Jumpin’ Jack Frost 5k

Logo from the organizer's website

Yesterday I ran the Jumpin’ Jack Frost 5k at Harriet Island. The race was organized by Final Stretch.

My reasons for choosing this particular race were that it was a December race to finish out my 2011 New Year’s Resolution, they offered a long-sleeve technical shirt and I like the way Final Stretch events are organized.

The night before the race, we got our second snowstorm for the season, which resulted in 2-3″ of fresh snow. I was concerned about the footing potentially being icy, so I planned on it being a slow race for me.

I arrived at the pavilion at Harriet Island at 3:45 to pick up my packet. Being an inaugural race, there were only 62 participants which made for easy parking and a quick packet pickup.

The race started on time at 4:30pm and the course was an out-and-back. Unfortunately due to the snowfall the previous night, the course was covered in 1-2″ of slush. Needless to say, it was a tougher run because of the added resistance; however, the course was fairly flat and would have been no different than my weekly Thursday run had there been no snow. The final downhill stretch leading to the finish line was icy, so I actually slowed down where I would have normally kicked it into high gear.

With about a mile to go, I made small talk with a girl who seemed to be struggling a little bit. She ended up running with me for the remainder of the race, until the last icy stretch. Apparently she wasn’t as afraid of a potential fall as I was, because she sped up and ended up finishing ahead of me. After the race, she found me and thanked me for pacing her. It made me feel like a real runner!

My official time was 35:33, which is a slow time, but considering the course conditions I’m pretty happy with my results.

After the race, the offered Gatorade, water, oranges, bananas, animal crackers, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. It was low key but I loved the fact that the pavilion was headed and had real bathrooms; a rare treat for races and especially lovely considering it was only 24 degrees at the start of the race!

I would do this race again next year because my only complaint is the footing, but it’s to be expected here in Minnesota and of course, the race organizers couldn’t control the conditions of the public roads in the area. I appreciated that the roads were closed to traffic for the entire race and they did salt/sand the parking lot, roads and paths near the pavilion.

Today’s race means I have officially completed my 2011 New Year’s Resolution of finishing one running race per month!! I have one more race for 2011 lined up on New Year’s Eve. After that race, I plan on doing a recap post of my races and times.

I’ve been looking ahead to 2012 and filling up my race schedule. I can hardly believe how far I’ve come in just under a year! I plan on continuing to complete one running event per month for 2012, but I’m upping the stakes by adding half marathons (2 so far!) and a duathlon. Who knows what else I’ll come up with! 2012 already has the makings for a fantastic year and I’m looking forward to it.

Me pre-race.

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