Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Cocoa 5k Run Race Recap

Disclaimer: As an ambassador for All Community Events, I received a free entry to the Cocoa Classic 5k. All opinions expressed here are my own. 

Who doesn't love a holiday 5k? I'm not a huge fan of 5ks--it seems like a lot of effort for a short distance--but last year, I ran the Jingle Bell 5k and really enjoyed it! It felt like the perfect way to close out the racing season. Plus I had new InknBurn holiday gear, so why not? My running buddy Steph and I made plans to run the Cocoa Classic 5k run which was close to our homes.



I woke up at my usual time of 6 am and had coffee and a smoothie. Steph came to pick me up at my house at 7:30 and we were at the Deer Park Town Center by 7:45. My husband had picked up my race packet the day before, so Steph and I just stayed warm in her car and caught up on life. About 15 minutes before the race start, we left the warm sanctuary of her car and walked over to the race start. It was 25 degrees, but the sun was shining. We were cold but it wasn't unbearable. There were a lot of runners, but I was surprised at how few of them were wearing holiday gear. Truth be told, I felt a little overdressed in my InknBurn!


Eying the crowd, I urged Steph to line up near the front of the race. There were a lot of kids with their moms and it seemed that most of the racers weren't paying attention to the pace signs. I didn't want to get stuck behind walkers and slow runners. It was a good plan.

With no fanfare at all, the gun went off and we started to run.

We took off at a pretty speedy pace and I let Steph run ahead of me. I looked down at my Garmin and saw an 8:01m/m pace, so I backed off. While I felt good, I didn't want to burn myself out and have to walk. I was pleasantly surprised at how good I felt. We ran down a hill and at mile one, I saw 8:11 on the Garmin. Ok, then!

We headed up a long incline and I saw many of the runners ahead of me slow down, some to a walk. I pushed ahead and caught up to some young boys who were having fun kicking ice balls down the path. I tried to get around them but it was tough while they chased the ice balls. While I could appreciate the fun they were having, I wanted to get away from them and eventually, I did. Mile 2 was 8:38 m/m.

I rounded the corner and there was Steph, walking and drinking from her fuel belt. She said she was ok and once she started running again, she passed me. I stayed right behind her for the rest of the race. Mile 3 was 8:11.

We crossed the finish line about 2 seconds apart. My watch signaled 2:16:10. I was so pleased!!! I thought for sure we had to have gotten an age group placement, so I got in line to collect an award, while Steph checked the board to make sure. Sure enough, she got first in her age group and I got second!


But just by seconds. Thank goodness I didn't stop to walk...

After the race, we took pictures and got our coffee mugs and hot cocoa. What a great post-race treat for a freezing cold day! We were both thrilled by our performance and as we did after our last race, credited our strength coach, Sammy Jo, for keeping us healthy and strong. 

Age groupers!
This was a really fun race and a great way to celebrate the holiday season. I loved the hot cocoa at the finish. The course was nothing exciting, but it was a 5k, so for me, it wasn't a big deal. I left my music at home, which shows me that I can push hard when I need to without the tunes. The race organizers did a great job clearing the ice from the path (except for those ice balls) and there were a lot of enthusiastic volunteers directing the runners and cheering us on. Runners all received the standard All Community Events fleece hoody and the first 500 to register got a stocking cap ( I did not--boo!). I loved the coffee mug and hot cocoa at the finish. 


For runners who don't want to go to downtown Chicago to run a holiday race, the Cocoa Classic 5k is a great alternative! I'll definitely do it again next year. Only one thing: runners, can you bring on the holiday gear, please?

Did you run a holiday race? Holiday gear, yay or nay? Interesting swag?

I'm linking up with Tuesdays on the Run: Marcia, Erika, and Patti.



29 comments :

  1. What fun and how cool that you and Steph both got AG awards! I'm sure it was chilly but that clear sky in all your pics looks amazing!

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    1. It was cold but you know how much of a difference the sun can make! This was a really fun race.

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  2. Congrats to both of you! I suspect this is the same course they do the St. Patty's 5k on? It starts and ends in the mall and runs sort of behind it? Boo to no stocking cap! Especially for an ambassador! :P

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    1. I think it is the same course. I'll be running that one, so I will find out. And yes, I feel like I'm special and should have gotten a stocking cap! LOL!

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  3. Congrats on the AG place! Sounds like a fun race, and I love the Ink Burn top. Any race that serves up cocoa at the end is a win!

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  4. Brilliant time and cute outfit! What fun! I have one pair of Little Miss running tights and they come out from now onwards and for volunteering and also to my book group's Christmas do - got to get that value! However, I'm not running them in any festive races - just that one I marshalled the other week.

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    1. I'm going to be wearing them a lot the next couple of weeks--got to get my money's worth!

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  5. Excellent job! That's a super strong finish to 2018! Yeah, c'mon people, get in the spirit...it's not like the colorful holiday gear will slow them down, right?

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  6. Great job and congrats on the age group finish! I love your holiday attire :)

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  7. Congrats on the AG award! You look fun and festive - I confess I'd be dressed more like Steph for a holiday race...I don't even have any red and/or green running gear.

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  8. This sounds like such a fun holiday themed race - I love your outfit, race medals and the coffee mugs! Congrats on a well deserved AG award!

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  9. The holiday races are so much fun and a great way to stay motivated. Congrats on that nice speedy finish and your award. Fab way to end the year!

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  10. Congrats! I love your outfit! I always seem to look for holiday races at the last minute - I think I missed my window. This one sounds like a lot of fun!

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    1. I really like this one! Plus it's 5 miles from my house!

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  11. I love your holiday gear! I never understand why more people don’t get into the spirit of a holiday race. Congratulations on your AG award. Those were some fast women! Sometimes I think running races should mark ages like triathlon does so you know your direct competition. That would give people an extra push at the end!

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    1. I never thought about that! It's funny because I do try to figure out people's ages when I'm running. But we were mostly all bundled up so I really couldn't tell who was what!

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  12. Way to go on age group placing!!! And I looooove your outfit! that plaid skirt is just the cutest!

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  13. Way to go on your AG award! That seems strange that people didn't show up with holiday gear. It's a holiday race so you're supposed to dress up! Also, I have to agree with cocoa sounding great after a race. Great job ladies!

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    1. While there were a few people with holiday gear, most people were not dressed up. I found that so odd!

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  14. I love a holiday 5K, and of course I'm going to dress up for it! There is usually a decent amount of people who also dress up, so I don't feel like the lone wolf in my fancy outfit, LOL. Running that race each year sounds like a good tradition to keep up with, especially with the opportunity to get an AG award!

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    1. The AG award was a surprise but I'll take it! They're becoming few and far between now.

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  15. Congrats to you and your friend on your age group win and second place! I run in the Run With Santa 5K every December and everyone really dresses up for it. It's so fun!

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