Sunday, April 7, 2013

April Fool's Twinkie Run Recap

The Twinkie Run is held in Ann Arbor every year on April Fool's Day, no matter what day it falls on.  This year, it was on a Monday.  I live near the park where the race occurs, but have never participated prior to this year.  Obviously, this recap is late.  I was waiting for pictures of me stuffing my face from the race organizers, but the face stuffing pictures were released, and alas, there were none of me.  It was all for naught.  I'm fairly sure some were taken though, so apparently they just didn't deem me photogenic enough with a Twinkie packed in my cheeks.  :P

This guy did it better, apparently.  :)

Anyway, the premise of the Twinkie run is that you get 1 minute off your time for each Twinkie you eat, up to two twinkies.  One is available at the start, and one at about the halfway point.  The race benefits Ann Arbor Active Against ALS.  They are the same people that put on the Electric Bolt 5K in the summer, which I did last year.


They offer the option of registering with or without a shirt.  Early registration without the shirt was $15.  I registered race day so it was $20.  If I had wanted a shirt, it would have been $15 more.  Although I loved the shirts, and it's for a good cause, I opted against getting one.  I've been spending way too much money recently, and it's not like I need another race shirt.  I wish I would have skipped the one at Electric Bolt last year and gotten this one instead though.  This one is way better!  The Electric Bolt shirt is a really weird cut and doesn't fit at all.



I love the back of the shirt!  Those are supposed to be twinkie filling holes! 

They also have a homemade Twinkie contest after the race.  This photo was taken before the race, before the rest of the entries showed up!  Poor lonely homemade twinkies.  


Eventually, some more homemade "Twinkies" showed up.  The chocolate mint ones were my favorite. I think "everybody won" the contest though.


Before the race, you picked up a Twinkie to carry with you to the start (I found that out from a friend who was there, not from a race organizer or sign or anything).  My one gripe with the race is that the "rules" weren't clear.  I asked the Twinkie hander-outer girl about when to eat the Twinkie and she said "Oh, they'll tell you."  I did get out of her that we eat them standing still, not running.



After I grabbed my Twinkie, I still had about 15 minutes to kill before the race, so I got to take a few pictures with some friends.  Left is me and "Michigan Running Man", and right is me and E, a girl I just met the previous Saturday at the 501 group run.




Then we headed over to the start.  It was a nice sunshiny day, but it was windy and the temp was only 35 or so I think (not counting windchill).  I definitely could have used a pair of gloves.  I was chilly!


Photos by Michigan Running Man, aka Steve.  

There was a guy with a megaphone talking about rules or something, but I couldn't hear him.  I was too far back and he wasn't loud enough.  Like I said, that was my only gripe.  There were people around me eating their Twinkies before the race even started.  Everybody started moving right away when the gun went off, so I walked until I finished my first Twinkie.  It wasn't until I started running that I realized I had forgotten my ipod at home!  I don't think I've ever done a 5K without music.  It's critical for me to drown out my breathing and make it seem like I'm not dying, even though I usually am.

Obviously this wasn't a serious race for me.  For one thing, I am still just getting back after the disastrous month of March.  For another, this is a freaking Twinkie Run.  I was hoping to get an age group award, because I had scoped out the 2012 times and they were pretty easy to beat.

After the first loop around the park, we had the option to stop at the Twinkie station for a 2nd Twinkie and a 2nd minute off of our time.  Our bibs were marked with an X for each Twinkie we ate, so they could compute the time adjustments at the end.  We had to stand still for the 2nd Twinkie.  It took forever to get this one down!  They weren't "real" twinkies, they were some kind of knock-off, and they were much drier and cakier than real Twinkie, if I remember correctly.  It didn't help that it was cold, because that made them even harder!  It was really hard to swallow.  I started running again when the last bite was in my mouth, but hadn't quite swallowed it yet, I hope that wasn't cheating.  I'm not sure if that second twinkie was worth the 1:00 time drop.  It seemed like it took longer than that to eat!

The course was the standard 5K course at Gallup Park.  The park is really close to my house and I run there frequently, but I don't usually notice how pretty it is when I'm running for some reason.  Here are some photos of the course.  The two photos below are by Michigan Running Man.



Here is one of me, with my horrible collapsing running form, and apparently in need of a lesson in pinning a bib on straight.  
Photo from the Twinkie Run Facebook page
And here is another, demonstrating overstriding and heel-striking, and for some reason squinting in the sun while wearing sunglasses on my head.
Photo from the Twinkie Run Facebook page
I came in at 26:13 on the clock (there was no chip timing at this event), minus 1 minute for each twinkie for an adjusted time of 24:13.  A new 5K PR!  Haha, just kidding, I'm not counting that, don't worry!  Here's my pace plot.  You can see the walk/jog at the start, and the stop at the halfway point for the Twinkie, and that I forgot to stop my Garmin at the end.  Looks like I got a little tired at mile 2.5 huh?


24:13 was good for a 3rd place Age Group award.  (Last year 24:13 would have put me in first!  Drat!).   The cool thing about these A2A3 races is that they give finisher medals for their 5Ks.  For a $20 race fee at a 5K, you don't usually expect a medal!  They're small, but they're super cute.  The back has "filling holes" like the T-shirts do.  The age group award was a pint glass, which is my least favorite type of age group award.  For one thing, Running Fit races often give finisher glasses, so it's confusing to have "award" glasses and "finisher" glasses.  Also, they break if I drop them.  And they just sit in my cabinet with the rest of my normal drinking glasses.  Maybe I should make a shelf for age group awards, then I can put my pint classes on them and maybe I'd like them more.  My favorite age group awards are ones that say what you got.  I have a medal that says "1st place female 21-25" from a few years back, and simple button/pin with a ribbon that says "2nd place female 21-25", and a cardboard "plaque" that says "1st place female 25-29".  I like those because it's clear, even though some of them are clearly cheaper and less usable than a pint glass.  My memory isn't so good otherwise :).  Good thing there's this blog to remind me of everything I ever do.  Still, I'm surprised they even had age group awards at all, given the small size of the race and the inexpensive race fee.  I think there were only 9 people in my age group.





To summarize: economical, fun, "hometown" feel race, with surprisingly good schwag, and a scenic, flat, and fast course.  Highly recommend.   I love that it was on a weekday evening this year.  Works great with my schedule.  See you there next year? 


5 comments:

  1. I would totally do this race if it were closer. Looks like fun. Great swag for $20!

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  2. I thought about it too, but couldn't figure out how to get there close to on time. Glad ya had a fun race!

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  4. Congrats again on placing. Great pictures!

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