This Saint Patrick’s Day a freshly formed group of runners from Green Mountain CrossFit rocked their finest green running attire and “802” Turtle Fur Totally Tubulars for RaceVermont’s inaugural Leprechaun Dash 5K/10K road race! Let’s rewind two months to when this plan went into motion:
I had been dreaming of organizing a running group in the small Vermont town in which I reside, Morrisville, the home of the Turtle’s Nest. I struggled figuring out where to begin and found myself regularly nudging my CrossFit friends to run with me. When I discovered RaceVermont’s upcoming St. Paddy’s day themed event the lightbulb went off. Providing a 5K and 10K option made this race both obtainable and challenging to novice and more experienced runners alike. It created the opportunity to come together for a collective goal, while also encouraging individual goal setting. I pulled out my greenest construction paper and glitter glue to put together posters trying to lure my Green Mountain CrossFit comrades to get out of the box and onto the race course. I developed a basic 10K training plan and hosted a weekly running group for all paces.
In order to coordinate multiple runners at varying paces to stay relatively together, we played with a few different styles of workouts during our weekly gatherings. We used interval running or “fartlek training” to keep everyone in a cluster. The focus with these was getting a minimum of ten, one-minute maximum effort sprints over the duration of the run. The longer intervals in between were spent re-grouping and building team morale. Mapping out routes with loops gave runners the chance to jump in or out at different points, personalizing the workout. Lastly, we slipped in classic leapfrog running, uphill of course! This is when you run in a line and the last person in line runs up to be the first person.
We trained in New England’s finest conditions including six miles during the latest Nor’easter, Storm Skylar. I will note that in the future I will make the maps I print slightly more detailed… one pair of runners extended their run accidentally during the blizzard… What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right?!
In the end 13 Green Mountain CrossFit members signed up to run and many more expressed their interests in joining our weekly training sessions once the ground thaws and schedules permit.
On race day we showed up looking like a team! Vermont Green Printing whipped up a batch of awesome shirts, and Turtle Fur supplied us with matching Totally Tubulars—which provided extra necessary protection for the 23° F weather and 20 mph wind gusts. Although brisk, the sun beamed and the luck of the Irish was in the air! For me, this glowing, fun-fueled feeling came from having so many friends on the course. Knowing that I’m in good company while pounding the pavement helps give me the comfort and confidence to push my limits. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that I spent a portion of my run visualizing enjoying a post-race libation with everyone! Thank you Magic Hat Brewing Company for supplying the beer!
Our endurance squad took 3rd place overall for females as well as four age group placings. Not too shabby for a group of CrossFitters! (See me pictured above with my 3rd place Vermont Teddy Bear as a prize!)
Ultimately, it was pretty cool to see so many awesome individuals, surrounded by numerous great Vermont businesses getting out and supporting one another. I am lucky to live in a community that celebrates fitness and being in the outdoors!
So, what’s next? We keep running! We set a new goal and keep training.
Photo credit: Jason Gerhart @jason_gerhart @fresh_world_press
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