not one of those people. My mouth gets really dry when I run, along with coughing issues from asthma, so I like to have some water on me in case I need it. 

If I remember correctly, I ran 1:30/1 run/walk intervals. I followed this to a T except for two times. The first time was at the beginning. I ran the first 4 minutes because I felt pretty good and I wanted to get a jump on my pace, since I wanted to be under 40:00 when I finished (a big feat for me, sorry to say). The other time I walked a little extra so I could take off my jacket and tie it around my waist. At mile 2.25, I started getting really warm, and when I get warm I have issues running comfortably, so I figured might as well take an extra walk break to peel off the jacket so I could keep up my pace for the remainder of the race.

I finished in 38:03 with an average pace of 12:16, so I was really happy. I had actually written down the split times on my hand, because I am SO bad at trying to figure out the math for clock times while also trying to run. I can't do two things at once, people. Getting one foot in front of the other is enough of a task for me. I figured I might as well take off the added stress of figuring it out and just write it down to make it easy to reference during the 3 miles. I'd say it was very handy (pun intended). 

After the race, you could get into a line to redeem a ticket on your bib for two chocolate covered strawberries (yes, please). They also provided bottles of water, bananas, bagels cut in half, and lots of miniature (fun size) candy. I happily took all of the former, and a couple pieces of the latter. There was also a DJ.

We waited around to hear the awards, since mom had placed last year, and did again. They give medals for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for all of the age groups. Way to go, mom! 

On Monday, I got an email that results were ready, along with race photos (I didn't even know they were taking any). They were offering the photos for a flat rate of $10: For just $10.00, you get access to all high-resolution digital images of this athlete in this event. Click the 'Get Photos' button and enter your credit card information into our secure form and we'll send you a confirmation email with links to all these images. Or you can download them here after paying. I didn't buy them, as they weren't anything special, but turned out my mom got both hers and mine.

I really like this race for multiple reasons – it's pretty local, cheap (I think it was $25, with a long sleeve shirt included), fun, not overly crowded, and they have some nice goodies at the end. We plan on keeping up our tradition.


  1. You had me at Chocolate Chase! What a wonderful race with some great goodies at the end. That is an awesome price for the race pics. I wish more race pics were reasonably prices. You look great by the way! Congrats.

    1. Who doesn't love some chocolate?! Agreed - I wish more races had reasonably priced photos, or included them with your registration. Tends to be cheapest if you happen to have a lot of them (and if you like them) to purchase the CD with all of them included, though it's still a hefty price of at least $60+. Eeks. Thanks! I had fun, even though it doesn't look like it haha :)


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