Gruß vom Krampus: Krampus Cross Country 10k Recap

Some girls shop online for cute clothes and shoes, I shop for my next race. Call me crazy but I am constantly on runningintheusa.com perusing my possibilities to explore a new trail or road. I found Sasquatch Racing through Instagram to my surprise and was even more pleased when I received a free entry into their Krampus 10k event.

An early start prompted a thirty minute drive up the peninsula, to the Marina district of San Francisco. The sun had cast off it’s pajamas, had his coffee and was in full force of making the day a clear and beautiful one. Work kept me from an early bib pickup and beer sampling at A Runner’s Mind in SF the Friday before Sunday’s event, but Sasquatch made race morning a breeze!

Ample parking was found just a short walk from the start. A few stairs took me away from my car and towards a road leading to a grass field that would host the start and post-race festivities. A small table stood on one side of the field where two volunteers were checking off names in exchange for bibs. I easily collected mine, as well as a black tech shirt, exhibiting the Krampus event logo. With a few minutes until the start, I decided to ditch my jacket and a nice volunteer offered her surveillance as I ran. As I did not want to throw my jacket into a pile of bags others had left, I graciously accepted her offer.

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Start and Finish

Race

A member of the Sasquatch Racing team had us off and running just after 8. I had to laugh as I crossed the start and he yelled, “Keep going! You’re almost there!” (Note: This is funny at the start of a 10k but not on mile 14 of a marathon!)

Immediate elevation gain stung my lungs and I was taken off guard. Have I not been training long distance since July? Oh boy! It was fine once I got my pace after the first mile.

Surrounded by giant redwood trees and bay air replenishing my lungs, I was taking in the beautiful views of San Francisco’s Presidio and even catching glimpses of the water. Sasquatch Racing had advertised small silver medallions placed along the trail that would serve as tokens to collect prizes at the end of the race. I am not sure if it was my more modest pace or the scenery stealing my gaze, but I never happened upon any prize winning medallions.

From packed trails, to roads and wood walkways, this course offered a nice variety of terrain over the span of six miles. A number of volunteers helped to direct our pack and safely maneuver traffic. I headed down a road to be greeting by the distance frontrunners, 3 males, one of them donning the bib number, 666.

I made my way along some more wood walkways with deep gradual steps. A set of stairs stood between a short cul-de sac turn towards the finish. I grabbed some Gubrew, thanked the volunteers and made my back over the befriended ground.

I was able to cheer those along that were still heading out as I ran back. Over the wood turning to asphalt, and dirt, I felt stronger heading home. The trail felt more alive with different forms of energy coming from nearby walkers, trail yogi’s and other race goers.

I was able to pass a few people and was happy to come up upon the former ascent, descending toward’s the finish and Krampus.

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Too fast for Krampus 😛

After crossing the tape, I was greeted by strands of flowers, and volunteers waiting to place the woodallions around finisher’s necks. I grabbed a quick photo with Krampus himself and caught a glimpse of the winner, Bib 666.

Post-Race

I headed towards a small lineup of tables, where volunteers had made little goodie bags containing Beanitos chips, Bare baked apple pieces, Kettle chips, and pieces of candy such as Twizzlers and Nerds. Reps from Noosa yogurt were handing out samples of their rich and delicious pumpkin variety, as well as Bark Thins giving out small bags of their snacking chocolate. Hint water handed out bottles of their refreshing fruit water.

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Post-Race Nutrition 

I want to give a huge shoutout to Sasquatch Racing for putting on a fabulous event. It felt like one big family, between the Sasquatch crew, volunteers and the race goers helping put out a fun and safe atmosphere throughout the course. Registration and parking was easy as can be, and the course was beautiful.

With multiple races throughout the year, I look forward to checking out more of their events in 2018!

The Runologist

Disneyland Tour Guide Too Fast, Loses Tour Group: Disneyland Paris 10k Recap

The 10k course was probably my favorite of the weekend but I will most likely find myself typing that again as I write the half-marathon review! In general I do love the 10k distance. Perfect in the sense of feeling accomplished after completing but not so exhausted where one’s day is jeopardized. After finishing the 5k only hours before, I was happy to find my feet and legs felt pretty fresh as I headed over towards the expo and event hall. Both the 10k and half started steps from the events area used to pick up bibs, purchase merchandise and drop bags come start time!

Only three corrals and many mini waves restrained runners to their designated start. A, B and C corrals weaved around the announcer’s stage just outside the both theme parks. At promptly 7 a.m. the first wave was released, as Flora, Fauna and Merrywether sprinkled some of their magical dust on the chilly morning.

The course took runners on a similar route to the previous evening’s 5K. A quick entrance into the Walt Disney Studios park had runners entering Studio 1, a giant warehouse modeled after Hollywood’s finest. Bright lights, cameras, and iconic derby hats (Did you think I was going to say action?) decorate the interior of Studio 1, playing tribute to the golden age of Hollywood. As quickly as runners entered the studio, the exit led them towards Toon Studio and a quick loop brought us around the Paris themed Ratatouille section of the park. I swear I could smell steak frites cooking in Bistrot Chez Remy as I ran by! After helping Buzz with his blasters, with a quick visit to theToy Story Land, it was back on the tram route before switching parks.  I ran under the Disneyland Hotel and I was soon dancing down Main Street.

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Just a Disneyland Tour Guide out for a run! 

I could hear massive french chants and enthusiasm from all the cast members, lining up under the Walt’s childhood themed shops and street. I flew by Thunder Mountain, into Fantasy Land and through the castle! Just on the corner of Tomorrowland stood a giant bronze dragon, puffing smoke accompanied by the fairy trio from Sleeping Beauty. This picture perfect scene of characters was beckoning runners to stop and take a photo. Since the line was long, I opted to keep going.

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Loving Disneyland Paris’ unique character stops!

I blasted past Space Mountain and entered a back stage area that lasted just under one kilometer. I was transported once again to Fantasyland where I stopped for a quick photo with the White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat. As two of us were all grins, the White Rabbit told me I was running late so I bid the duo farewell, bounding through Adventureland. I cheered on some pirates and left the park for another kilometer of backlot. The final bit of Disneyland park had runners going through a western town, a photo op with Woody and Jessie before a quick glimpse of Le Phantom Manor.

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We had a contest to see who could smile the biggest! Did I win?

Exiting the park at the 8km mark, my legs felt great so I pushed onwards. At this point runners found themselves back on the tram route, heading towards Studio 1 and the finish. Similarly to the 5k, the 10k course revived the hair pin turn which led runners back onto the stage of the Motor Action Stunt show. Once again Emile and Remy were greeting runners, complete with chef hats and baguettes! I was happy I did not have to stop for this photo after taking a pause from my run the night before in order to greet the rats!

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Running towards my PR but lost the tour group ;D

A straightaway sprint had me crossing the finish line with one of my fastest 10k times to date! After looking around for a timer and asking some of the other finishers they all confirmed what I feared. The 10k was not timed. While I was hoping to use the time for some 2018 races, what can I say? I had a blast and I finished well! There is no documented proof of red numbers on a clock but aren’t all times just moments of pride for the heart and mind?

As I headed out with some Lactel protein drink, Powerade, water and a snack box, I turned back, remembering I had forgotten to get my Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo Challenge bracelet. This was announced multiple times at packet pickup that all runners who completed the 10k would need a wristband in order to receive the challenge medal once completing the half-marathon the following morning.

While some people near me had wristbands on, upon asking a member of the race staff, she stated it would take too long to tag each challenge runner. As long as we had our challenge bib upon finishing the half the next morning, that would be enough. I hoped no one would take advantage of this modification and accept unearned medals but that would be a problem for race staff, not me!

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I headed back to my hotel to enjoy breakfast and rest up before the half-marathon.

Hope to see you out on the roads or trails soon!

The Runologist

 

 

Disneyland 10k Review: Earning My Ellie Badge

Post race sadness is real, especially when you had as fun as a racecation as I just did. I spent most of the weekend in Anaheim running Disney’s Double Dare challenge. The weekend events dedicated themselves to famous Pixar films such as Up, The Incredibles, Monsters University and the beloved classic, Toy Story.

Expo

I started my weekend by picking up my bib and browsing around the expo on Thursday morning. I was happy to find minimal crowds and was able to walk straight up to the volunteer and show her my ID. I received my bag tag, a small pamphlet on the weekend’s events, and an adorable luggage tag that resembled the Double Dare medal, commemorating the five-year anniversary. After taking a couple of pictures with fun backdrops, I headed upstairs to retrieve my race shirts and check out a couple of the vendors.

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Expo Selfie!

All the runDisney expos are similar for the most part, give or take a booth or two. I enjoy the familiarity because I know where I can purchase items when needed. The Anaheim expos always have many vendors handing out fun freebies. Booths such as Goodsense and Raceguards were giving out handy medical items such as band aids, ice packs, samples of Biofreeze, first aid pouches and water bottles. ABC had items to be enjoyed by younger ones such as inflatable beach balls and a mini notebook and colored pencil set.

While first aid items are handy, there were edible freebies too! GoGo SqueeZ apple sauce was handing out pouches of their product. For those desiring a natural option, Zespri was handing out their gold variety kiwi to eager expo attendees. Jelly Belly also handed out mini sample packages of their Sport Beans.

After paying a quick visit to Fit2Run to buy some last-minute Gu, I took a picture with the Pixar Ball wall before heading back to my hotel.

Monsters University 10k

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10k Course

While I was hoping to add the 5k to my itinerary, it had sold out, leaving my weekend to start on Saturday with the 10k race. Every Disney run starts out with an early alarm, so I was off and running, well walking to the start at 4 a.m. With my badge adorned sash draped over my shoulder and my Wilderness Explorer flag hanging from my hydration pack, I headed to my corral. It is not every Saturday morning that I dress like a boy scout, so I wanted to make Russell and all of Troop 54 proud!

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Pre-Race entertainment from Carissa and Kevin made the time spent in my corral fly by. While I was hot in my polo shirt, I just tried to focus on the energy around me. Before I knew it the anthem led us to the start and it was time to run 6.2 glorious miles in celebration of Monsters University within the boundaries of Disneyland and California Adventure Park!

Once I broke away from the pack, I was happy to find slightly cooler temperatures. Maybe it was the breeze as I flew towards California Adventure or the fact that I was no longer being sandwiched between runners, but I was determined to have fun and beat the rising temperature.

Just as I entered the park behind the California Screamin’ coaster, I heard a clink and could see my grape soda pin plunge to the road. (Note: While not an avid pin collector, this one struck a chord with me when I bought it a few years back, so it was a tough one to hear clash against the asphalt.) Instead of stopping and squatting to pick it up and risk injuring myself and other runners behind me, I sighed and let the metal badge start it’s new life, lost to the graveled roadway.

I charged on, entering the park by Radiator Springs, the sound of revving engines made my feet want to move faster. Numerous Pixar characters adorned the boundaries of the course. I saw Flik and Atta from A Bug’s Life, Russell from Up, Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars, Mike and Sully from Monsters University as well as many dancers from various parades. The course did not dismiss classic characters such as Mickey and his friends which were found in Disneyland a few miles in.

My favorite aspects of any Disney race are running through the parks and seeing the energy of the cast members, throwing high fives (complete with a Mickey glove!) at runners, and all the lively rides and lights operating before the sun.  The race crew did a wonderful job having music and various cheer squads in the backstage areas, making every mile of the course spirited and vivacious. Special shout out to the course designer who opted not to use any of Anaheim’s streets for the 10k and kept all the magic and mileage within the two theme parks!

After running past the Rivers of America, I bounded across the drawbridge of the Castle, onto Main Street! A couple of minutes after I had passed the mile 5 marker, I found myself behind the roller coaster once again, looping back towards the finish. I did a quick glance at the ground and saw my pin! A few runners were a couple strides behind me so I was able to grab my pin and sprint towards the finish. While the backing was bent and the image scratched, it was a favorable return. I guess I needed to run five miles before I could truly earn my Ellie badge! 🙂

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Graduating to a Senior Wilderness Explorer!

The weather was not ideal but I always love catching up with friends on course and seeing the creative costumes. Running through Disneyland at 5 in the morning never ceases to put a smile on my face!  I had a monstrous good time at the 10k but after collecting my medal, water and a snack box, I was off to rest my feet and seek some air conditioning before running the half-marathon on Sunday.

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All smiles after the 10k!