The Leprechaun Leap 5k is a really cool race put on by Renegade Racing and the Tustin Chamber of Commerce. It's one of the better 5ks in Southern California with a fun, flat, and fast course that is more than just a "run 1.5 miles out and then turnaround and run back" type of course.
I tend to not do 5ks unless I want to use them as an idea for where my "sprinting" fitness is at or unless I have family and friends doing them. Usually, a 5k is simply too much of a hassle (registration, driving over, waiting around, etc) to spend 3-4 hours in a day for what is essentially a 20 minute race.
What can change that for me is if the venue is pretty unique, if the course is something special, or if it is for a good cause that hits close to home for me.
This particular race is highlighted by a run that goes through an aircraft hangar as an actual part of the course - which really perked my interest. In addition, it's a race that isn't a "straight out and back" - which I felt would be a good test for me to push the pace and see where I come out.
|Course Map of the Leprechaun Leap 5k - not your standard out and back by any means|
I wanted to get a good time in this race - so I decided to use my Skora Phase running shoes. This was mainly because they were green (really florescent yellow, but it's as close to green as I had). I did, afterall - have to keep with the theme.
My friend and I arrived at the race with plenty of time to spare and I actually got to get near the front of the pack at the start line - so I hoped to end up with a good time. The gun went off and off we went!
|Start line was crowded but it opened up pretty quickly.|
|My wife says I'm always taking myself too seriously at races, so I'm trying to goof it up a bit.|
|Pulling away from the main pack at the first turnaround.|
|This was right before we entered the hangar towards the end of the race.|
|Coming down the turn into the finish line.|
|At the finish line.|
I managed to do this - thanks to a late kick as we exited the hangar. I ended up with a 17:58 for first place in my age group and 5th overall. That's about as good as I was going to be able to do. There may have been a few seconds in there if I had paced myself better on the first mile - but all in all - I'm a happy camper.
My brother in law (who did the race with me) also did very well - scoring a PR on the 5k for him - going at a sub 8:00 pace for the first time. Super stoked for him!
The event was extremely well run, with lots of little fun things to do at the festival. The awards presentation was fun too, as Tustin native and former UCLA/Carolina Panthers running back DeShaun Foster was there to hand out the awards. Was pretty cool getting an award from a guy who helped carry my fantasy team in 2006/2007. There was also a band playing - which created a really fun vibe for everyone at the event.
As for the support on the course - it was fantastic. There were multiple water stations - and the volunteers at the finish line were tremendous in making sure that food and drink were available for everyone around. To top all of that off - the finisher medal is pretty cool as well. I'll definitely be back next year!
|Getting my award at the award ceremony.|
In other news, my wife somehow convinced me to try out a crossfit competition last weekend. Now, keep in mind - I do NOT do crossfit. I really don't do much outside of swim, bike, and run exercises Sometimes the occasional time on the rower, paddleboarding, surfing, hiking - that kind of stuff - but never any weight lifting or anything like that.
So when my wife approached me about doing the Beach Body Bash put on by Road Runner Sports Torrance, I was extremely hesitant. However, she convinced me to give it a try so I went in having no idea what I was getting myself into - and simply deciding to take it easy and just relax the entire time.
I met up with her crossfit coach, from Crossfit Tough Angels, and were the first ones to show up. He assured me that I had nothing to worry about and that everyone from CTFA would be doing the workout as a group. Also, I had to get clarification from him and my wife as to what half of the workout terms meant.
|The crowd starting to come in as registration opened.|
|This was the workout board for this event|
|Everyone getting their burpee on.|
I'm not the fastest runner in the world, but I'm definitely a much better runner than I am a crossfitter - and it showed at this race. I managed to catch everyone who was running out to the first challenge and was the first back to the parking lot with the egg (the first challenge was to grab an egg, and run back to the "transition area" without breaking it). Next up was 30 push ups - which wasn't a problem at all.
|I probably don't have the best form anymore, but I did thousands of these daily in college.|
I got back to transition area and the next "crossfit" workout was 30 air squats. "Sweet, no problem!" I thought. My wife showed me how to do these right before we started and I did 3 or 4 and it didn't seem like a big deal.
Well, it kind of is a big deal. Especially after you have been running and are going full speed and working muscles in your body that aren't really into getting worked.
In any case, I got them done - but it wasn't pretty.
|This is how I thought I looked while doing them.|
|This is how I actually looked. =(|
When I got back, they pointed me over to the kettlebells and had me do 30 kettlebells. Basically, the technique shown to me prior to the event for the kettlebells was similar to the air squat - except you're swinging a 50+ pound kettlebell while doing it. There's also this thing you do with your pelvis (where you pop it out to make the whole process easier) that I either completely forgot about when my wife showed me how to do it, or she neglected to tell me. I was basically squating and using nothing but my shoulders and triceps to move the kettlebell. There aren't any pictures of the process - but judging by how my face was contorting, I can assure you that they wouldn't have been pretty.
By this time, my legs were pretty much toast - and none of that had anything to do with the running. I wasn't wearing a GPS watch during this event, but I figured my last mile (the final run was a .5 out and back before the final workout) was in the 8:30 range or something like that. I felt like molasses on the road.
When I got back - I was still in first place and well ahead of most everyone. However, the last event was 100 double unders with the jump rope. Outstanding. I hadn't jump roped in...well...in forever. I couldn't remember the last time I did that. Even during wrestling and BJJ - where they used jump rope as a good way to warm up or cut weight - I always elected for something else and never really did it. I'm sure there was a time where I did though and just can't remember - which is the only reason I'm not saying that I've never jump roped before this.
|I kept thinking "just remember 5th grade hopscotch, just remember 5th grade hopscotch"|
I managed to finish and still maintain first place - which was a miracle considering how horrific I was a jump roping and how many people caught up to me because my jump rope was just THAT BAD.
|A pretty good day - all things considered.|
Next up for me is the PCRF Ride and Run which is another event put on by Renegade Racing. It was outstanding last year and I hope for more the same this year. It's a 50 mile ride on Saturday, and a half marathon on Sunday. I'm nursing a sore hamstring, so these won't be competitive events for me - but they'll be fun nonetheless.