1. Free Hotel Brought to You by Mr. Stephanie
Steph's husband travels a lot for work and racks up a gazillion hotel points in the process. He was gracious enough to use some of those points to get us a room in Louisville. I have never been part of a hotel points rewards program, but I might have to figure out how to get in on that action. What was waiting for us in the room? A personal welcome letter for Mr. Stephanie and a package of his favorite sweet treat:
|It took a lot of restraint, but we didn't eat them. We took them home for Mr. Stephanie as thanks.|
2. Pre-Race Nutrition #1
Because we are super serious runners, we decided begin our happiest 24 hours with a little pre-race nutrition before heading out to pick up our race packets.
|From left to right: wine, chocolate, and limoncello|
This race was a 5K and a 5K only. No other distance options. With that in mind, can you believe that this race had about 8,000 participants. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that, but after experiencing it myself, I can understand the draw. It's a ton of fun and very family friendly as well. After traveling a fair amount with my real runner husband, I have seen the good, bad, and outright terrible when it comes to putting on a race. Eight thousand people is no small feat, but the organization was great. And that's a heck of a compliment coming from a group of teachers.
Update: apparently this was small potatoes compared to the 26,000 racers that showed up for the Philadelphia Color Run. 26,000 for a 5K. Wow.
4. Highjacking Cara
My real runner friend, Cara, just moved back into the general Cincinnati-Dayton area after being marooned in South Bend, IN for years as her husband worked towards his PhD in something science-y. Since relocating, she has been
|Steph and Cara at packet pick up|
5. Pre-Race Nutrition #2
Did I mention that we were away for one whole night without husbands and kids? Well, we intended to make the most of that Saturday evening. Our hotel wasn't just free, it was also in such a great location that we could walk everywhere we needed/wanted to go. Despite hearing that it was too full of college kids, we headed over to 4th Street Live, Louisville's renovated entertainment district. Turns out that it didn't really fill up with the youngsters until much, much later in the evening as we were on our way out. It's also the location of the finish line for the Louisville Ironman race. My real runner husband did the inaugural race in 2007, so I snapped a quick photo of the signs that are on the street:
|You ARE an Ironman!|
Our primary objective was to find a great place to get some real pre-race nutrition. Here's the place we settled on:
A bit pricey, but totally delicious.
|The last piece of goat cheese from our appetizer|
|My bourbon mimossa|
What follows a great dinner at Maker's Mark, you ask? Dessert at The Fudgery. Duh. Our timing was fantastic as we walked in right as the employees were starting a fudge making demonstration. The marble slab covered in chocolately goodness was hypnotizing.
As if that wasn't enough, the employees put on one heck of a fun show during the demo to drum up business. I was so distracted by what we had just walked into that I didn't think to start recording until the end, but this was the end of the making-fudge-song-and-dance:
The finished product:
|Each slice is a HALF POUND! I'm not sure that should be legal.|
Before heading back to the hotel to get lots of rest before the big event, we needed to make sure we were properly hydrated. I'm pretty sure the 86 oz Bucket of Booze was the way to go. I have no idea which one we ordered, but we have proof that it was the blue one:
8. The Tutus
As it has already been pointed out here and here, we wore huge glorious tutus for the event. One of the things I didn't expect was that once you put the tutu on, your body wants to immediately bounce as much as possible. Step off a curb to cross the street? Nope. Jump off that curb with arms and legs aloft. Walk calmly across the street? Not a chance. Hop, skip and twirl to the honks of passing traffic. If you ever need a reminder about how much fun you used to have as a kid, may I suggest putting on a tutu for a few minutes (which will probably turn into hours so be prepared)?
|Cara wrangling hers in the hotel. Oh yes, we walked all the way to the race and back wearing them.|
Post Race Stretching in Tutus (see? we do some things right as runners)
Turns out that the Color Run is a very tutu-friendly race. We were surrounded by other similar get ups, although I'm pretty sure ours were the thickest and widest out of the bunch. I was even more pleasantly surprised by a handful of guys wearing them, and so I started documenting for a segment I like to call Dudes in Tutus:
|At the start|
|2 in the same group at the finish festival|
9. The Color
In her race report, Steph documented how there is a big color-throwing party at the finish line festival. This is what is looks like:
Wonder how some of that powder gets off before heading home? Check out the official race "blowing stations:"
|Yep. Those are guys with leaf blowers.|
In all seriousness, if you watch the official Color Run videos, the race organizers encourage you to Be Healthy, Be Happy and Be You. This is a great way to help people do that. There is no pressure to be a real runner. It's all about getting outside, being active, and having a great time doing it. If people have such a good time at this race that they start signing up for other walks and runs, then mission accomplished. Inspiring people to get out and get moving is no easy task, but the Color Run folks have figured out a winning formula for making that happen. There's one coming to Cincinnati in October. Should we do it again, girls?
|The Starting Line. Right outside Lousiville Slugger Stadium.|