What: The Pinconning CheeseTown Challenge
When: June 14th 2014
Where: Pinconning Michigan
Distance: 2 miles (they offer a 5 mile, both 2 & 5, and a little meeces run for the kids)
When I first heard about a cheesy race with a cheesetastic medal I thought to myself “what could be cheddar than that?” Even better was that it was being held in Pinconning, Michigan which is quite literally one town over from where we spend our summers camping. So I began working out the logistics and getting things in motion to plan a trip around this cheese-mendous race.
So I signed myself, my kids, and even my mom up for the 2 mile fun run. I debated doing the 5 mile or even the “Iron Cheese” (2 + 5 mile) but in the end decided I’d rather not have everyone waiting on me while I ran for an extra hour.
Because it was only a 2 mile run, I didn’t get all geared up. I skipped the tech and just wore a cotton shirt. I also left my music and GPS back at the campsite assuming I could make it 2 miles without such gadgets. At packet pick-up not only did we get a nice tech shirt but also a chunk of Pinconning cheese. The crowd was an interesting mix of people: there were some VERY geared up, hardcore looking runners …and next to them some teens in jeans running barefoot. I could tell this would be a mad dash at the start to get around the walkers standing at the front so I got myself to the best position possible.
My mom and youngest went to the back of the pack while my oldest stuck with me. The count down was on and we were off. I managed to get off to the side and pass the slow people without incident. My oldest didn’t expect that kind of pace and decided to hang back and meet up with his brother and grandma.
Running “unplugged” was a different experience for me… I had nothing to keep my pace or distract me from what it was I was doing. I had no idea if I was doing good or bad, all I knew is that I was getting tired quickly. I used the people around me as pacers and hummed a bit of music as I ran to simulate what I am normally accustomed.
The course was nothing special, it was a typical neighborhood race with a little bit on a running path. They had an aid station at the mile mark which is unusual for such a short run… but a welcome one. I didn’t need the water but I used it as an excuse to get in a quick break.
I couldn’t believe how tired I was and kept thinking to myself maybe I didn’t fuel up right… maybe I shouldn’t have had so many campfire s’mores. I took a couple quick moments to catch my breath before continuing on. That’s when I heard some guy say to another guy “9 minutes …we’re making good pace”. What?? 9 minutes? Am I really running a full 2 minutes under my normal pace? Maybe I heard him wrong…
Into the finish chute I glanced over at the clock… 19 minutes!! I was freaking flying through this course! Here I thought I was doing terrible and it turned out to be my fastest pace ever!
My official time was: 19:19 an automatic PR since I’ve never done a 2 miler.
I placed: 146/361 overall, 82/150 in my sex, and 19/35 in my age group (middle of the pack as usual despite my huge jump in pace)
I do have to brag though …I beat Ronald! He came in about a minute after me (maybe it was all those cheeseburgers slowing him down) I did get to meet him btw and yes …he IS awesome!
I collected my sweet medal and headed to get some food. They had sports drinks, several kinds of fruits, gogurt, ice cream bars, parfaits, and pizza! More food than I have ever seen after a race. So much, in fact, that I couldn’t carry it all and had to awkwardly stuff my pockets and shove an orange slice in my mouth lol.
After that I waited for the rest of the family to finish. As it turned out, my youngest had a really hard time with this race which was odd to me because we have done two 5Ks already and he did great.
It seems he was told by someone that he shouldn’t be running in races “due to his asthma”.
For the first time ever in his life he uttered the words that he almost didn’t make it “because of his asthma.” While it could be 100% true, and I don’t take his health lightly, it seems to me this doubt was planted in his head.
At any rate he was all smiles at the finish line with his new medal and a huge plate of food. We rested up and waited for the final race, the “Little Meeces” kids run where the GF’s son was about to complete his very first race as well.
Ronald and the CheeseTown mouse did a great job hyping up the children. They needed to fill the time while the remainder of the 5 milers finished. Once the “sweeper” gave them the all clear, they lined the kids up by age group and sent them off.
“Little B” ran his heart out and was all smiles for the whole race. It was only for a few meters but it was very entertaining to see all the kids running from the toddlers on up.
Once he crossed the finish line he got his very first medal… just like his moms!
All-in-all a GREAT race day! I was pleasantly surprised how much you got for such a low price! They really went all out to make this a top-notch event! Will I be back next year? Most likely!