Last Sunday I participated in the Inaugural Biggest Loser Run/Walk 5k and Half Marathon in Crown Point Indiana. Just a week out of the Glass City Half Marathon I decided to stick with the 5k and just have a good time.
One thing I noticed from the second I walked in is that a lot of people were there because of the show. This is NOT a bad thing but a few people I talked to while waiting in line said they had never walked or participated in a 5k but hoped that Dolvett would be there. I had to laugh but I was glad that something like that was driving people to try something new.
With the show’s history and reputation so much of the weekend was built around health and not running. I REALLY liked that aspect of it. I started running because I wanted to get healthy and I loved that they were aiming to help people start their journeys.
Since it was a half marathon and a fairly big health event there was an expo the day before. I didn’t stick around too long at the expo since I did not pay for the VIP Registration and wasn’t really part of the speakers but they had a decent number of booths setup. Packet pick-up was a insanely busy but was fairly well organized. I had missed the part of the email we got saying you needed to fill out a waiver in order to get your packet. It added a little bit of time but I think most people were in the same boat as me.
They had a number of speakers lined up including some former contestants and Cheryl Forberg, the dietician from the show, The Biggest Loser. I heard a bit of the speakers while I waited for my packet, but ultimately I didn’t stick around long.
I met up with my friend Kristy before the race and we hung out and watched the start of the half marathon and got lined up for the race itself. We were in the very front of corral two which I was okay with because it meant less dodging of people when we started. The race lined up as Runners first, Run/Walkers second & Walkers third.
To be honest, I paid no attention to the course until I was actually on it. Up until a few days before I had no idea how “competitive” I would be in the race. I figured I’d see how I felt that morning and just roll with it. Although a number of people made me feel lazy when I said I was taking it easy because I had run a half the week before… a number of people had run the Indy Mini the DAY before. We even saw someone cross the half marathon finish line with his Indy Mini medal around his neck. That’s just crazy but awesome!
While I should’ve known better I didn’t expect the amount of hills that we would encounter. It was 60 degrees outside and the course was mostly sunny so it was a fairly hot race. These two made for not always ideal conditions but wasn’t as bad as the race I did last summer in the 90s!
I felt really good right off the start so I decided to try and push myself for a PR. The whole way my watch was lining up exactly with the mile markers (that rarely happens) until the last 0.1. Talking with a few other runners after the race we think the course was actually a little longer. My watch said 3.22 miles and a few other runners were right around the same. Ultimately I JUST missed my PR (10 seconds) but I think had the course not been a little longer I would’ve hit it!
There was a photo booth at the end where you could pose with your finishers medal. I rarely turn down a photo booth so why not! (Photo below)
After we finished and watched the end for awhile I headed over to check results. I was SHOCKED to see I won my age group out of 39 runners! I didn’t think I was that close to the front at all but was excited nonetheless. In turn that meant we had to hang around an hour for awards.
This was actually a blessing that I didn’t expect. As I mentioned this was geared more towards health and fitness vs. results. Watching the walkers cross the finish line and cheering as they went was AMAZING. There was one walker her was in tears the entire way to the finish and you could hear her saying “I did it, I did it!” In turn I was almost in tears. THIS is exactly what I love about races like this, people are able to push themselves to do things they wouldn’t necessarily do on a normal basis.
Dan Evans and his band performed as people were finishing. They are really good & I actually am considering picking up his CD Goin’ All Out.
Awards were done and JJ from season 16 was hanging around so we got pictures in the photo booth with the award & JJ.
One of my favorite things about races lately has been finding the official photographers on the course and making faces or having fun with them. The Biggest Loser Run/Walk offers the photos FOR FREE to all participants. I rarely purchase photos from races because they tend to be expensive and making these available for free is AWESOME on their part. There are a lot of accomplishments to cheer for & I think it’s great that people can celebrate them without the added cost of a $28 photo.
I won’t lie, I waited until the race photos were up before posting my blog and why the blog is fairly photo heavy.
I HIGHLY recommend checking The Biggest Loser Run/Walk series out. If you have never done a 5k, this is the PERFECT one to start with. There was information overload throughout the weekend and was geared towards the healthy life style. It was so much fun & a great race to participate in. Everyone gets a finishers medal and the swag bags at registration were pretty great too compared to other races.
(Photos Thanks to Biggest Loser Run/Walk)