2016 Scout Strong Challenge

Date: May 14, 2016

Location: Kansas Speedway, KCK

After Bowie’s strong showing at the Skyline Shuffle, I wanted to sign him up for a road 5K to see where he was at. I also thought he might like getting a finisher’s medal, since trail races around here do not tend to award them. I started researching options and found the Scout Strong Challenge Half and 5K. I ran the Scout Strong Challenge half marathon in its inaugural year. The course was different this year – but I knew it was a fun race. I also checked out the previous year’s results and saw Bowie had a good chance of placing, so I signed us both up for the 5K.

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ceremonial race outfit

This year, the race started and finished at the Kansas Speedway, the NASCAR track. Right away, the event parking was super convenient. There were attendants directing traffic, and we parked in a lot right by the track. We hit the port-a-potty with no line at all and walked less than a block to get to the track entrance.

The race started on on the paved road course in the infield. (The area inside the big oval track). I was not sure how Bowie would do pacing himself. (At Skyline Shuffle, I put him behind some fast friends and told him to follow them). I had talked to him about not going out too fast — but how is a 9 year old going to “feel” that? I decided to run my butt off to get him started. I am no where in the shape to do much running in the morning. In fact, most of my morning runs have been a horrible, slow sweaty disaster. But I thought even if I could get a quarter mile at his pace, he could take over from there. Based on his Skyline Shuffle time, I felt I would shoot for a sub-9:00 pace and have him pick it up himself when he hit miles 2 and 3.

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pre-race

Surprisingly, I was able to truck along for 3/4 of a mile before I felt like I needed to slow down. I told Bowie that I was cutting him loose and he needed to go chase people down. He picked up the pace a little bit and I followed along behind him, making sure he turned left for 5K instead of right for the half course that left the stadium.

I was able to keep running at a decent pace. Obviously, not the pace I was running last year before I got sick, but I was running surprisingly strong. I took 2 small walk breaks to catch my breath when I felt I was pushing too hard.

The race finished with a full loop of the oval track, which was pretty cool. In the homestretch, I kept looking down at my Garmin and thought it would be a really good showing for me to go sub-30:00. With as fatigued as I have been lately, that would be really awesome. I kicked a bit at the end and squeaked in with 29:54.

I grabbed my medal and found Bowie waiting with our “crew” (who gave us a ride to the race). Bowie wasn’t sure of his finish time. He said that he felt like he didn’t run his fastest because he was hungry. (I will work on his pre-race nutrition. I guess he needs a bigger breakfast). I was pretty confident he placed, as I was keeping an eye on the other kids in the race.

We made it to the media center building and looked up our times. Bowie ran 27:19 (8:48 pace) and took 2nd place in his age group. (52nd male and 61st overall). For fun, I looked up mine and was amazed to see I got 4th age group, 17th female and 88th overall. Not too shabby for a good-sized race! There were a lot of snacks offered, but we just grabbed mini muffins and water.

The awards ceremony was supposed to start at 8:30 and we waited and waited. (My oldest was graduating and we really needed to hurry back!) Finally, someone told us the awards would be outside in a few minutes. So we all went outside into the cold to wait while they laid the medals out on the table. Seriously. This took 15 minutes and we were all getting crabby because we were cold. A woman beside me finally spoke up and asked if we could just grab our medals and leave! (Yay for her!) They started handing out medals so we needed to wait for them to get through female awards before Bowie got his medal.

Thankfully, we were parked right by the area the awards were in, so we got back to the car and on the road quickly. I had just enough time to get home, rinse off and change my clothes, before heading to Emery’s high school graduation. (Congrats, Emery! I cannot believe the years have flown by so quickly!!!!  This is just crazy!)

I actually camped out most the day after that. We had lunch in town and then I settled in for a nap. At dark, I decided I wanted to take my new cyclocross bike for a spin, so I put the headlight on the bike did a little tour of Baldwin in the cold. I am really excited to take the bike out on the trails and gravel roads!

I have to order pedals yet, so we just the platforms from my old cross bike on. I also have pink bar wrap to replace the black, as well as a few other pink touches to add. So far I am really pleased with the bike. And how about those fancy dual brakes??

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