The 2 5K’s in 1 Day Challenge

June 30, 2012
Mission accomplished.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that, based on a suggestion from Jennifer, I was going to challenge myself in a… different… way on June 24th – and invited anyone willing to join she and I to do the same.  That day, we were going to compete in two (2) 5K’s.  From a mileage standpoint I didn’t think it would pose a problem… what concerned me was the time between the two – one started at 9:00am and the other started at 6:15pm.  I’ll dispense with the formalities and drama… we did it!  It was the perfect end to one of the best weekends I have had in recent memory, so here’s the breakdown.
NAME:  The New York Giants Run Of Champions 5K
LOCATION:  Giants 🙂 Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
TIME:  33:34 (PR – previous best 34:40 set 5/20/12)
TOTAL B2R PARTICIPANTS*:  11 (!!!!!!!!!)
TEMPERATURE:  475 degrees Kelvin
* – “B2R Participants” = me and my friends 🙂
It was SO friggin’ hot.  First of all, it started at 9am; there is only one complaint I can make about this race and it’s that it started so damn late on a day in the middle of June.  Plus, it was mostly in the parking lot of a football stadium… how many trees provide shade out on those?  Yup… ZIPPIE.
And who wears LONG SLEEVES to run this race?  Yup… this guy.  See, after the nipple chafing episode a few months ago, I like to wear an Under Armour shirt of some kind underneath my regular shirt.  Well, I only have one sleeveless one… the rest have sleeves.  And since I’m running two races I had to decide which one I would wear long sleeves at.  9am or 615pm?  I went with 615pm – and that was the wrong way to go.  (** I was reminded that I could have probably washed the sleeveless shirt in between the two races… yeah, didn’t think of that.)
It was sweltering.  And there were 3,000 people running.  But there were 10 of my friends running with me.  ELEVEN OF US TOTAL!!!  Jennifer, Nancy, Martin, Joe, Amanda, Brian, Courtney, Mai, Hiba and Sara (** along with Hiba’s friend and Sara’s husband!)
Sara – 26:59 (SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!)
Mai – 29:13 (OK, y’all up here with these sub 30 minutes race times…)
Hiba – 30:03 (Close enough… I’m lumpin’ you in with those two)
Courtney – 30:19 (COME.  ON.  REALLY?!?!)
Brian – 31:55 (Brian after the race (I’m paraphrasing): “It was so hot, I had to run fast so I didn’t get suburn.” He really said that.)
Joe – 33:25 (Should have been WAY faster, but he had this chubby dude he was pacing…)
Gach – 33:34 (… the chubby dude Joe was pacing)
Nancy – 34:30 (Another PR for my original running partner!)
Martin – 35:16 (TT coming back strong from his toe injury)
Jennifer – 36:22 (2nd race back from a foot fracture… plus she was plotting for bigger things later)
Amanda – 44:54 (Not only was this her 1st race EVER, she stopped to assist a fallen competitor!)
I PR’d so I had an awesome run – and it was those people listed up there that helped me do it.  The finish line was the endzone of the football field.  I had grandiose plans of doing the Deion Sanders as I crossed, but was too damn hot and tired to even remember to do it, let alone pull it off.  Just an awesome, awesome race with the best running group I’ve ever been a part of.
But… the day wasn’t done.  There was another race to be run in a few hours.
NAME:  Fitzgerald’s 1928 Lager Run
LOCATION – Glen Ridge, NJ
TIME: 36:33.75 (Chip Time)
TOTAL B2R PARTICIPANTS: 2 (Jennifer and I)
TEMPERATURE:  More reasonable
So Race #1 ends and Jennifer and I immediately start plotting our next moves to properly prepare ourselves for the next race.  
4 beers and a few wings later, we’re ready for the mid-race nap.
(Did you seriously think we were gonna do anything different???)
So after the power nap we head over to the field, ready to accomplish this AMAZING UNHEARD OF feat of competing in 2 5K’s in 1 Day.  Jennifer’s in full-out Beastmode, rockin’ her freshly earned NYG 5K Dri-Fit Runners ass-kicking shirt.  Me?  I did something I still, a week later, can’t believe I did.  I wore compression shorts.  That’s it.  Just them, no shorts over them like I normally do.  I wore them alone.  
As you can see in the pic it’s not THAT horrific, but still… I understand the thought of me in those tight shorts is a little unnerving.  But I actually didn’t feel that uncomfortable.
That is until we got to the race.
Two things happened when we arrived:
1)  There were maybe 15 people minimum rockin’ the SAME freshly earned NYG 5K Dri-Fit Runners ass-kicking shirt Jennifer was… so this thought that we were doing something so crazy original and out-of-this-world was ripped from us – and honestly made us a little :(.
2)  Although the race had almost 2,000 less people than the morning run… this race was STACKED with ‘runners’.  I mean matching track uniform/ team runners.  There must have been half a dozen race teams there.  While the Giants race was all about fun and celebrating the Super Bowl champs, this was apparently NO JOKE.

So we get to the starting line, move away from all the Prefontaines and get ready.  Race starts, and we decide this is gonna be nice and smooth and we’re just gonna enjoy the scenery and chat and hang out.  It was a nice time and a really great easy course to run; 99% flat, got to see a bunch of the gorgeous houses in Montclair, the homeowners come out and turn their sprinklers onto the street to keep runners cool, and kids set up their own water stations on top of what the race sets up.  Just a nice, relaxing run.

Until we hit the track.

The race ends as we enter the local HS football field and do 2/3 of a lap around.  The whole time we’re running together, chatting, having fun… and you know what Jennifer does?  

The #’s never lie:

Jennifer: 36:33.52
Gach: 36:33.75

Yup, she BLEW PAST ME AT THE FINISH to cut the tape and whup my butt at the end.  I was left there… stunned and shocked at what just happened.  She was laughing and pointing and laughing some more…

OK, that didn’t really happen.  But we did do the whole second race together and it was a ton of fun.  We followed that race up the same way we followed up the first one… with beer.  2 free ones after the race and 2 at Friday’s after that.

I want to thank EVERYONE who made the races on this day super fun – so many great pics and memories I’m gonna have for a long time.  But… a special thank you to Jennifer for sticking with me all day and doing something, no matter what we saw at the 2nd race, that was truly unique and special.  We did 2 5K’s in 1 Day… that’s just beyond awesome to say.

Mission accomplished… what’s next.

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