Monday, November 12, 2012

Neighborcare Health Pumpkin Push 2012

Happy Monday!

You may recall I had several races set-up for the end of 2012...well, the first was October's Halloween-themed Pumpkin Push 5k!

I had run the 5k in 2010, volunteered in 2011, and this year, I decided, why not do both?


I checked with a couple of friends to see if anyone else was interested, but in the end it turned out to just be me!  I was actually kinda excited...I like doing events on my own sometimes.  It's relaxing to totally go at your own pace and not have to worry about trying to meet up beforehand (especially in the dark and cold).

After emailing the race volunteer coordinators, I learned that there were a few different time slots available...and I knew right away which spot was the one for me:

"Set-up, 5am - 8am, must be able to lift 50 lbs. & pretend to be cheerful so early in the morning!"

I'm a morning person AND I CrossFit, so I wanted to be up early and moving things around.  I also figured I could help with registration if need be before the race actually got started at 10am.  This slot would allow me to be helpful, and meant that after the race I could dry off and head out (I was supposed to meet my mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law for tea).

Jared was a total sport and got up to drive me out to Seattle for the race.  I had a ton of gear including extra snacks, a head lamp, and several layers of clothes.  Jared wisely encouraged me to wear as much of my costume as possible under my volunteering layers so I wouldn't have to fully change later.  I did my hair in a high bun to have some volume in time for the race and did my makeup before leaving.

I decided at the last minute to only pack one pair of  running shoes.  (This later turned out to be an insane choice, but I was also lugging my post-run outfit for tea so I was trying to consolidate.)

It was dark but dry the whole drive over...until we were almost to Seward Park.  When we arrived, it started raining. I was actually the first one there, but within about a minute, Rosemary (the volunteer coordinator) and some other folks arrived. Rosemary let me dump all my gear in her car and Jared drove home to try to get some more sleep.

As we started working, it started pouring. We set up tents and tables and a pumpkin patch in a very strong wind and a deluge of water. Pretty soon everyone had donned rain ponchos, which helped a bit. My water-resistant trail shoes were soaked through and we were all pretty chilled to the bone.  I was surprised at how many hours we were working in was probably 8am before it got light. 

Nothing like Seattle in the fall!

I have to say, however, that besides the rain, I had an incredibly good time!  Rosemary and Clover (the gals running the event) were SO organized, and everyone was so friendly and positive, despite the hour and the weather.  They also provided coffee and treats to the volunteers, including these amazing pumpkin rolls from Great Harvest. 

What with one thing and another, I ended up working until about 9, at which time Rosemary made sure I got registered for the run (volunteers run free) and then let me hang out and warm up in her car until I was ready to run the race.

My wet and soggy clothes and shoes
The view looking outside the car
I managed to dry off (thankfully I had brought a towel) and my undermost layer - my costume - wasn't even damp!

I wasn't sure what to do about my sopping shoes and socks.  I had an extra pair for tea, but I figured in a pinch I could just wear my boots without socks...but I didn't want to put clean dry socks into soggy running shoes!  Finally, I remembered a trick that a friend does when skiing...I thankfully had two small plastic shopping bags, and I put them over my socks before putting my shoes on.  This served me well (thanks, Pexa!) and my feet stayed mostly dry during the run.

I fixed my hair as best I could and made sure my Wonder Woman logo was still set on my face.

I waited until about 15 minutes or less before the start time since I didn't want to stand in the rain anymore than necessary.  I hopped out, got a passerby to take my photo, and then headed for the porta-potty lines!

Wonder Woman on the cheap!
I wasn't sure whether my costume would carry...I'm a theatre girl on a budget so I did my best to make it recognizable.  As I headed to find the 9-10 minute mile pace group, I heard someone say, "Hey, Wonder Woman!"  Woot!

I'd been worried my calf would bother me, but it actually did great for the whole race!  I averaged a 10-minute pace and finished just a little shy of my sub-30-minute goal with a time of 30:58.

It was a little disappointing, but I was still happy with my time considering I hadn't really run since May.  Besides, Neighborcare Health is an awesome cause, and I was glad to volunteer for such a great organization at such a fun event.  In the week following the run, I got a sweet thank you card AND a gift card to a local running store! 

At 4:30 that morning, I had told Jared, "Never let me volunteer for a 5am slot again!"  And now I already want to do it again next year!

You tell me: Run any great races lately?  Have you ever volunteered for a race?  What was your experience like?  Who's your favorite super hero? 


  1. How awesome that you were able to do both!! I did the Pretty Muddy this weekend, and I love it! I get to do it again next weekend too! Bring on the mud!

  2. Court - you are so brave! I was talking about mud runs this weekend...not sure I could do one. I fear I'd never get my hair clean!!!

  3. I'd love to volunteer at a race! Hopefully next year.


Thanks for adding your two cents to The (Megha) Mix!