Sunday, July 12, 2020

My BreyerFest 5k: Remote, Asynchronous, Fun!

I have run in every BreyerFest 5k.  Why stop now?   I had a willing partner to document my times and perform as shag wagon (he literally sat on the tailgate).  I had a course:  four times around the neighborhood loop is exactly 5.1 kilometers.  To be sure, the course has a lot of uphill and some downhill compared to the Kentucky one, but I've been running/jogging every other day (except for canoeing) all this year.
The manhole cover is in a perfect place, right at our driveway.
Testing camera before start

I had the costume.  Some of my friends have elaborate fantasy play costumes.  Mine is real:  it's what I actually run in, day in day out.  My running goal for the past several years has been between 3 and 5k every other day, except when canoeing (a canoeing day counts as a running day).  This goal had a serious setback when I hurt my foot on April 21.  But it healed enough so I could run.

Unlike the Kentucky version, I could start earlier than 9:00.  No parking troubles, no changing clothes in a public restroom stall.  Alas, one large omission was my failure to print out a bib number.  I believe Breyer sent me the opportunity, but I was just too busy to track this down.

First lap:  11 minutes

I'm sure it never occurred to Breyer that, having sent me my Ballynoe and race medallion and t-shirt, I wouldn't even open their package.  I am so honored and pleased they would get these trophies to us before BreyerFest even started.  But the truth is my horse business shipping address is 4 miles away, and with the pandemic, my trips there have shrunk to less than once a week.  Even when I do make that drive and bring stuff home, it has to go through house decontam procedures, which take several days.

Second lap:  12 minutes
I have t-shirts, bibs and medallions from all the BreyerFest 5ks, except the first (2016) when there was no medallion.  Worse, through an act of monumental stupidity, I somehow lost my bib from that year (I stuck it in a book somewhere to keep it flat, and now I can't find it).  My only real evidence for that year is the t-shirt I am wearing here.
Third lap from behind.

I'm sure BreyerFest never thought an entrant would not use their smartphone to clock in their race times.  What an elaborate app they put out for this race!!!  Believe me I would have used it if I could.  But I don't use a smartphone.  At least not yet.  To do them justice, Breyer and 3WayRacing allows submissions without it.   Maybe this year's BreyerFest (maybe this pandemic) will finally convince a dinosaur like me to invest in yet another electronic device (as if several computers and a Chromebook were not enough).
Third lap:  12 minutes

My first race, in 2016, I was wearing long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a broad brim hat, and carrying binoculars and a backpack!!!  I sure have learned a lot since then.  That first BreyerFest 5k turned in a time of around an hour.  It is a wonder I kept running.

In 2017 I turned in a 45 minute run (45:01) and we still have the phone answering-machine message I left, total squeal excitement.  :)  In 2018 I did it in 42:31.  In 2019 I made 41:11*.  Again alas, this year I don't have the tech (or didn't bother) to time the seconds.  I'm basing those 20 seonds on what I glimpsed of my watch.
Finish!  46 minutes total.
*[Editor's Note.  This used to say 44:11.  Turns out my written evidence on the bib is ambiguous, so I dug into the 2019 Notebook for more evidence, and fortunately found it.  It was 41:11.]

I ran past a few dog walkers and one old man walking.  No hat, no sunglasses, no sun lotion, no water (!) and no gloves.   I don't do that much thinking while running, although I do identify with the great running breeds:  Thoroughbreds, Akhal Tekes.  Wolves.

In the end it isn't how fast you are.  It's that you finished, sound (without injury).  I miss the crowds, my friends, the authentic timing, the roar of the audience, even the snacks.  I don't know when I'll run in a full-scale real-life race again.  But I'll try to keep in shape.

Earlier times:
Photo by 3Way, 2019

Kim Wandry, Donna Chaney, SBY in 2018

She comes with me every race.  She's the CollectA Akhal Teke mare in buckskin.  I asked my husband for a name that meant "very fast."  Without even scratching his head he pops out "Tachyon."
Gotta love being married to a professor!!