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Fun Runs

If you asked, I'd tell you running is fun. I feel pure joy when I'm out cruising on trails. But, when I'm training for a big race, I occasionally find myself taking my running too seriously.

This Spring, I've re-discovered the fun run. These short "races" have refreshed my spirits, gotten me excited about running and I'm now looking forward to my training more than ever.

First in the Fun Run Series: The Fancy Pants 5K. This one was dreamed up by my friends Kris and Kyle who hosted it the morning after their wedding. Named for her sister's cat Clancy, the only requirement was to wear fancy pants. I went with my Life is Good pajamas (surprisingly comfortable on a cool Spring morning). Hubz wore his god-awful weightlifting pants from the 80s. 

Gang at start of The Fancy Pants 5K
The planned course covered a mile of scenic Lexington to the VMI track, then retraced its steps, ending at a bakery. Kris said anyone who wished to run a full 5k distance could run a mile in laps. After one lap, a few of us decided we would make our own impromptu course. A fellow guest who had attended VMI gave us a short tour of the campus. We achieved a bit of bonus mileage before we reached the bakery, where we enjoyed breakfast and coffee with our friends. Great fun!

3.23 miles of Fancy Pantsing around Lexington, Virginia

Urban racing (photo by Bobby Gill)
Second, and the most indulgent, was the WUS Donut Run. One of my Tuesday night running group cohorts came up with the idea, and I didn't have the heart to tell her @PunkRockRunner had beaten her to the punch. She made it a bit more competitive, to her credit.

The plan: Run a 10K, eating six Krispy Kreme donuts at the halfway mark, then run back to the start.

For the injured reserve, there was a 5k option with the requirement to consume a full dozen pastries. Brittany managed this seemingly impossible feat with aplomb.

The Donut Eaters (photo by Bobby Gill)
Hubz and I ran the first half, ate several donuts, then decided to go for sushi.

We may or may not have eaten more donuts when we got home.

Finally, the slightly more serious and less fun Crystal Run 5K. A couple of Twitter friends were signed up for this Friday evening race and a day before I impetuously ponied up my twenty bucks to join them.

The weather deteriorated all day until it was cold, windy and raining. I cursed my stupidity, toying with the idea of skipping the race. The rain deterred me from warming up for more than a couple of easy laps around the start area, however I did manage to run through a puddle the size of a car and soak my feet ten minutes before the start.

I had no idea what my 5K PR was. In fact, it has been so long since I raced a 5K, even the Internets don't remember. Half the participants were in red dress get-ups, blatantly stealing the idea from the Hash House Harriers. I don't care if it is in the name of charity, that's a Violation! Anyway, I wasn't sure how the hell I'd pace myself around all these yahoos but I was too cold to care much and then we were running.

Aside from the occasional headwind, the chilly weather was good for racing, and it also kept more than a few runners home. The scenery was urban service roads and buildings, the course was flat and fast with a couple of turnarounds. I didn't see my friends so there was nothing to do but get it done as quickly as I could.

Stylin in my Punk Rock Racing shirt.

Mile 1    8:19
Mile 2    7:59
Mile 3    7:54
Last .22 7:22

I was darn pleased with that, honestly. I'm counting it as my new 5K PR.

Although I ran this harder than the previous two fun runs, I didn't get anywhere near the misery index a 5K usually entails.
After the race, I met up with @katekirk and enjoyed a free beer courtesy of the race. All in all, time and money well spent.

Next up: The Beer Mile! The trash talk has already started.


  1. you hubz looks amazing in that fancy pants pic. i love that you love running again too! nice 5K PR, miss fancy.

  2. So sad to have missed the WUS donut run. I might just have to reenact that one in PDX... Good luck at the beer mile! My money is on you!

  3. What a great post! Reminds me that I need to keep "running" and "fun" a part of the same conversation. And thanks for the first official write up of the FP5K! As I've said before, I plan to make the FP5K an early April tradition.

  4. Love this, Kir. Great, great stuff! Glad you are back in the Fun Zone.

  5. Those sounds like some fun races!

  6. Running should be fun, that's why I have so much trouble training for anything. ;)

  7. Sounds like a fun run! I love going for food afterward with running friends. Makes all that hard work worth it.

  8. I want to see an ALL OUT effort on your part Thursday night, Missy!

  9. Awesome post. The best part about running is the amazing people I have met over the years and we’re now planning all kinds of non-racing events so we can just run and enjoy each others company (with donuts).

    Thanks for wearing the Punk Rock Racing stuff too. We make this stuff for athletes like you.

    All the best,


  10. Hey, nothing wrong with gym pants from the 80s as long as they've been washed a few times since then.

  11. I, too, have found a lot of joy in small, low-key races, which can provide a nice change of pace from huge finish-line festivals and pace corrals. Also, be proud of the fact that you're in training for the REAL donut challenge: http://krispykremechallenge.com/

  12. I have got to mix in some fun races. These all sound like a blast!

  13. Fun races are what it's all about!

  14. Every single line is full of meaning and kind of need for coming future. This blog is so much necessary for the related people. Really helpful for those who read it as me and very thanks to u for posting it. Best of luck.


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