Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winter Solstice Half Marathon- another free TanKa event

Last Sunday my friend Katharine and I put on the Winter Solstice Half Marathon.  During our first ironman training together back in 2006, we put on a half-iron race for ourselves as part of our training. We needed to do a half to test the waters for our ironman, but there weren't any halfs nearby, so we put on our own race.  We called it the TanKa Tri (for Tanya and Katharine).  The name has kinda stuck ever since. 

We put on our free run last weekend at the trails.  Much like the Ho Ho Half we did last month, this event was free, but there was an "entry free" that had to be "paid" upon your arrival.  We asked each participant to bring 4 canned goods to be donated to the Regional Food Bank in OKC.  We figured that the food pantry would likely be drained somewhat for the holidays, so we wanted to help replenish it.  Plus, it's always nice to be able to do something good for your community and give back just a little.  The canned drive was a smashing success with almost 300 canned goods donated to the RFB.  Runners are the best!!

I showed up at the trails about an hour and a half early to get in a few miles before everyone arrived.  It was soooo cold tho.  I ran almost 4 miles but hardly warmed up much. Any exposed skin I had was instantly red and painful.  It was really quite chilly.  Even though I didn't get in quite as many miles as I'd hoped, I was glad to get in some before the group started arriving.
I don't know for sure many people showed up.  I know about 55 were signed up online, but I forgot my camera so we didn't take a group shot before the start.  There were probably close to 40 people total.  Like last time, there was an assortment of snack goods that people brought to share with everyone. Pringles, cookies, some heavenly pretzel peppermint stick creation, fruit, etc.  Biff was sweet and brought a HUGE jug of warm cider that was simply divine (and some rum if you were brave enough), and Rocky brought his iPod and speakers to give us music to bop along to. 

Kat made medals for all the finishers.  Big balls for the half, small balls for the shorter distances. She just used clear ornaments and put glue and glitter on the inside. They all turned out really pretty!!
(photo: Jennifer Fletcher)

Like the Ho Ho Half, there was a sign-in poster where you could keep track of your mileage in case you didn't have a Garmin (13 loops around is a bit much to keep track of in your head).

(photo: Jennifer Fletcher)
There was even that big sweet dog that I see all the time out there (although I don't think he knew he was part of our race).  He always has the BIGGEST sticks in his mouth when he's out there with his owner.  Cracks me up everytime!!
(photo:  Jennifer Fletcher)
All in all we had a blast.  It was VERY cold at the start, but it warmed up to managable temps as the morning wore on.  We had to leave a little early to get to a family function, but  there were still lots of people hanging out when we left.  And look at all these cans we got:
When we got home, the organizing neat-freak in me kicked in and I had to sort them by kind and organize them.  I couldn't leave a mess like that in the back of the car.  Much too OCD for that.
ahhh.... much better
All in all it was another great TanKa success!!  We have another run this weekend:  a New Year's Run.  I have to keep the events's the only way I'm going to make it through these long cold months!
Yours truly hamming it up in my awesome homemade running sweatshirt dress.  I'm going to put a stocking on the front of ALL my running shirts. You have no idea how handy that pocket was.  Kept my inhaler in there, some gels, my car keys, etc.  I only manged to get in 10 miles before we had to leave, but I'm OK with that.  10. 13. Whatever.  Close enough for a non-race.

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