May and June are one those times of year where if you are a distance runner like me, it becomes easy to lose focus and interest. There is not another half marathon on the docket in Florida until October, (which I have to hold of on anyway). In fact the only 10k I see on the schedule is in Midnight Run on July 4th. That leaves several months until my next serious race. It is a bit of a drag. I know why they do it. It does get unbelievably warm down here quickly, and before you know it a cool 5am run, has ceased to be cool anymore. For a wider audience, running a half in the Florida summer might lead to ghastly consequences. Personally, I think they could run 10ks or early starting 15ks (there needs to be more races around at this distance). There is none though, and that leaves very little to stoke the running fire.
What does that leave? 5ks. Only 5ks. I like a good 5k, dont get me wrong. They are excellent ways to build speed, and its good to only have to maintain that mental focus for a short period of time. A release from normal extended distance. The torrid pace reminds me of a lot of track meet races that you see on at the scholastic level. Also, they are everywhere and run neatly and early on Saturdays. Every weekend in Tampa, for what seems like the next couple of months, there is a 5k. I probably will run in only one of them. Why?
I have a pricing rule about 5ks. 25= No way, 20= Maybe, but probably not, 15= Most likely, Ill give it a shot. If I run a race for 15, I feel like I am getting my money’s worth in entertainment for the weekend short of 20$. It is almost a bargain to me. Of course location plays a part in the decision making process as well. Even if the race is 15, if it is far away and I am going to even out on gas, then it is out. And no, I dont care about getting a tech shirt for a $25 5k. Nobody likes a nice running shirt like me, but they are not an incentive to do any race (no matter the distance).
With a little more cash in the pocket, I would probably be running 5k’s all the time this summer, but it is not worth it to me. It is not cost effective, and I could come up with dozens of my own interesting 3.1 routes for free. This leaves me only one race scheduled for the whole remainder of the oxymoronic “Short Distance Running Season”- The Crazy Sombrero 5k.
I believe this is the second year they have run this tiny race in the Longleaf area of New Port Richey, Florida. It meets all my qualifications. 15$, it is run on a Friday evening, and a location that I literally have to pass to get home from work. I believe a local Crossfit gym sponsors the race, and you can also participate in a crossfit style challenge (no thanks) as well as the traditional fun run.
Why is it called the Crazy Sombrero? They run the race on May 4th. A day before Cinco de Mayo and follow it up with I believe a small Mexican style party. Due to the name, a lot of the participants run or compete in Sombreros (again no thanks). Look it up, and you will find only a few small pics regarding it and participants donning said cultural hats. Look it up, and you will also find out that last year they posted the results by race number on their facebook page. And Not chronologically. No age groups, no real awards to speak of, no idea of placement- You are basically running for fun, a time, and for the small get together afterward. Like I have said before, you get what you pay for.
Still, Im interested to see how well I run in the evening, and I know a few others running in this race. Plus lots of social opportunity may present itself following the race. I think it will overall be an enjoyable time.
Short on availability and short on cash my race opportunities are limited. A great option might be to start signing up way in advance for the upcoming year; but I could be in a whole new location the following year so I have to hold up on that too. This again locks me in race purgatory. When you are struck in race purgatory, your training also kind of sinks into that purgatory too. I have clear goals, but when they only race in front of you the next few months is based on a Mexican hat, they start to seem very far away.
Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy yur Day :0