As a race participant my rating of races has changed over the years. Appears most recently that a fun factor has trumped setting a personal record on a flat fast course. So when applying the fun factor – my choice of a favorite road race for 2010 was easy. A Ozark 5k in early November, run at night, through a theme park; (Silver Dollar City), with a million Christmas lights, mixed with good competition, the best post race cookies ever, family participation (daughters and friend) this one couldn’t be beat. Added advantage – I raced well. Good way to end a 2010 racing season – 5th overall and first masters.
The race is called “Run to the Lights” and serves as a fundraiser for a Christian non-profit outreach ministry based out of Branson, Missouri; The Caring People. TCP exists “to reach single moms with the love of Jesus”. Pretty cool organization that is growing exponentially here in the US and internationally. Their fee for a family entry included; nice long sleeve t-shirts, day passes for SDC, and a chance to race through a theme park – (late at night – no guests). I confess, I made more than one trip to the cookie table! More than 2000 runners braved very cool temperatures and drizzle – but well worth it.
The course isn’t easy – this is Ozark country and hills abound. We started near the entrance to SDC and proceeded to complete a series of loops in their parking lots before heading back into SDC – where blacktop streets were illuminated with Christmas lights strung along buildings, overpasses, bridges, trees – and well everywhere! Where else can you experience this? What fun. If I lived in the area I would put this race on my annual calendar – and try to fit in a summer race TCP sponsors called “Dash to the Splash”. Same format – in a water park theme. This group does a great job including area sponsors and taking care of details. Good times – good memories. Who says distance running can’t be fun?
Training tip – when working with an athlete – one piece of their training I am keenly interested in is the consistency of their mileage/intensity as they prepare to race. Consistency being defined by mileage (or time spent running), plus intensity of training – over time. This is a critical factor in stepping to the starting line with confidence. So– as you look at your life schedule, and are fitting in training runs – do your best to keep an element of consistency with your training regimen. The payoffs will show with your performance.
Next up – a credentials review of one of the Continental Divide Running Clinic 2011 Staff –Jim Walker. Until then – enjoy the run!