Tag Archives: 5K

Firecracker 5K on the 4th in Downtown Tulsa

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Well its the Fourth of July and I ran in the annual Firecracker 5K put on by Fleet Feet Tulsa.

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I am not sure how many people ran but it is a pretty big race. Despite the early morning rains there were lots of people there.

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The Hurts Donuts Emergency Truck was there. I didn’t see them handing out free samples and you know I watch the food closely. Just before the race start while we were bunched up it started raining. Not too bad, just enough to make it interesting and thoughts of plugging and abandoning and going home briefly fluttered through my mind but they went away. So off we went winding through the northern part of downtown and into the Brady District and back.

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This was on the back downtown. I am guessing about 1.7 miles into the race.

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And then across the tracks and the long half mile home stretch to the finish line.

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Everybody had a great time. Kudos to Fleet Feet, the Race Director, the army of volunteers who showed up a dark thirty to get everything set up, the Tulsa Police Department who kept control of the course, and the sponsors who provided the food and drink. Everything went together well and it was a great experience.  There is a huge amount of work that goes into making sure that a race goes smoothly and I appreciate it.

The race course was straight with right angle turns and a long climb up to Cains Ballroom. It was challenging and fun. The food and drink were great. The shirt and medal were much appreciated. They had a live band, lots of port potty’s  and room to move around. I’ll be back at this race if I am in town next year.

Later today we are going to grill some chicken at home and then make our way to Veteran’s Park  for some fireworks!! How about you?

Bixby “Corn to Run” 5K and a Rant about Race Shirts

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Saturday morning I ventured to the Tulsa suburb of Bixby to run in their “Corn to Run” 5K.

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Bixby is home to some of the highest price residential real estate in Oklahoma but it still has a small town feel especially the old downtown area.

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There are still thriving businesses downtown of all kinds. Restaurants, dance studios, and such.

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I have no idea why the town thinks they need this thing.

The 5K is part of Bixby’s “Green Corn Festival.” The town is known for its truck farms that produce all sorts of produce including corn. More and more of the farms have sold out to real estate developers and so the acreage devoted to farming continues to decline.

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The festival has a carnival with rides, carnival food, and lots of food trucks besides.

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I love this gigantic wall clock on the municipal building

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The typical milling about before a race. And then we were off.

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I only stopped to take this one photo. I love this house. We wound around to the east side of town and then down south and then back up. There was not much traffic control, it was not really needed, not many people were out and about and those that were had the good sense and courtesy to not bother the runners. The course was well marked, especially for me since almost all the runners were ahead of me for some reason.

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And the finish line!! The guy on the PA made if fun for everybody and held off the awards ceremony until the everybody made it in.

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Including the police department, who finished last.

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I ended up getting second in the 60 to 70 year old category.  There were three of us in case you were wondering. The little dog tag is something that they gave everybody who finished.

Satisfaction

The race was well organized. Lots of helpful volunteers, the water at the end was cold, they had snacks, ample portapotty’s, the course was well marked and free of problems. The race started on time and they started the awards promptly and moved through them quickly. The race director and the people helping him did a great job. This should have been a totally satisfying race but it wasn’t quite for me and I’m going to tell you why.

They only had shirts for people who had registered by June 16. None for anybody else. The only thing said on the registration process was that shirts were not guaranteed for those who registered after that date. Okay fair enough, I should have known, right? Well maybe. I have run in over 150 races since I started running them twenty three years ago. Most of them I enter just a few days before the event and many the morning of the event. This is the first race where I didn’t get a shirt. Sometimes I had to take a different size shirt. Several times the race director had extra shirts made up and I got them a month after the event. Here they made no attempt to do any of that. They should have said “Guaranteed no shirt” after the 16th. Many races have an option for no shirt at a discounted entry.

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Logan and a run shirt.

I know why they do this and I get it. I have helped with several races and what drives race directors crazy is trying to figure out how many people are going to show up. So if you want to make sure that everybody gets a shirt then you have to kind of guess and hope that you didn’t order too many. The shirts are not free and the value of a shirt an hour after an event is basically zero.

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Logan with his cousin Shiloh and Uncle Irvin at a race in Idaho.

These races can bring in a lot of money but they cost a lot of money also. For everything from chip timing, to renting the tents and tables that you need, course security, course certification. The directors have to recruit volunteers to help them out and make sure they know what to do. So I get it, I really do. And so your costs are fixed and then you get guys like me who register at the last minute, full of expectations.

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Logan and my wife Heather at an event in Tulsa a few years ago.

And so why do I register so late? Why don’t I get on board and register a week and a half in advance? I’ll tell you why! Life, that is why. Just with what is going on I am not sure that I am going to be able to race until a few days before and I don’t want to spend the $30 and not be able to go. Sorry, but our family schedule is like the fog until something breaks free and it is like, okay, I am going to be able to race so then I hit the interwebs looking for something to go to.  I don’t think that I am that much different than other people. Especially those with a family.

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I still have that shirt!

And not only that, I love race shirts. I have a bunch of them and they are one of the reasons I run the races. Many races have a cheaper no shirt option and I have never signed up for that. So, yep it may be childish of me, but there it is.

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I still have that shirt also!

Why am I make such a big deal about this?

Doing my research I am seeing a many races using the “Shirts Not Guranteed” language for registrations after a certain date. So it is more than just this one race.

And so why should Race Directors listen to me?

Satisfaction is why. If you have ever been in a sales or marketing role you will realize that making the sale is not the end of the process. If your customer is not happy with the deal he struck then you did not make a good deal. You see that in a lot of businesses (successful businesses that is) where the after sale is treated very seriously by the customer. You have to make the customer feel good about what he or she has agreed to do. And I think that translates directly to races. I will tell you that the only way I am going to run the “Corn to Run” event next year is I am guaranteed a shirt.

Ideas on what to do?

What do I think race directors do?

  • Charge more after a certain date. Lots of big races do that. The Route 66 Marathon, Tulsa Run,  and others charge more the longer you wait to sign up. I generally wait pretty late on those races also and I understand that it is costing me money and I understand that.
  • Have more shirts made after the race. I know that is expensive also, so charge latecomers like me.
  • Discount the race for people who will not be getting shirts. Why should we pay the same as people who are getting a shirt.
  • Go back to ordering more shirts and hope for the best. Yep, I know this costs more.
  • Or just ignore old farts like me.

So anyway, I hope I didn’t spoil anybody’s time nor am I denigrating the Race Director or others involved in the well run and fun “Corn to Run 5K.” I am offering my comments and I hope that are seen as constructive. I also recognize that things change and as financial pressures on races continue we may see more changes. I recognize that I may be trying to swim upstream on this issue.

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Last Long Run Before the Race

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Saturday I made my last long run before the Tulsa Run 15K coming up this next weekend. My training is not going like I thought it would.

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Basically I have been running only one day a week because i have a sore back every morning. Weekday mornings is generally the balance of my training where I do my resistance traiining (essential to successful running) and my shorter runs.

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My back is killing me in the morning in one particular spot about midway down my left side.  And it disappears about 20 minutes after I wake up in the morning. No, the bed is not uncomfortable but the pain is not quite excruciating in the morning.

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So I get up and make coffee and read the paper and check up on what is going on online.

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So anyway, the Tulsa Run is 15K and I’ve only trained about 11. Things will be okay though. I know how to stretch things out. I first ran the Tulsa Run in 1994 and ran it every year through 2014. Last year I injured a knee and so I walked the 5K but I’m running the 15K again. It will be my 22nd time.

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How about you? I bet you know how to stretch things when you have to.

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Commitment Day 5K Road Race

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My new cell phone has a “cut in” feature where it puts a selfie in the pic. I love it and almost nobody else does. I love the goofy look on my face.

My first race of 2016 was the Commitment Day 5K in the Tulsa suburb of Bixby at Lifetime Fitness. It was a fun race for several reasons. First it started at 10 am instead of the crack of dawn which made it more doable for us old farts party animals who like to sleep in stay up late with our wild and crazy friends. Second we had a Zumba warmup. That was unexpected! My beautiful wife became a Zumba instructor and I have been wanting to crash one of her classes and video a couple of her routines. Something about the way she looks at me when I talk about it makes me think that she is not near as excited about it as I am. 

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Well we had Leslie who led us in the warmup. She really did have more than a half dozen people she was leading.

See!! I’d of participated but I was doing my blogging journalistic duty of documenting the event. Really. Actually I did try a few moves. I think i have lots of potential. In the engineering sense in that a rock at the base of a mountain has a lot of potential energy to gain by somehow getting to the top, not that it has any chance of getting there.

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Enough of the dancing, this is racing. We moved over to the start line. I did my usual start at the very back. Sure I have to weave through walkers and baby strollers but I like passing people from start to finish and it is not like there is anything on the line anyway.

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This is the finish. I love seeing young people kicking hard at the end. And see the group of three ladies behind him? Lots of people just jog along a chat with their friends. Usually that breeze pass me like I’m standing still.

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We had the gym to relax in after the race. Lots better than huddling behind cars and trailers like most winter races. The facilities were first rate.

The race was an out and back type arrangement with hills and dips near the turnaround.

I finished fourth in my age group. I don’t know how many were in my age group but I suspect the answer is approximately four.

It was a fun, family, oriented race and I’ll probably be back next year.

Rudolph Run 5K – Broken Arrow, OK

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They had a cool and very engaged Santa at the race. He was giving out high fives, especially to the kids. I like active and engaged Santas. I still have a bone to pick with him about the ever increasing amounts of coal I get in my stocking every year.

Saturday I ran in the first ever Rudolph 5K in Broken Arrow. It was only my second race since I screwed up knee on a trail race on Labor Day and the first race where I was going to try and run the whole way.

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People dressed up with reindeer antlers and red noses and all sorts of costumes.

I went through a couple months of rehab on my knee and about a month on my own doing the stretches and exercises that the Physical Therapists taught me.

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So I pretty pleased, I was able to run the entire way though pretty slowly. My knee felt fine before, during, and after the race so getting faster is now a matter of training and conditioning. I never was very fast. My motto has always been to start slow and then taper off.

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I could say that I was fast enough to place third in my age group, which would be true. The whole truth is that there were only three men in my age group, not counting the thousands of guys in northeast Oklahoma who slept in and didn’t enter the race. So I’m booking it as third in my age group.

I appreciate the organizer of the race, Fleet Feet Sports, and all the other people including volunteers that it takes to put on an event like this.

Tulsa Run 5K – 2015

DSCN4578My Big run every year that I look forward to is the Tulsa Run 15K. I have run it every year since 1994 when it was the first race I ever entered. This year I did the 5K version because I am still in rehab on my knee from a fall that I had in early September. I felt bad about it for about five seconds then my motto kicked in. The motto is “If you can’t do what you want, then do what you can.” So I can walk a 5K, better than sitting on your butt is what I say. Sitting is the new smoking is my new motto.

DSCN4581The downside is that the 5K race starts over an hour before the 15K so I had a little bit less time to get ready. You see my office building is right by the start so historically I am able to get to the office. Make some coffee, check my email and update facebook, do some blogging, and then 10 minutes before the race head downstairs. 

Since my leg was sore I had no intention of run/walking. So I made a video of the walk up to the start line. Generally in the 15K it takes about five minutes to get to the start. Psychologically passing people from start to finish. So I started at the back in this race and stayed pretty much in the back. DSCN4582 The music community has historically supported the Tulsa Run and I love hearing them. We generally have bagpipers, rockers, rappers, and sometimes cheerleaders. I guess the Christian bands sleep in late because I hear lots of taped Praise and Worship music but not that many performers.DSCN4585These guys have been here the past several years playing Hispanic music. They are pretty darn good. DSCN4586So we go on down Boulder avenue south from downtown and hang a left and go East down Cherry street and then… Wow, look at all the people way ahead of me! And look at all the people coming back already and I have not even got halfway. Such are the joys of walking.DSCN4587

So I finally get down the hill, and then up the hill and turn around and head back down the hill again. Hey time for a Guiness maybe? No, they were closed.

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Make the turn at the Fertility Clinic on Boston and another rock group.  DSCN4593

Headed up the hill and hey, who are these cheaters coming on the side. I think they are the fun runners. Lots of kids hauling butt is what they were. Nice to seeing kids running is what I say.

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And then here comes the back of the packers in the 5k headed towards to art deco canyon of Boston Avenue.

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So I got a nice technical long sleeve shirt, a bottle of water, and little medal and a care package containing cheese spread, chips, animal crackers,  a tiny twix bar, and a hand wipe.  Uhhhh, thanks, where’s the beer, guys? Where are the snickers bar? Oh well, times change and so does this race.  Hey, I don’t care, I love this race. I’ll be back.

22nd Tulsa Run in the books. I’m looking forward to running the 15K next year.

Thanks to the race sponsors, the race director and his helper, and the army of volunteers that it takes to put something like this on.