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.

IMG_0448.jpeg
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.

IMG_0447.jpeg
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.

IMG_0499.jpeg
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

Loco for Cocoa: Hot Chocolate Scottsdale Recap

Most family and friends tend to look at eye color and facial structure to understand whether a baby gets a certain feature from each parent, my family measures adoration for chocolate in likeness to my grandmother’s side of the family. No one can compete with her love of double chocolate (don’t forget the chocolate syrup!) milkshakes and twelve king size bars she acquires each Christmas. While my grandmother is the Queen of all things chocolate I am a Princess. My sweet tooth however, still led me to the Hot Chocolate series and after not receiving my fill of chocolate in 2016, I decided to return for more in 2017!

Expo and Bib Pick-up:

IMG_0397.jpeg
Free samples at the expo! Don’t mind if I do! 🙂

Hot Chocolate sets up camp at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. This is a giant baseball stadium which hosts baseball teams such as the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies for spring training sessions. The covered promenade section was converted from pretzel and hot dog sellers, to all things chocolate for the weekend’s festivities.

Upon entering, bib pickup was located to the left. With a simple scan of one’s mobile ticket or a gander of an I.D. the runner was given their bib and sent to pickup the Hot Chocolate logo’d 1/4 zip included with registration. This year’s option was purple for female runners and blue for the men. This is a nice change from a typical race t-shirt.

There were chiropractors doing massages, as well as vendors selling socks, shirts, nutrition. Sole Sports Running Zone had a nice setup with a miscellany of discounted shoes. Hot Chocolate even had their own little section of branded shirts and jackets.

Having been to quite a few expos throughout my running career thus far, I now make a point of getting in and out. That being said, I may have stopped by the Hot Chocolate booth handing out samples of cocoa and fondue, however.

Many of the Scottsdale hotels will offer shuttles within a certain mile radius which is a nice bonus to look out for! I grabbed an Uber, as my hotel only had shuttles that ran during the week and set out to explore the town for the remainder of the afternoon.

Race:

IMG_6288
A chocolate bar big enough for my grandmother! 

The race starts on one of the roads within the Salt River Field facility. With 2 distances and many corrals, event staff slated the 5k for a 7:30 start and the 15k close behind at 8:15.

With about 40 Port o’ Johns there were still huge lines. I arrived at the start with about 30 minutes and spent all of that time waiting for my turn. Luckily the start was stalled a few minutes and before I knew it, I was off and running.

This course is nice and flat, allowing views of the McDowell and Phoenix Mountains. By the first mile, volunteers were handing out marshmallows. These were not average mallows however, but displayed a golden hue and tasted similar to caramel!

This station was followed by Nuun, an electrolyte beverage, and water cups.

After another mile or two, I came across another station handing out chocolate chips. These semi-sweet chocolate pieces proved to be a nice stimulant. With more hydration to follow, I ran onward, my gait feeling slightly clunky.54_1012569_enm3511285162ram

As I weaved my way through this small section of Scottsdale, the streets are lined with small businesses and offices and of course, enthusiastic volunteers.

I came upon another sweet station of Christmas colored candy corn but opted out of this sampling. With a few turns, I was running towards the aquarium. I had hit the 10k mark in 58 minutes, my first time receiving a sub hour time. With only three more miles to go, I focused on keeping my stride the same.

I turned up a slight incline, about a mile of road before I would U-Turn and make my way back to the baseball fields. The final sweet station was located at mile 8, passing out candy canes with Nuun and water following just behind.

Once again, I opted out of this one, being so close to the finish line. As I entered back onto another road leading into the Salt River Fields facility, families were stationed holding signs and cheering. Even runners who had already finished were urging runners on, calculating how many more seconds of running we would have to endure.

I crossed the finish line with an 8 minute P.R. from last year’s race. A volunteer placed a chocolate bar medal around my neck and I was off to the finish line area, ready to receive my chocolate finisher’s mug.

IMG_0410.jpeg
Posing with some old friends

Post- Race: 

This giant plastic wonder is divided into sections. The middle holds a steaming cup of delicious hot chocolate. Perfectly rich without being too sugary. Next is a section of hot, chocolate fondue, perfect for dipping all of your goodies in. A mini krispy treat, pretzels, banana, cookies, marshmallow and mint are the perfect accompaniment.

IMG_0413.jpeg
Definitely worth a 9 mile run!

I had saved some of the sweets from the course for extra dipping pleasure. (Perks to having a hydration pack!)

This area is perfect to celebrate post-run victories. With plenty of room to sit and enjoy the finisher mug, there are also games for the kids and young at heart. A DJ was playing music to keep the party alive.

IMG_0419.JPG

If you enjoy chocolate this is the race for you! The expo is easy and fun while the race offers plentiful support. I hope to see you, chocolate covered fingers and all, in 2018!

The Runologist

Hummus is Yummus: Healthy and Portable Snack Alternatives

I lead an active lifestyle. When I am not driving to the gym, I am heading to work, hitting the trails and I never seem to stop. While I am a fan of protein bars, so many of them contain chocolate, which on warmer days, starts to melt and can create a mess. I have compiled a list of my favorite car snacks that fair well in the warmest and coldest of conditions.

Chomps

813EpdOe-CL._SY679SX247_SY679_CR,0,0,247,679_PIbundle-24,TopRight,0,0_SX247_SY679_CR,0,0,247,679_SH20_
Courtesy of Google Images

I cannot get enough of these grass-fed beef sticks! I love the Original flavor but the Jalapeño puts some zest in my step! With only 100 calories and 9 grams of protein, these are the perfect snack to help muscles recover, while also filling a gap between meals!

Munk Pack

munk-pack-web-a
Courtesy of Google Images

With a variety of flavors to choose from, these oatmeal and fruit packs are perfect for a quick breakfast or snack. These pouches contain a good source of fiber and Omega 3 (flax) that help keep my energy up throughout the day. Ranging from 90-110 calories, depending on the flavor, I love this marriage of fruit puree and oats!

Oloves

51dB5s93oDL
Courtesy of Google Images

I love keeping a packet of these pitted olives in my car for a salty yet beneficial snack! Olives are full of vitamins, minerals as well as amino acids. These elements help to strengthen the immune system while natural fats and oils help to speed up recovery! With only 50 calories per pouch, Oloves provide a quick boost with minimal calories.

Mr. Cheese O’s

page-mr-cheese-os-cheddar
Courtesy of Google Images

This protein filled snack is the perfect accompaniment to any trail or post workout fuel! Made with real cheese and organic quinoa, these crunchy bites offer delicious flavor and 10 grams of protein in a one ounce serving!

Wild Zora Meat and Veggie Bars

8510_594d424466528_0_1498235460_520c9b88-4510-4665-8be6-d9cdd39d3a7b_x700
Courtesy of Google Images

Whether I am on the trails or out running errands, Wild Zora gives my body the satisfaction it needs when I am on the go. A healthier and more tender alternative to jerky, Wild Zora creates delicious flavors packed with 7-9 grams of protein. Calories ranch from 100-130 per packet with a variety of meat to choose from such as beef, lamb, pork and turkey.

I hope you find the perfect fuel to keep healthy and strong!

The Runologist