Fast, Fun Freeze-Up At Free Will

Meditations in Motion

On Sunday my hubby Bill and I were joined by our youngest son Chris as we traveled to Perkasie, Pennsylvania for what I believe was our final race in 2019 – The Freeze-Up 5K. The race started and ended at the Free Will Brewing Company.

Chris is not a runner (yet…I’m working on him), but he is a beverage manager for a restaurant, so he came along to scope out the popular brewery he orders beer from. We were happy to have him with us. He is excellent company!

Meditations in Motion

We arrived early, picked up our race packets, goodie bags (which included a kit to make your own hot chocolate, complete with marshmallows and candy canes), and nice, soft cotton long-sleeved race shirts from friendly volunteers in the Free Will Brewery, then checked out the tasting room and studied the course map.

Fifteen minutes before the race, we headed over to a paved path near the Perkiomen Creek to get our last-minute instructions from the race director: Follow the arrows; you can’t get lost.

The morning was extremely brisk, so I was glad to have Chris there as a spectator. I could keep my heavy coat on until the last minute and hand it to him just as the race started.

Bill and I tried to start near the front of the pack. The path was fairly narrow and there was no chip timing. Race time began for everyone when the race director gave the starting signal.

Meditations in MOtion

The narrow path was really not an issue. As we began running on the scenic path near the creek, runners quickly spread out and I settled into a comfortably hard pace. The course was almost entirely flat, with only one road crossing where a policeman was on hand to stop traffic for the runners.

Did you ever have a race where the miles just seem to fly by and you can’t believe you are coming up on another mile marker so quickly? This race was the opposite of that type of race for me.

Meditations in MotionThere were mile markers every half-mile along the course, which was sort of a modified lollipop. Every time I passed a half-mile marker, I groaned inwardly, thinking I was farther along in the race.

I’m not sure why I felt that way. I guess it was just one of those days. The racecourse was scenic and flat, my fellow runners were courteous, and the volunteers were enthusiastic. Everything was perfect, but I just wasn’t feeling it.

We finally rounded the lollipop at the halfway point of the race and headed for the finish line. I was having trouble maintaining my pace but tried to keep up with the runners around me.

At approximately a half-mile to go, there was a very slight incline where I stopped to walk for about 10 steps. I thought I was rejuvenated by the walk, but that feeling did not last very long and I stopped to walk a second time with less than half a mile to go.

Meditations in Motion
Photo credit: Chris

I crossed the finish line in just under 26 minutes, put my hands on my knees, and quickly recovered for the walk back to the brewery for post-race festivities.

Meditations in Motion

Each over-21 runner got a beer from Free Will. It wasn’t the type I usually drink, but it was very good – a mango lager. There were still-warm soft pretzels (which went well with the beer), fruit, chocolate chip cookies, various granola and protein bars, other assorted snacks, and candy. My son got a coffee oatmeal stout (which he claimed was a breakfast beer) that he let me taste. It was also very good.

We sat in the tasting room drinking our beer, waiting for the award ceremony, and chatting with other runners, including one man who told us the story of how he “died” and was brought back to life by a defibrillator, then started running to improve his health. Bill won third place in his age group and I won first in mine. The awards were very nice Free Will glasses.

After the awards ceremony, it was time for lunch so we checked out the offerings of a food truck parked outside the brewery. The guys got sandwiches and I got a delicious shrimp taco. We all shared some yummy tater tots.

There was a lot to love about this race:

  • easy logistics
  • proceeds donated to The Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy
  • fast, flat, scenic course
  • perfect organization
  • good snacks both before and after the race
  • inside space to stay warm before and after the race
  • nice T-shirt and goodie bag
  • and free beer, I mean, come on!

As for suggested improvements, I got nothing.

I will definitely put this pre-Christmas race on my schedule next year. I hope Chris comes along!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

48 comments

  1. I swear, you find the races with the best swag! And having a sherpa along to take your coat — priceless! Mr. Judy did that for me at my first half, in Vegas, where it was actually colder there than it was back home — still stands as my coldest half eight years later.

    You are so speedy, Laurie! Congrats on AG win. Lately all my miles have seemed extremely long. It’s just SADD for me, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! I would not have thought a half in Vegas would be colder than some of the races in NY! It is nice to have a Sherpa there, isn’t it? Especially for the cold races.

      Thank you, Judy. My miles are feeling long lately too. If I ever have one of those “miles flew by” races, I will be sure to appreciate it! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vegas is desert. It can snow — it didn’t but it was cold enough to and we did get pelted by cold rain at the end, too. It was wonderful huddling in my faux fur jacket — especially as it’s such a big race & takes so long to actually get to the starting line.

        Oddly enough today’s run went really well. Of course the last couple of miles seemed a little long, but all in all, much better than the last few, shorter runs!

        Liked by 1 person

      • We were in Vegas one year for Washington’s Birthday weekend. My niece got married in Vegas. What fun that was!

        It’s deluxe to wear your coat until the very last minute, isn’t it?

        Glad your run went well today. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow. we are supposed to do our long run – 10 miles.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. what a shame you felt like taking the walking steps, guess you were going harder than you thought with coming in first place.
    How nice to make it into a family day out with you all enjoying different parts of it.
    Well oat meal is a good breakfast and you also need an intake of fluid so sounds well rounded to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have run those races where the miles drag on forever. They are the worst LOL.

    Congratulations on a job well done! I don’t usually drink craft beer but I would totally try it if that was the offering. The rest of the snacks sound yummy, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have had a lot of races where the miles drag on. I can usually tell by the first mile marker how the race is going to go. I didn’t expect to like the beer, but it was really good.

      Like

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