Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monona Couch to 5K Race Report: Berbee Derby 2012

This fall, I was privileged to expand my coaching services to Monona.  The Monona Rec Program (HERE) had a very successful inaugural Couch to 5K group.  We started with sixteen ladies from surrounding areas in September and primarily met at Winnequah Park in Monona on Wednesday evenings.  We also opted to train on Olbrich path for short, flat out-and-back routes.  With the time change in early-November, we quickly lost daylight and were running in the dark - complete with glow bracelets, blinky lights and new reflective gear.  We even navigated our way through the VERY dark route in Fitchburg one week before race day.  We lost a few ladies along the way - due to injury, illness or being unable to fit the meeting time into their personal schedule. 

Twelve ladies participated in the Berbee Derby 5K (HERE) on Thanksgiving morning.  Nine of the ladies are pictured above.  These ladies not only fit nine weeks of training into their busy schedules - as moms, wives and career women - they also reserved Thanksgiving morning to run a race!  Some of them even ran local 5Ks before the group's event, to test out the distance.

We had a snaphew in obtaining the team shirts at our pasta party from Angelo's the night prior - but I had drove back to Monona after making some phone calls. And, I had them for distribution on race morning.

The race started at 9:15 AM (after the start of the 10K).  We met up at 8:45 and parking was an issue, crowds were crazy in the port-o-potty line and packet pick up lines were long, but moving.  Many of the ladies opted to take advantage of early packet pick up the evenings prior.

We used the port-o-potties after the start of the 10K race - the lines were then cleared out.  And we met towards one of the last corrals - opting to pace ourselves.  The weather was perfect - sunny and a forecast of around sixty degrees.

The National Anthem was sung and their spirits were high, as we started across the start line and their timing chips started.  Their support of family and friends speckled the start of the race course, onto Fish Hatchery Road.  We enjoyed the closing of one side of the major roadway, as we then ventured to the DNR and towards the Capital City Trail - and some steep hills.  I ran back and forth with the twelve ladies and did some of the hills twice.  It was fun seeing them get so excited, smile, and hold conversation the entire time.  I ran into some familiar faces along the way - some former clients.

By the end of the race - many were finishing faster than our practice race - partially due to the lack of traffic and crossing traffic - but primarily due to their motivation, determination and enthusiasm for race day morning.  Everyone finished between 30-45 minutes and went home to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with their families - and have an extra slice of pie or helping of mashed potatoes.

I will be coaching with the Monona Rec Program again, starting in early-March 2013 - finishing with the Lake Monona 5K in May.

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