I finished out the 2012 year on a very positive note! I attended the Great New Year’s Eve Race (GNYER 5K) at Stow High School, a tradition for me since 2007.
The first year we were given grey fleece blankets with a printing on the edge of father time and baby new year. For whatever reason they smelled of chemicals and no matter how many times you washed them, the smell stayed. This blanket now stays in my car and is for “emergencies”. In 2008 we were also given a blanket, blue with yellow printing and it did not smell. 2009 and 2010 I always mix up, but between the two we walked away with a grey fleece hat, awesome black fleece gloves which clip together, and a red ear warmer. Last year they broke out the black Asics 1/4 zip shirts with an iron-on design. They were a HUGE hit and I think a major reason people signed up for the race. A great event, and an awesome shirt for only like $25? Yes, please!
In 2012, they upgraded to embroidered Asics jackets. (Stock Image) On the back of ours it says GNYER with the SARC logo directly above the lettering.
Men were given the red or maroon and the ladies were given purple. I LOVE my jacket, but I also had a crush on the maroon for the men. This jacket averages around $60, we snagged ours with registration for $30. Happy New Year indeed!
Mom and I arrived at the school with plenty of time to spare and just as it was getting windy and snowing. We gathered our goodie bags and walked back to the car to stay warm where it was quite(er). Liz sent me a text asking if we were there and we went back inside to find her, stretch, use the potty, and I saw the PowerBar table was there, so I wanted to talk to the girl to see how she liked the team. We ran into Liz by the bathroom and we snapped a few pictures together.
PowerBar girl of course raved about her job and I’m now wondering/hoping if I’ll be lucky enough to be offered a spot next year, now that Marathon Bars has dissolved their team. Yes, we all know I would freak out to work with Aquaphor, and I’m also loving Zensah, but I can talk about PowerBar since it wouldn’t be conflicting with either of those products.
Outside we were floored at the size of the crowd! There were even pace corrals and Mom and I laughed and made our way to the walkers section. I haven’t run since Thanksgiving and Mom was covering for Becky who unexpectedly had to work. One nice surprise was running into Doran (Qwickness). I didn’t realize he was in town for the holidays! Normally he is all warm in VA and actually went to the Ironman Championships in Hawaii this year! Well, not qualified or anything….but cool all the same!
The race started and we were off! Within the first section of the race I saw Mickey’s smiling face filming everyone. Always nice to see him. Mom and I ran the whole first mile, of course I was in pain from all the weird itching I get when I go too long without running. Stupid unexplainable nerves. At mile 1 my watch said about 15 minutes. I was only wearing a standard watch, no fancy Garmin stats.
Mom didn’t know what to expect and I think like many first time people she was surprised at the hills hiding in Stow. We made it up the long portion of the road and turned into the development. I know from years past this is a good thing, because you’re essentially at the halfway point. As we neared the cone, we saw Liz and I decided I needed to catch up with her. My friend Cat also ran by asking about my new purse. Haha someone is on FourSquare.
I caught up with Liz just before we turned back onto the road to head back “home”. She told me she was on pace for a possible PR, and her goal was to not stop running. Unfortunately, with every step the wind picked up more and the snow came down heavier and the black surface became a slippery white playground. We cleared mile 2 and I noticed I was around 29 minutes total. She made comment that her device was off since it said she was at mile 2.5 and also she was never going to make it for her PR. We kept running and having fun all the same. Mom caught up with us and I tried to encourage Liz by saying we couldn’t let “old lady time” win. The three of us ran the last section all on own, just to give it our all one final oomph for the year.
In the end I landed a 44:xx time. I didn’t care though, I was so happy. Being with friends and family. Being a part of a tradition. The way the snow felt on my face and my feet felt on the ground. How do you put a smile or a frown next to the numbers on your screen when you have memories to last forever? There are races to be conquered but for me GYNER isn’t one of them, it’s a race to be experienced.