Monday, September 8, 2008

Skirt Chaser 5k - Denver, CO

As I mentioned in my Friday post, Skirt Sports Skirt Chaser 5k series was in Denver at Cherry Creek this weekend and Family Fan Club was lucky enough to participate in the festivities. We arrived on Saturday afternoon and there was literally an army of Skirts buzzing around setting up displays, banners, point of sale displays, stage, food and everything you'd need to put on a 5k race. We unloaded our gear and setup in the middle of the action, a great location for maximum exposure and foot traffic. We finished setup approximately 2 hours for the race, plenty of time for interacting with Skirts and Skirt Chasers at packet pickup and leading up to the race at 5. The premise of the SkirtChaser5k is to give the ladies (Skirts) a 3 minute head start and if the guys (Skirt Chasers) can catch them. The first person to cross the finish line gets $500.

Leading up to the race Kim was busy giving away FREE Run Like a Girl temporary tattoos, which were a big for both the Skirts and Skirt Chasers. We had several hundred visitors to our booth and tattoo'd most of them! It was a great feeling to see so many people wearing our design on their cheeks, arms, and calfs. Aside from the product we sold, it was great opportunity to introduce athletes, family and friends to how everyone can be involved on running, swimming, biking and triathlon race day.

After the race, things really picked up as most people were focused on the race before the race (duh). We had a chance to meet several hundred more visitors to discuss our business and mission. It's always nice to have your vision validated with the excitement of others!

Overall we had a great time, meet a bunch of new people and got the word out about race day support running, cycling, tri-shirts, stickers, magnets and gifts. Nicole was excited at the number of people she saw with our tattoos and I think there will definitely be additional opportunities to work with Skirt Sports in the future. If you're in Austin, TX or Culver City, CA I'd recommend checking out the SkirtChaser5k, it's a blast!

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon - Longmont

Today was my last scheduled race of the season, a local race at Union Reservoir in Longmont, Colorado. I've been wanting to get a couple of my friends, Russ and UD, from work involved with triathlon, so we teamed up for a relay. I thought the Oktoberfest Triathlon sponsored by Without Limits Productions would be a perfect introduction race. As with most athletes, the swim keeps those that aren't comfortable in the water out of the sport of triathlon, so I did the swim. UD biked across America while in college, so the bike leg was a natural fit for him and Russ is a strong runner, so he ran the anchor leg. Our goal was to have fun, no injuries and not embarrass ourselves! My goal for Russ and UD was to get them interested in doing a triathlon as an individual or at least another relay.

We decided our team name would be Need More Cowbell and I had some performance tees made by Electric Weave, which came out totally sweet. At the very least, we'd be the best dressed relay team. The nice the thing about doing triathlons in my home town is that I can sleep in since I live less than 3 miles from Union Reservoir. Also, since it was a small race, a more reasonable 8 am start was nice. We arrived around 7:25 and briefly discussed strategy. Russ and UD were pumped.

It was a little bit chilly when we started, but the water was not to bad. My wetsuit certainly didn't hurt, but it wasn't cold at all on my hands, feet or face. It felt nice. There were 4 waves, so I had to wait 13 minutes from the start of the race until the fourth and final wave. Finally the siren and I was off. Falling back on my Boulder Peak experience, I positioned myself for a fast and short swim along the buoys. I almost fee like I'm missing something, as it wasn't to crowded along this line. I made it to the first buoy second place in my wave, but I could tell pretty quickly that I went out to fast as I was quite tired. I slowed the pace, stopped to let a little water in my wetsuit, caught my breath and kept going. I got passed by a few people, but I'm quite sure that I still finished within top 10 for wave 4 swimmers. Unfortunately, for some reason the timing system didn't capture my time, so I can't say for sure, but I'd estimate 12 to 13 minutes.

I ran into transition, gave UD the timing chip and he was off. The bike course was a 4 mile loop repeated 3 times that circled UD's house, where his sons Alex & Adrian and wife Kathy cheered him on. UD finished in just under 42 minutes. When he returned to transition, I could tell he was winded, but jogged to the transition point and handed the timing chip to Russ. Russ ran off like someone was chasing him. Russ made quick work of the course, somewhere between 24 and 26 minutes we estimate, but again since the timing chip failed for us for some reason, we don't know the actual time. Our overall time was 1:28, but with a 13 minute swim, 42 minute bike, there's no way that Russ ran 33 minutes. We figure that 1:28 was our wave unadjusted time, which would have put us at 1:15, which seems fast, but Russ was really pumped on adrenaline, so 21 minutes isn't out of the question. In reality, we probably did something between 1:15 and 1:28.

We celebrated our accomplishment with a frosty beverage from Oskar Blues, a local micro brewery in Lyons, CO. We recalled the race, watched others visit and shortly after finishing started to joke that we probably one the relay category. We also started talking about doing more relays and I think if Russ sets his mind to it and wants it, with a plan to build swim endurance, Russ could be ready for a triathlon by June 2009. Make the commitment Russ, Greeley Sprint Triathlon, first weekend in June. It's a pool swim, you can do it! We also vied to make this a semi-annual event, where we'll do a relay in the Spring and Fall.

To our surprise, we did win the relay category and are now the Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon reigning and defending champions. We even got trophies, glass boots, I suspect for enjoying Oktoberfest tasty beverages.

Good job UD and Russ!

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Skirt Chaser Kids Race

The family headed down to Boulder tonight for the Skirt Chaser Kids Race, one of the events leading up to the Skirt Chaser 5k in Boulder this Saturday. The race was being held at the local middle school behind Fleet Feet Boulder, which also gave us a chance to see our Family Fan Club t-shirts in the store. We got signed up, Connor & Griffin got their race numbers and waited impatiently for the race to begin. Luckily, there was a toy store next to Fleet Feet that was a nice diversion for at least 5 minutes!

Finally we headed over the middle school and the kids were drawn to an old football tackling sled like moths to a flame. They jumped and hung & speculated what this pseudo jungle gym's original purpose was. When were able to draw the kids away from the football sled, we tried to get the kids to do some stretching. As I was tickling Connor and Griffin, Tim DeBoom (2 time Ironman World Champion) and I joked that pre-race tickling was the key to his Ironman championships, as it loosens all the muscles in the body. So, for aspiring Ironman out there find someone to tickle you before your next race, perhaps that will be the key for a PR. Connor and Griffin also like to be hung and swung upside down as part of their pre-race stretching.

Tim and Nicole DeBoom gathered the kids and led the kids in a triathlon of stretching exercises. After everyone was stretched out the kids were broken down into three groups by age. Connor was with the 5 & 6 year olds, while Griffin went with the 3 & 4 year olds. For some reason and from some unknown source Connor is incredibly fast. I don't know where he gets it, but it's certainly not from me or Kim. Griffin on the other hand, we know exactly where his running talents come from. Not only does he look exactly like me, but he also has my body type and running abilities (read: SLOW).

After the race, Nicole complimented me on my "I need more cowbell" shirt and I told her about Family Fan Club, my shirt, the kids shirts and she loved it, great message. I saw that as an opening and suggested that we partner! She loved that idea too and I was on a roll! Nicole invited Family Fan Club to participate as a vendor at the SkirtChaser 5k race, it was like she was reading my mind at this point. Needless to say, we're very excited to be part of this race and building a relationship with Nicole and Skirt Sports. Check back next week for our expo report.

Checkout the attached photos and movies that recap our fun night with Skirt Sports. We had a blast, the boys had a blast! Thanks Tim and Nicole!

Here's a video recap of the race and associated activities (3.51):

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