Police Memorial Challenge 
Sunday, May 25, 2008, 12:29 PM
Posted by Administrator
This was the second annual running of this event and my second year participating. Designed to give runners a taste of the training police recruits endure, the race takes place at the Police Academy...which is about 45 minutes home. I was on my own today as Paul opted to sleep in. Remember the gluten exposure I mentioned in my "Mystery Weekend Race Report?" Well, it turns out that the rash was not due to gluten - it was shingles. He was experiencing some symptoms before the race, and then the 50K run pushed him right over the edge. Now he's laying off exercise and focusing on getting healthy.

This is a smaller event with about 150 participants, but I was happy to see a bunch of Tri Girls at the race, as well as old friends from my Better Than Ever days. Last year's race featured a wave start with about 20 people in each wave. This year, they had only two waves - the men and then, five minutes later, the women. I was concerned that we would get backed up at the obstacles, but they were spaced far enough apart that it was not a problem.

We started off by zig-zagging through cones in a parking lot for about one-half mile before climbing through SUVs and hitting a dummy with a stick. After another few minutes of running, we did 10 two-legged jumps onto large tires, 10 push ups, 20 lunges and 20 overhead lifts with a medicine ball. You think that you'll be getting a break because you've stopped running, but all of these things send your heart rate soaring. I was relieved to start running again, so that I could catch my breath!

During this next stretch of running, I actually caught and passed two male runners from the first wave...which was very satisfying! Next, we shot a pellet gun 3 times at a target and had to do push ups for each one we missed. I did just one push up and then headed to the tower where we climbed stair to the top. This year they added an extra challenge of doing 10 push ups at the top of the tower. Up to this point, I had been doing traditional push ups, but had to resort to modified ones (on my knees) for this set.

I was tired, but looking forward to the next part of the course where we would have to cross monkey bars and climb over a few walls. I even wore bike gloves this year after having a callous ripped off my palm last year. I saw the monkey bars up ahead...and then we ran right past them. And I saw the walls coming...and we bypassed them as well. What's going on? We climbed through a window and then through a tunnel before running the final stretch to the finish line.This last portion seemed really long, but there were a group of Tri Girls cheering for me at the end. There were also a bunch of police recruits at the finish line and, as I got closer, they started cheering like crazy. I was impressed with this show of support...until a woman blew past me right at the line and I realized they had been egging her on to pass me. Lesson learned - always look behind you as you're approaching the finish line. I finished in 39:38 which was good for 96th place. I was slightly slower than last year when I finished in 39:10.

I stayed to enjoy the pancake breakfast and socialize a while. This is, without a doubt, the most hospitable race I've ever been to. The volunteers were great! More pancakes? May I take your plate? Would you like a freeze pop? Bottled water?

On the downside, I was disappointed that a number of the challenges were taken out of the course - a number of other people expressed disappointment as well. I hope they are added back in for next year's event. Also, the water stop volunteers need some training. They had police cars stationed out on the course with big jugs of water and cups. Rather than having a bunch of cups filled and ready to go, they waited until runners approached and requested water, and then they would pour a cup while you waited.

But, on the whole, this is a well-organized and really fun event! It keeps me motivated to do push ups in the few months prior provides some unique challenges. I definitely plan to go back in 2009!
1 comment ( 45 views )   |  0 trackbacks   |  permalink   |  related link

<< <Back | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | Next> >>