Team 5K in 50 States

Team 5K in 50 States: Hannah and Auntie Jennie

Running Buddies: Auntie Shauna, Owen (brother), Dad (Justin), and Uncle Greg.

Cheerleaders: Mom (Nicole), Grandma, Grandpa, Ava (AKA Suzy-Q, cousin), Baby Kaelyn (cousin), Grammy Farr, and Grandpa Tom.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Get Well Gabby 5K - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

After almost missing the start of our last race, we made sure we arrived in plenty of time for this race.  We selected this race because the Get Well Gabby Foundation is raising money for pediatric cancer research.  Gabby was a 5 year old little girl who lost her battle with brain cancer just 63 days after her diagnosis.  This September marked the 1 year anniversary of her passing.  Her parents, John and Carolynn, set up this foundation to raise money for childhood cancer research as well as to carry on the memory of their beautiful daughter.  We had the opportunity to meet Gabby's parents at the race.
Pre-race warm ups were super fun and much needed after our 6 hour drive in the car the day before :)  It was a beautiful sunny day for the race and were thankful the race started at 9am so it wasn't too hot.  This course was our most challenging course of our 4 for this trip and was mostly a cross-country course with a few parts on a paved path.   
Even though we had an early start, it heated up fast and we were thankful for the cold water at the water stations to dump on our heads!  We huffed and puffed our way to the finish line with a time of 30:44.  Hannah finished 3rd in her age group and was thankful for the post-race stretching by a local chiropractor!
Hannah also was able to get her nails painted with Piggy Paint who is a big supporter of Get Well Gabby and donate 25% of their profits to the foundation.

Hannah was asked by the Get Well Gabby Foundation to be their ambassador for Alaska!  As we run our future races around the United States, we are going to take the story of Gabby with us to spread the word about this Foundation for pediatric cancer research.  If you would like to read more about Gabby and the Foundation's mission, please go to

Thursday, September 20, 2012

United at the Cove 5K - Stamford, Connecticut

Driving has proven to be an interesting experience around the East Coast.  When we planned this trip, we selected hotels close to the race starts and our hotel in Stamford was 3 miles from the race start according to Google maps.  We left the hotel about 45 minutes before race start because..."It couldn't take more than 15 minutes to get there."  Well, we thankfully made it to this race, but it took us almost 45 minutes to travel the 3 miles to get there.  You could tell that Stamford was a very old town that had grown into a very LARGE city and unfortunately, downtown Stamford was not designed to accommodate large amounts of traffic.  Most of the city is 1 lane traffic, but the view at the Cove was well worth it.
Thankfully we arrived about 5 minutes before the race start and they ended up starting the race about 15 minutes late.  We had enough time to get our bibs on and get a couple of pictures.
We walked over with the race participants to the race start and off we went.  This race went around the park at the cove and we made 3 laps around the park to complete this race.  Mom really liked this race because she was able to get pictures of us on the race course while we were running. 
Hannah really pushed it for this race and came out with a 1st place finish in her age group with a time of 27:56, a whole TWO minutes faster than our time for the night before.  The age group for this race was even 19 & under!  Hannah got a super cool medal and award for her finish.  She was given a set of coins from the US Mint, which we actually visited on the last day of our trip in Philadelphia.
Hannah was able to get her face painted with our team name 5K in 50 States by Faces by Wells.  What an awesome job she did!
The race crew is ready for our final race in Pennsylvania...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Danvers 5K - Danvers, Massachusetts

We arrived in Danvers in the afternoon after visiting Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II.  This race was an evening race with a race start of 7'ish and very much reminded us of the Bonny Sosa race series in Anchorage.  They were telling us that they hold this race 52 weeks a year rain, snow, or shine.  There was a large turnout for this race and a huge number of 1st time participants.
After all of our walking around New York and Massachusetts, we are pretty sore, so we made sure to do plenty of stretching before this race.
Pre-Race Stretching
Beautiful Sunset in Danvers, Massachusetts
The race began just as the sun was beginning to set.  The open course followed sidewalks down the streets of the neighborhood and the sidewalks had many cracks and roots, which made running in the dark interesting.  I kept telling Hannah that we had to run fast enough to stay in view of people who knew the course because this was also an unmarked course :)  We finished this race with a time of 29:22 and Hannah was the first kiddo to cross the finish line.
Next up - Connecticut!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Great Irish Fair 5K - Coney Island, New York

After a long flight and a 3 hour drive from the Philadelphia airport, we made it to our hotel and crashed into bed.  We were all thankful for an 11am start time for our race the next morning.  We didn't know what to expect for parking so we elected to take a taxi cab to the fair.  What a gorgeous sunny day we had for the race. 
Kaelyn loved being out and about and smiled at everyone :)
This race followed the Boardwalk along Coney Island and Brighton Beach.  It was a beautiful setting to run in.  We lined up at 11am for the start and off we went.  Although this was a flat course, we had to watch our feet as there were some wobbly boards on the boardwalk.  Thankfully neither of us tripped, but we saw another lady trip ahead of us.
Unfortunately, I had forgotten to charge my GPS watch before the race and it died about 1 mile into the race.  We reached the second turn-a-round at the Aquarium after what seemed like more than a mile.  The sun was out in full force and made for a HOT run.  We threw some water on us to cool off at one of the water stations and were ready for the finish line.  Hannah was the second kid to cross the finish line with time of 30:05. 
 After the race, Hannah got to play in the Atlantic Ocean to cool off.  HOW FUN!
As we were heading back, we ran into a couple of NYPD officers who were kind enough to pose for a picture with us.
We are off to the American Girl Store and Carlo's Bakery!!  Tomorrow we will be visiting the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial, and the Empire State Building before heading to Massachusetts.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mayors Midnight Sun 5 miler - Anchorage, Alaska

What a beautiful HOT day for a run...ugh.  After our awesome race at the Run for Women, Hannah and I were ready to take on the Mayors Run!  Our goal was to beat our last year's time of 55:19.  We almost missed the start of the race because we thought we started after the 1/2 marathon started.  Luckily, we got up to the start and asked someone just in case!  The countdown complete and we were off.

We got off to a really fast start, and boy was this a big field this year.  It took about 2 minutes before everyone had thinned out enough to not be elbow to elbow.  We ran the first 2 miles in the blaring sun, so it was a relief to get into the shade.  When we got to the drink station at mile 2, I took a drink of my water and threw the rest onto Hannah's head.  She squealed and said, "THAT felt GOOD!!"  Seemed to cool her off enough to regain some energy.  Mile 2.5 to 4.5 was in the shade, so we were able to stay on pace.  Hannah was doing awesome and many racers were cheering her on along the way.  At mile 4 we reached another drink station.  Tossed some more water on us to cool down again before we started the killer mile up hill at the end of the race.

We reached the top of the hill and we were both wishing another drink station was waiting for us.  BUT the end was near...Hannah beat me in the last two races right at the end as she usually has energy stored for the last stretch.  Good thing I didn't wait too long in that last stretch as she finished two seconds behind me for a finish time of 52:36.  Hannah was 1st place in her age group!  Much to my surprise, I finished 8th in my age group.  Uncle Greg ran the 1/2 marathon again and finished 16th overall.  It was a great run for everyone, but boy was it hot.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Run for Women - Anchorage, Alaska

The Alaska Run for Women is one of our favorite runs because there is pink EVERYWHERE!  After the Twilight 12K, we were ready for this run.  It's only 5 miles :)  Hannah set her time goal for this race as 45 minutes, which is a very reasonable goal I was hopeful to meet.

We weaved our way close to the starting line as this was not a mat to mat timed race.  This means everyone's time starts at the same time even if you are a quarter mile from the start line, which is quite possible in a race with 2000 other women running with you!  We were off at 8:45am and had a slower start than usual.  Hannah was dragging and I later learned she decided she was not going to eat breakfast.  Need food for that running body :)  Once we got to the coastal trail, I set our pace at a 9 minute mile so we could stay on track to meet our coarse goal of 45 minutes.  Hannah needed some moral support so we ran holding hands for about a mile and a half.

We reached mile 3 at about 27:45, not bad!  Mile 3 to 4 was the hardest, but once we got to 4, Hannah got a second wind.  She pushed it the last half mile and beat me AGAIN by about 20 seconds.  Hannah finished in 45:55, which put her average race pace at 9:11.  She made her goal and we were soooo excited!  This time was 5 minutes faster than last year, but her age group field was much larger this year.  Her time placed her 4th and boy were there some fast runners in her age group.  These girls are going to be her competition when she gets into Junior High and High School.  Good job girls keep it up!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Eagle River Triathlon - Eagle River, Alaska

Wow!  It's hard to believe this is the third year Hannah and I have done this event together.  This event was the first race we did together and marks two years of training.  We have both come so far!  Hannah continues to learn and grow as a runner.  She still loves running just as much as when we first started.  We are now going to increase our weekly mileage.  Our goal for this year is to run 400 miles.  We have some catching up to do since our mileage decreased at the end of my pregnancy.  I can't wait to see if we can beat her personal best of 27:15 for a 5K. 

Hannah has been taking swimming lessons and rocked the first leg of the race.  Grandpa rode the bike with Hannah while I waited at the transition to finish the run with her.  After running the 12K 2 days earlier, the run was like running with lead weights for legs for both of us.  We made it to the finish though!  This is such a fun event for the kids and the race organizers do a great job.  Thanks again for another awesome year!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Twilight 12K - Anchorage, Alaska

Hannah at the start of the race
This race was our first competitive race of the season...My sister told me that Hannah decided she wanted to do the 12K because the boy she really enjoys running with in the Bonny Sosa series was running the 12K.  I asked Nicole how far a 12K was and she said...I don't know, like 6 miles, so I agreed to run it!  I later looked it up online and found out it was 7.4 miles!!  Oh man...Don't tell Hannah :)  Time to psych myself up for our longest run ever.

Grama, Daddy, Owen, and Hannah waiting for race start
Auntie and Hannah Pre-Race
Ready to run!
Hannah and I were so happy that the weather was better for the race than last year.  It was a sunny day with a slight breeze.  Hannah and I have always gotten close to the start line for all of our races because I have found that we are actually safer and less likely to get trampled.  As we were lined up at the start line, some lady made a snide comment to me about being close to the front.  I just smiled and replied "we do this all the time."  The gun went off and off we went!

And we're off!
 We took off hard and fast...maybe a little too fast.  The cool thing about this race was that we got to run in an area of Anchorage that we haven't run in before, down by the port and through Government Hill.  As we were re-entering down town Anchorage (approaching mile 3) we ran past a lady who was not feeling well.  Knowing Hannah is a sympathy barfer, I tried to get her to go by without watching.  Silly child she wouldn't take her eyes off of the lady as she passed by.  Of course, Hannah started saying "Auntie I think I am going to be sick!"  Thankfully, Hannah did not barf and we were able to change the subject.
Owen coming in for a strong finish

 We then got onto the Coastal Trail, which we run on for just about every race in Anchorage.  It was nice knowing how much farther we had to go.  Hannah was really pushing it and doing awesome.  We finished out the downtown part of the coastal trail right about mile 6 when Michael caught up to us.  Hannah learned that we still had 1.5 miles left, so the timing was perfect.  Hannah enjoyed running the last part of the race with Michael and provided the encouragement she needed to finish.  Auntie, on the other hand, was running out of steam quickly.  Just one more mile, come on, you can do it!!!  Hannah passed me with a half mile to go and finished the race right behind Michael.  I finished about 20 seconds behind her.  I can't believe the energy this child has at the end of the race, which tells me she can certainly run faster :)

Kaelyn's first time as race spectator
Justin and Kaelyn
Justin and Owen ran the 6K for this race and Owen beat his dad!  Owen finished Hannah crossed the finish line in 1:15:34.  Sadly, Skinny Raven changed their age groups and the youngest group was ages 12 and under for this year's race.  Hannah finished 8th out of 11.  The top 5 finishers were ages 11 and 12.  Even so, this was our longest race ever and Hannah did AWESOME!  I am so proud of her.  We are starting to make our weekly runs longer so that we can start chipping more time off of our finishing times.

Hannah and her running buddy
Next race up...Alaska Run for Women!  See you there  :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Baby Kaelyn has arrived!

Hannah's new cousin, Kaelyn Elizabeth, arrived on April 3, 2012 at 4:41am.  She weighed 7 pounds 5 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

I had walked earlier that day at my work with a co-worker, then again at the ice rink with Hannah and went into labor that night :)  It was our last time at the ice rink as the snow was off the road at Grama's house, so we could run outside again.  Hannah and I got out for our first outdoor run 10 days after Kaelyn was born.  It was slow for me, but hoping to get back up to speed for our spring and summer races.  Hannah loves her new baby cousin!!