2011 was my first year of running. I had met Laura (the first of many, quality running friends) through No Boundaries 12k training. Pumpkins in the Park would be the first race that I did "by myself". I went alone and did not have any family or friends cheering me on. I happened to meet up with Laura and her husband and we had a great time. The 5k course is challenging, the first two miles are pretty much up hill, including Cobb's Hill reservoir and the last mile is down hill. Thank God! The atmosphere of this race was awesome, lots of people dressed in Halloween costumes and there were tons of families because FF also offered kids races.
|Ready to go!|
|Matt and Laura after the run.|
|Of course I am talking.|
Last year Laura and I had a repeat appearance and we had Molly join us. Molly insisted that we dress up and I told her that I would dress up if she took care of all the details. So we went as the "3 Blind Mice". I didn't remember it until I looked back at this photo but must be it wasn't all that cold since we were in short sleeve shirts and capris/skirts.
|Me, Laura & Molly|
This year since Laura is due with her second child in 3 weeks we lost one of our mice. It just wasn't the same without her. Molly was scheduled to run with me and then she skipped off to Boston for the weekend. Which left me alone and already signed up. I really do love this race, but I knew the course would be challenging and that it could be cold and rainy. Part of me wanted to bail and part of me wanted to continue the tradition and make it a 3-peat. My parents decided to come into town for the weekend and my Dad kept questioning me to find out if I was running. Apparently I never really answered him. When we saw him Friday night he said he brought his running stuff and was planning to sign up in the morning before the race. I guess this means I can't bail now. I warned Dad that the course was pretty challenging and that I was just going to treat it as a training run. Even though I am not really training for anything, haha.
We met at my sisters house at 7:30am and we headed to Cobb's Hill. The weather was cool, windy and cloudy, but it was dry. Parking was a breeze and we hung out inside the lodge to stay warm and catch all of the creative costumes going by. We also got to see tons of Rochester running peeps who are always so welcoming and supportive of my Dad. The owners of Fleet Feet were set to make a major announcement right before the start of the race, so we gathered outside and listened with excitement. The big announcement was that they are moving their Brighton store location to the Culver Road Armory, which was right near where the race was being held. The renderings of the new space were pretty cool and I am hoping they will now host more group runs from the new space, instead of always having their Saturday group runs at different field trip locations.
Once the race started, Dad and I began to run pretty conservatively. Since there are a lot of kids in this race and for some reason walkers lined up towards the front, we had a lot of bobbing and weaving to do before we finally got spread out around mile 1. It is so fun (and distracting) to get to check out all of the costumes running by. Before we knew it we were heading up Highland and towards the reservoir. Dad had never been up the reservoir so I think he was looking forward to checking out the view of the city from the top. After surviving the hill, we both booked it back down and down the Culver hill towards the finish line. We caught up to my cousin's wife who was also running, and all finished near each other.
After hanging out with them and watching the kids participate in the kids races, we headed to Dunkin' and enjoyed some hot chocolate and pumpkin scones my sister had made for us to take to the race. Overall I am really glad I decided to run this race. I did way better than I thought I would, and dare I say I even enjoyed myself. Now I remember why this IS one of my favorite races. Hopefully my mice will be back with me next year!