Monday, March 25, 2013

2013 Madison Shamrock Shuffle Couch to 5K Race Report

This was one tough Wisconsin winter for running.  I can't emphasize that enough.  I started the Sun Prairie Couch to 5K winter session with sixteen runners and ended up with ten that ran the race.  The Catalyst group started with nine runners and ended with seven at the race.  The men's group started with six and ended with five at the event.  From below freezing temperatures, to icy conditions, and blizzard after blizzard on Tuesday evenings - it made it especially difficult for The Sun Prairie Ladies and Mens groups to meet each week for their group runs.  Wednesdays were a little forgiving for the Catalyst group - but it was nothing mild like last year. 
The logistics posed a whole new set of problems this year.  But, I learned a lot.  And, I kept reminding those that continued on with the program that things would seem so much easier once spring came.  If they could start this now - they would definitely be able and willing to continue it as a lifestyle change in the future.  Many became scared of the outdoor conditions, but wanted to continue with the program.  So, they opted to run on treadmills on their own, checking in with me weekly and asking questions.
This was The Boyfriend's first time coaching and he loved getting to know the guys in his group and watching them run longer and longer distances each week. 
My Sun Prairie group varied all sorts of paces and age groups this time.  I had my youngest participant of 18 yrs old and still in high school - to a 60-something year old woman.  We completed a lot of out-and-back routes to keep everyone somewhat together in the dark, cold nights.  My whistle came in very handy this winter.

We ran the Shamrock Shuffle (HERE) in downtown Madison as our event.  The atmosphere was fun and festive.  However, I think the massive group of 4,500-5,000 runners was a little intimidating for some of the new runners.  I could see some stunned and nervous expressions on their faces on race morning.  Many of us had ran the course the week prior and were aware of the route and the venture up the landark hill, Observatory Drive.  They all tackled the hill - in both directions - and conquered the race.  Everyone finished in the timeframe that I quoted them from the beginning - 30-45 minutes.  It's truly amazing seeing them get their family and friends involved and seeing them change their lifestyle over a short nine weeks.  The Boyfriend and I were very, very proud of everyone that attempted and completed the program this winter.  Many new runners have started their journey and are on their way to a happier and healthier 2013!! 

Thank you again to Market Street Diner & Bakery (HERE) in Sun Prairie, for hosting the Sun Prairie groups' end-of-season pasta party.  The cake was delicious (and adorable!), too!


  1. Yeah for your group of runners!

    That cake is adorable.

  2. What a great time! And seriously that cake looks delicious!

  3. That's awesome that you lead a couch to 5k program! Hopefully the spring session will be easier on you all!