The postcard in the Howl-o-weenie Run was bright yellow, and in big red letters stated that this half marathon, relay and 5K would be held on December 12 in Hurricane, Utah. The slogan, “Proudly exceeding the legal limit of racing fun.” I was in. What better way to meet some fellow runners, I thought.
On researching the race, I had to think twice about running the half. You see, the race involves four 3.25 mile loops, and at the end of each loop, each runner is required to eat a sweet snack. Frankly, I didn’t think my digestive system could handle the intake requirements. I signed up for the 5K.
Since I was only doing the 5K, and since the start line was only 1.5 miles from Willow Wind, I decided to run to the start line. A good decision, since there were many racers and many cars in the parking lot and on the adjoining roads. The racers gathered at the start line as the announcer reminded everyone of the rules of the race.
1. The race would not be timed. This was not so much a race as a celebration of running.
2. Each half marathon / relay runner must report to the “Sugar Shack” after each loop, eat a snack, and get their hands marked.
3. Prizes would be awarded for best costume, best jump caught on camera, and most treats eaten.
And we were off. The weather was cold and crisp, but not nearly as cold as the weather app had led me to believe. The racers spread out fairly quickly and I found myself running at a reasonable pace. Twenty-seven minutes, 59 seconds later, I reached the Sugar Shack.
They offered water, Dirty Doctor Pepper (hope there’s no trademark infringement going on there), and of course, several sweet treats. There were doughnuts, cookies, and mini-pumpkin cheesecakes – not a protein bar in the mix.
It was fun! Not racing against the clock, most of the racers lingered over the sweets, took photos, and chatted before starting their next lap. It was truly a celebration of running.
I didn’t stay for the prizes, but as I was running back to the park, I met one of the photographers. “You’re going the wrong way,” she chided me. I told her I was done; I had completed the 5K. But I really felt a twinge of regret that I hadn’t done the half. Next year – if we’re here – I’ll do the half, sweet treats and all.