2020. The year of no races. All cancelled. (Or nearly all, post-February time frame). There HAD to be a means of working this problem, courtesy the COVID-19 pandemic. Probably just like you, it bothered me relentlessly.
Father Time has been on my mind quite a bit, too. My upper forties happening, when will the drop-off in my Finish times occur? The virus was stealing what I considered precious days. Then, an article caught my attention on Twitter. The Anytime5K? The potential! Not only was it making national news, it was also staged in a neighboring town.
Now don’t get me wrong. The virtual races are great. They motivate. They get people moving. Still, regarding the related Garmin, Strava, Fitbit, etc. posted results, there will be doubters. Primarily due to unsavory individuals that would do something like, start their Garmin and go for a car ride with their watch running. The Anytime5K uniquely delivers where the virtual races come up short. Timing mat? Check. Certified course? Check. Pre race playing of the anthem for the single participant? Check. (Really.) My creative juices gushing now at #BqChat levels, Millennium Running had provided a path. The opportunity that could beat the pandemic. The long sought after means of gaining a 2020 race.
But 5Ks aren’t my bag. I’m supposed to be running longer, right? (Because, per my kids, I’m old.) A bucket list item was running an ultra. After all the years and miles, I kept postponing ultras. The easy math occurred to me: 5K x 10 = 50K. Facebook messaging with the race director ensued and he responded with the green light. There were a couple complications, though. First hurdle, no bathroom provided.
50K’s a long way to hold it. Have you ever seen a changing room tent? They can reasonably be had at Walmart (~$40). Along with a 5-gallon bucket, there was my very own port-a-potty (pic of it in my garage below). More important to me: whether I was running 5K or 50K, I was following the same rules as everybody else. (Notably, I only needed it pre-Start, but it’s existence calmed my nerves.) Second hurdle, each 5K required it’s own bib.
The 10-day weather declared June 1 as the clear, prime race-day candidate. A chilly morning (lower 40°s), the day wouldn’t hit 60° until post noon. The race’s availability ends mid summer. Thinking it will only get hotter into the race’s 2020 remaining days, June 1 was THE day. The required 10 bibs (pic below) were attached to 10 run tops of thickness in descending order, reflecting the warming day.
Lastly, the plan: the Anytime5K’s a loop course. The Finish and Start, per Rosie, were ~250′ apart. (Garmin has my total distance that day at 50K + a .5 mile.) So, Start and race the 5K thru the Finish. Then, with my crew’s car and port-a-potty tent parked between the Finish and Start, race by them, swapping in the next race top. Continue racing through the next Start.
Repeat x10 total.
The race clock never stopped running, collecting 5K splits as well as total time. Breaking 4 hours seemed like a good goal going in.
✓: 3:49:36 (includes 50K plus the .5 mile representing combined transitions).
✓: Bucket list goal.
✓: Fuck the virus.
Results (“Alff” appears x10, same day).