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Nov 10 / Jane

Yuengling Oktoberfest 5k 2014

I received an Email notification for this race, but figured it was in-between too many other races and was quite expensive for a 5k ($50), so I deleted the Email. Then Alex forwarded me the same Email, “let’s do this.” So I mentioned it to Flo, who lives 10 minutes from Bethlehem, where the race was to take place, to see if she wanted to meet up afterwards at Oktoberfest. She decided to run the race as well.

So race morning, we pick up Flo and Dan at their place and drive over to the Steel Stacks. The place is a mad house: it’s so incredibly crowded. They only have restrooms on the 1st floor of the Arts Quest building (the 2nd floor is closed for a private event… did I mention this race benefits Arts Quest?) and adjacent museum. The lines for the women’s restroom are out the building, it was comical. Alex and I checked a bag and headed into the chute.

Flo and I, German girls, pre-race.

Flo and I, German girls, pre-race.

And with the boys: Alex, myself, Flo and Dan.

And with the boys: Alex, myself, Flo and Dan.

They capped this race at 5,000 participants, but registration was still open, so it was not full. With so many runners for a 5k, they had a wave start. Alex moved towards the front so we went off in the first wave. The course was somewhat hilly, not an out and back, but not a full loop. There were some portions were we saw participants running the other direction. They had German dancers along the course. Alex and I started together, but I found myself running ahead about halfway through. It was not my best race, but not my worse.

I finished in 25:14, 22nd in my age group (out of 641), 297th overall (out of 4,043). I think the wave start worked out well, we were not crowded on the course. The course was fun, challenging, but with a fast finish. It was very scenic and fun to see everyone dressed up for Oktoberfest.

I ran straight through the finish and into the restroom. Then made my way back to see Alex (25:39) finish and grab some goodies. They had one tent set up with water, chips and Lara Bars. We grabbed our bag from the bag check and ran into Brad, who’d biked over 50 miles to get there. Alex and Brad went into the Oktoberfest to find our friend Phil, who’d finished quite a bit ahead of Alex and I (Phil ran a PR that day, 22:07). I went back along the course to run Flo in. I cheered Dan (37:49), then found her about half a mile back; she sprinted to the finish (39:42).

By the time she was done (her and Dan had gone off in the last wave, having waited to use the restroom before), the line through the small snack area and into the Oktoberfest was maddeningly slow. It was such a narrow chute for so many runners now joined by their families to retrieve the 2 free beers with bib.

We finally made it up to Alex and Brad and had our free beers. We met up with Phil and some of his friends and found a table in the sun. It was windy and chilly. Even with a change of clothes, I was cold in two sweatshirts and a scarf. I enjoyed some potato pancakes and Flo and the boys drank pitchers of beer. Eventually, we headed back to Flo and Dan’s to thaw out and order some food. Brad rode back 50+ miles in the cold for his first 100 mile day.

HATR (or PI?) photo: me, Brad, and Phil.

HATR (or PI?) photo: me, Brad, and Phil.

It was a fun day with good company. The race itself went well. A couple things could have made the day go more smoothly, namely some port-o-potties at the start and more than one tent to redeem the free beer at. Warmer weather would have been great too, but nothing anyone could have done about that. 😉 Suppose it made drinking a few pitchers easier for sure, but someone has to drive. =) But all in all, not bad for an inaugural 5k.

One Comment

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  1. Wow brad biking 50 miles each way is hardcore!
    Love those costumes. You rock for running so fast with that getup on.
    Port a potties are a necessity with 4,000+ runners especially when it is cold out. Lol.

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