August 23, 2013 by UtahMan&Wife
On Saturday August 17th we participated in the 4th Annual “CARMA Run In Rhythm 5K” at the University of Utah. This is our 4th year participating – we haven’t missed one yet, and it’s always a fun day. We’ve been blogging long enough that you can even read last year’s race recap “Surviving a 5K and a Giant Colon“, and the related post “Crossing The Finish Line Together” as a family. Here is a brief recap of last week’s race.
The CARMA center at the University of Utah is dedicated to research and treatment of Afib (Atrial Fibrillation) one of the most common causes of stroke. For the past four years now CARMA has hosted a 5K awareness race – FREE OF CHARGE to the public. Not only is the race 100% free, but you also get a FREE T-Shirt, and FREE entrance to the [FREE] “Wellness Fair” afterward. Healthy activity + Free stuff = What’s not to love?
Well, the starting line for one thing.
It was a mess.
Take several hundred people, cram them all together on one side of a road with a narrow entrance space, who then have to push their way through people already on the road and backtrack downhill to line up so they can all run uphill again with the sun in their eyes and somehow all go through a very narrow gate. Then, try making all of them keep moving by yelling “Back up!”, “Back up!”. Ever try herding cats? Me neither, but I imagine it would be a lot like that. (hint: runners don’t do well with going “BACK”) in order to make room for all the latecomers who are now filling in the same spaces at the front where the early-birds used to be…um…major FAIL.
Hope they get that figured out for next year (side note: over the past 4 years attending this race the start has incrementally gotten worse – due to the fact that the race has incrementally gotten more popular). Some suggestions:
- Start people in waves: Now that the event is chip timed it doesn’t really matter when people cross the start, they’ll get an accurate reading in the end.
- Move The Start/Finish Location: We vote they move the start to a different location! Say, over behind the theater perhaps? That way, people can simply line up as they come out of the tunnel – headed north – instead of trying to snake everyone around the start/finish line and “back up” down the hill. This would also avoid having the start and finish on a busy road, and it would solve the MAJOR COMPLAINT of the race every year of that big steep finish.
Just throwing it out there for what it’s worth! (yeah, we know no one reads this blog…but, just in case…)
Unfortunately, the course for this race isn’t ideal. It winds around the lower campus of the University. It makes for a nice “tour” of lower campus, but in all honesty, it pretty much sucks as a race route. Especially if you’re looking for a PR. The majority of the time you’re just going up steep hills – including at the very START and during the push to the FINISH line – all UPHILL. Also, there’s only one meager water stop provided (inadequate for such a strenuous course on such a hot day).
But, it’s FREE, right?
Yes, it is! So, just bring your own water, watch out for all the strollers/dogs/kids/people on scooters, bikes and roller-blades, keep smiling…and don’t expect a PR.
That said, Wife did pretty darn good with her time. She came in sub-30 minutes (29:58)! How about UtahMan? Um, not so much. But, he valiantly stayed with the daughter and they crossed the line smiling…”in style”!
Putting all complaints aside, we STILL PLAN TO KEEP COMING to this event every year and we will definitely still keep supporting this great cause! Besides, the very best part of this race day is always AFTER the race! The Utah Wellness Fair is awesome. You get tons of FREE health screenings, FREE stuff (like books, magazines, pens & pencils, t-shirts, FOOD) and…it all takes place at Rice Eccles Stadium…UtahMan & Wife’s Mecca.
On top of all that, on this particular day an actual Ute Scrimmage (their 2nd practice) was taking place! WOOT! So, UtahMan got a chance for a a selfie with the team.
BONUS: About 30 minutes later, when the team cleared the field, we both got a chance to actually go out ON THE FIELD! (UtahMan resisted the urge to kiss the hallowed ground). Oh, and by the way, do you see that awesome #7 Ute Tech shirt UtahMan is suddenly wearing in these photos below? yep! Won it in a FREE raffle!! SCORE!
[Wife wanted one so bad…but despite hanging aorund and entering 3 more on-the-hour raffles she didn’t win 😦 ]
Oh, well! All in all, it was a great day for a great cause. We got to spend time together with The Daughter and our friend Debby. Our blood pressure, cholesterol, fat index, blood sugar, etc. all came in at super healthy levels. Both of us signed up to have an ultrasound of our carotid arteries (yep – FREE). Wife has NO deposits at all – totally clear. (Doc was surprized when she told him she was 46) UtahMan unfortunately has some clogging going on (plaque). No obstruction, but definitely not good to have plaque building up (it’s genetic for his family – bummer). It was recommended that he take asprin every day, and he go see his primary care doctor and discuss options. The ultrasound doctor DID compliment UtahMan on doing such a great job with staying active, eating right and keeping his blood pressure down. Things could definitely have been worse if he wasn’t doing all of that! So, a little extra motivation now to keep doing what we are doing, and get regular check-ups and health screenings. – UM&W
P.S. Dear Wellness Fair people: Thanks for including the giant inflatable Colon from last year! Always a gas (ha ha). But, we really missed the giant inflatable heart! We hope it makes a comeback in 2014.