Friday, August 16, 2013

AAUW Wildflower Run 5K Stroller Roll

AAUW once stood for the American Association of University Women, but the organization is no longer called that. Now it is simply AAUW, pronounced aaah-ew. The Morgan Hill chapter participates in parades, runs summer camps, doles out scholarships and puts on this race.

The course is an entirely flat loop starting and ending at a high school in Morgan Hill. Most of the course follows country roads through orchards, plus a bit through encroaching suburban neighborhoods. The distances raced are a kids 2K, a 5K, a 10K and a 5K with stroller.

I ran the stroller race for a few reasons, all basically selfish. I wanted force my family to participate, so it wouldn't seem as if I were merely off enjoying myself while Kirsten watched the children. Nobody would need to watch the little girls if they're slumped in their stroller. There wasn't quite enough time for me to make it to the 10K and still catch the end of the girls' 2K race. Most importantly, I figured it was a race I stood a chance of winning. Serious runners would be sprinting along in the 10K, the 5K would have a bunch of high school runners crushing me, and I think the 2K was for 10 year olds or younger.

Abigail and Elena ran the 2K 45 minutes before Kirsten and my race started. Elena ran the whole thing, like the hard little worker she is, and Abigail found and walked with a friend similarly unwilling to run. Elena managed to lap Abigail. They picked up their goodie bags, and Kirsten and I sent them over to the vendors booths by the 5K finish line before heading to our race with only a few minutes to spare.

The strollers were obliged to start toward the rear so the first thing I did was jog out into oncoming traffic to pass the bulk of the 5K runners. Our stroller is a double wide, so it wasn't really safe for me to pass between people. Kirsten was kind enough to holler encouragement as I ran to the first turn.

As the course turned north the wind caught the stroller pretty well, so this was the only stretch where I had any difficulty. I ran behind another stroller jogger for a little while. I noticed he was basically jogging and using one hand to occasionally steer, while I was pushing with both hands (the stroller always veers a bit to the right, so this is necessary in any case) while leaning some of my weight onto the back of the stroller. I could do this because I had two girls, but I thought it was a bit unfair--the stroller acts a bit like a scooter, and I could have really booked if I wanted. In interest of fair play, I tried to run upright as possible once I wasn't pushing into the wind. I still passed a fair number of 5K runners and some of the slower 10K runners, who made bitter jokes.

I did wind up winning the stroller division--and sure enough my time would have only been good enough for 10th in the real 5k, some 4 minutes behind the winner. I think this is the first race I won, going back to my previous best performance where I placed in the JV race at an invite in high school. Though I only competed against 70 or so other stroller rollers--including one mom having to stop to deal with her fussy triplet boys, I chose not to decline the awards.

Kirsten finished something like 7th for her age group, which is pretty impressive since she doesn't run much for exercise. For my win I got a gift card to the Reebok outlet, a bottle of wine, and free admission to next year's run. I gave the wine to my sister for her birthday, and bought two pairs of shoes on clearance at the outlet.

Next up, the 10K at Coyote Lake.


Unknown said...

Hi uncle Travis I loved this blog thingy Elena ran a lot so did Abby and you and aunt kirsten...PS this is Hannah

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Kirsten Finucane said...

I love this cool website so much.Can you post more stuff.P.S This is Julia.

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