Another weekend, another race! I’ve been having fun with the local 5Ks this spring and summer – that’s about all I’m up for these days, what with two small kiddos to wrangle (and no time to train for a longer distance) but lucky for me, Buffalo has some great options at the 5K distance. I was particularly excited to see that the 50 Yard Finish was a 5K this year. Longtime readers may remember that I ran it in 2014, its inaugural year, when it was a half marathon. Last year, the race organizers shortened it to a 10K, which I skipped. This year the race was under new management and was run only as a 5K. Perfect for me right now!
The one negative? It was run over Father’s Day weekend. Steve is a really good sport about carting the kids around to races and entertaining them while I run, but it did seem a bit cruel to make him kid-wrangle while I ran a race on his weekend. But he was totally into the idea – perhaps because this is the race that allows spectators to wander around the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills, while they wait for their runners to cross the finish line? Well, for whatever reason, my race support team was willing, so I signed up.
The start line was outside the parking area, and I lined up toward the back of the pack, since I am still figuring out the logistics of training with two small kids – I knew I wasn’t going to be setting a PR, since I was (as usual) woefully undertrained. We crossed the finish line right on time, and not fifteen feet over the line, I stumbled and rolled my ankle badly. Well, I’m off to a great start. I briefly considered staggering over to the side of the road and quitting, because it HURT. But I decided to keep running and see what happened, and by the time I’d made it a half mile I felt better, so I kept going.
No pictures from the course itself – with only a 5K to cover, we stayed on the roads near the stadium, which aren’t the prettiest. When the race was a half marathon, we ran through the very picturesque Village of Orchard Park, but this time, we didn’t have enough road to take us that far. Which was okay with me… before I knew it, we were rounding a corner back into the stadium complex.
This is when the race gets hard! You think you’re almost to the finish line, because dangit, you can see the stadium, but nope… first you have to take the long way around the field house complex. Oof. But I jogged along putting one foot in front of the other and before too long, I was entering the long tunnel into the Ralph.
And there it is – the coolest finish line in Buffalo! I’ve said before – I’m not a football fan; don’t have the patience, but even for someone who couldn’t care less about the sport, it’s pretty cool to finish a race on the 50 yard line of a major league football stadium,
My buddy was pretty interested in my medal. Steve said that it was handed to me by the Buffalo Bills’ kickoff kicker. Who knew?! Clearly I did not deserve the honor of getting my medal from a pro football player, because I had no idea. In my defense, it was hot and I was looking for water. And I’m a hockey girl. Forever.
After the race, we headed over to Chestnut Ridge Park, which is nearby. (Old friends may remember that we’ve hiked here once or twice before.) We decided to try a new hiking configuration: Nugget in the backpack (which Peanut has named “the U.S.S. Dignified”), Peanut walking on her own, and me pushing the empty stroller as backup in case of an obstreperous preschooler. Well, we made it about 100 feet before Peanut had an epic meltdown over I-don’t-know-what and insisted on riding in the stroller – okay by me. But even in the stroller, it wasn’t her day, and we ended up turning back. Guess she’s not quite ready to give up the backpack yet.
But not to worry – on Sunday we redeemed our hiking weekend with a long walk down a new-to-us trail at Sprague Brook Park. Peanut was back in the backpack, and much happier.
And Nugget was in the Ergo, which he still apparently finds quite comfortable, since he fell asleep – again. He has not yet made it through a Sprague Brook hike without nodding off. I’m thinking something about the park is very soothing for him, because he doesn’t usually do that anymore. Well, it is a very relaxing park.
Happy Father’s Day to Steve! I hope you had a great weekend – I sure did. You made it special for us, just like you make every day. We love you lots and lots. We got a good one.
How did you spend your Father’s Day weekend?