Sunday, April 26, 2015
~40°F, 9:00am at Avon Lake High School
Another great raceday for the books! K ran the Love-A-Stray Fur Fun 5K with her dad last year; it was a great race, with an impressive tech shirt that convinced both of them to sign up again. K told R about the puppies and that immediately reeled him in.
Avon Lake is a bit of a trek for us, but it was worth the drive to see so many dedicated puppies…err, we mean runners and their dogs! In the time that it took us to get there, the sun had warmed up the air a bit and we were feeling slightly better about the chilly weather. We quickly claimed our bibs, pinned them on with some struggle, and soaked up some last minute heat in the car before heading back out to bathroom, then the starting line. The three of us lined up and (respectfully) ogled the dogs for a bit. Before we knew it, we heard “Who Let the Dogs Out” (nice touch, race organizers) and it was time to run!
The course started in the lot behind the school and headed directly into the woods, with plenty of nature and wildlife to take in during the run. We even saw a few deer in their natural habitat, munching on some breakfast! (…do deer have “breakfast”? Anyways, it was awesome! K’s dad took the opportunity to tease R about living in the city.) The three of us kept pace with each other throughout the entire course, making for an enjoyable race, keeping each other company and making jokes along the way. This was also a great post-Cleveland 10 miler race for K; her legs were in need of a less rigorous course and this flat route was perfect for active recovery! We also found that the crowd was incredibly accommodating. Perhaps this was because everyone knew to be conscious of the dogs on the course, but it was definitely one of the more polite crowds we’ve run with. We really appreciated that whether they were moving for strollers, puppies, or fellow runners, everyone seemed to have manners on the mind.
Overall, this race was a lot smoother than last month’s for a few reasons, the first being that R preregistered! This wasn’t until past the guaranteed race shirt deadline, but he’s learning! And, in all fairness, K almost missed the cutoff as well. Also, K’s dad drove and parking at the high school was plentiful! This eliminated a lot of the flustered feelings we get before most races. Bonus: K’s dad didn’t step on a nail the night before the race, so that’s certainly a positive as well!
If you’re not a winter runner, this is a great way to start off race season and get into the groove. The air still had a little bite to it for motivation, but the sun was bright and shining, giving a very positive and energetic vibe to the whole experience. It was also bigger than expected…
…the number of registrants seems to have grown from last year, and we can only imagine it will again next year.
And, hey – you can’t beat post-race orange slices and free dog food samples (shout out to Fromm)! Love-A-Stray Fur Fun 5K gets two paws up from us – you and your furry friends will love it!
-K & R