Frostbite 5-miler

Ambler, PA

February 18, 2012


I found out about this run from my friend and guide, Bruce Kuo. We met through the PA Center For Adaptive Sports late in the spring last year. Bruce took up guiding like a natural, and his energy and desire to improve and be a stronger athlete are contagious. So when he offered to run the Frostbite 5-miler with me, I couldn’t resist!


It’s been a long long time since I’ve raced shorter events. Today would serve as a “beginning of the year marker” for me to see where I am speed wise, and how I’m feeling!


We warmed up for about 10 minutes, something I rarely do. The warm-up ended up feeling perfect b/c I had time to work out my breathing, warm up the legs, and shake out some pre-race jitters. So I think that will definitely become a part of my routine now. Thanks Bruce!


We lined up at the starting line, and waited anxiously trying to hear the race instructions – the speakers weren’t loud enough for us all. Just like that, suddenly, we were off.


The first mile was fast, net down hill I think. I was a little nervous b/c I didn’t know the terrain. My breathing felt good though, and Bruce was concisely describing the course and skillfully guiding me around runners. The second mile came quickly, and we caught the Penguin, which is the mascot for this race. The up hills started now, the first real one seeming steep and long. Quick turnover/short steps kept us quickly moving up it though. The third and fourth miles were rolling hills, but the weather was perfect, cool and crisp, so I felt like I wasn’t overheating and could keep pushing on.


The last mile was a bit tricky as the race course winds the runners off the paved roads onto a dirt/gravel packed trail with some rock, divits or holes, and grass on either side. I love trail running, but it definitely slows me down a bit. I have to be much more caucious and really focused on my balance and on feeling my guide’s body movements so I can respond almost instantly. Bruce and I managed to stay ahead of a couple of runners whose breathing I could recognize from the previous miles…That was encouraging.


With about half a mile to go, Bruce was able to get us off the trail and onto the road again, as it now ran parallel to the trail. Our speed picked up a bit, and I was relieved! “We can take this into the finish” said Bruce. We made the last right turn of the course, and headed for the finish, kicking it in with everything I had left. Then, a little confusion caused by an extra set of matts that had been laid down about 100 yards from the finish, making me think we were crossing the finish line. Bruce said”no, no, not yet”, and another little burst of adrenalyn made me take off like a rabbit! Next set of mats were quickly underneath our feet, and we were finished, 36 minutes and 19 minutes. I was thrilled!


Bruce and I then cooled down for about a mile, stretched and headed off to meet some runners for some post race munchies!


Thanks to Bruce for the ride to and from the event, and for racing with and guiding me.


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