Stadium-sized tribute: Zach Attack 5K

First, a huge thank you to everyone for the lovely comments you left on my last post. I know Courtney’s family truly appreciated all the support from the running community. 

Back to our regularly scheduled programming! Hubby did such a great job writing about RoadNoise that he’s back for his third appearance on Stride & Joy. I didn’t run this race, but it was such a great cause that it deserves its own post …

Since moving to Boston, I have learned a few things about folks in New England. When they speak they sound a little funny (though I am sure they think the same whenever I open my mouth); they take a perverse pleasure in poor weather; and they like to run. Boy, do they like to run.

When Tracey decided on her 52 runs in 52 weeks challenge, I started looking to find her races to fill her calendar. Two websites came to be the go to places for runs: Running in the USA and Cool Running.  There are always a swag of runs in the Northeast, any time of year.

Through these sites, we found several companies that put on excellent events in New England: Loco Races  – they’ve never found a hill they didn’t want you to run, though they reward you with beer. In fact, they have a series named for it: Will Run for Beer. Millennium Running – the new kid on the block with some great races to their name.

And finally, 3C Race Productions – these guys have the most laid-back attitude when it comes to award ceremonies and prize draws. Also, they keep me in pint glasses (lemonade glasses for the kids); the most useful prize a runner can receive. Hydration is so important!

Zach Attach 5KSo even with a full calendar, I go to their sites to see what they are doing. Occasionally they have something that just makes me want to … well, run! And drive a long way.

Such an event was the Zachary Tompkins Memorial Fund 5K. It is a fundraiser for the Zachary Tompkins Foundation, which was dedicated by his parents to building the football stadium he spoke about prior to his untimely death at the age of 11. Sure big races are a blast, but it is events like this that really reflect what a community is about. This was a Saturday evening race. Not a common thing, but perfect in the summer, so it fit right into a run-shaped hole in my calendar.

I didn’t have a chance to pre-register. Heck, I didn’t think I would make it given my work schedule. Still, on Saturday evening things came together and I headed north. When I pulled into the parking lot of the Alvirne High School in Hudson, NH, about an hour before the race, I was impressed to see it was packed. There were a lot of families and loads of kids who from their age must have been Zach’s football team. The kids were tucking into pre-race donuts and tearing around chasing each other. Didn’t they realize they should save all that energy for the run?

Zach Attack 5K

What if you’re fast but not a young gun?

Zach Attack 5K

Self-explanatory, really.

So in spite of not being loaded up on donuts, I signed up for the 5K. This was quite a sophisticated race. It had two corrals, “Young Guns” and “Slow Pokes.” Gotta respect an honest lineup! The national anthem was sung, and the starting signal given and we were off.

Usually prior to a race, I study the course and know when the hills will be and how long before I can throw a cup of water over my head. This race had none of that info online and it was fun to just wing it. Follow the bloke in front and just keep the legs moving and eventually a finish line will be crossed … and that’s precisely what happened. It was a fast race – maybe Runner’s World needs to do a story on pre-race donuts – and then it was back to the car for the long drive home.

I’m definitely glad I did this one and I cannot recommend enough that folks go online and find small races in their community and sign up. They can be the perfect “speed training” event.

The event: Zachary Tompkins Memorial Fund 5K
The location:
Hudson, NH
The date: August 25, 2012
Time: 19.36 (pace: 6.20); 9th overall, 1st in AG
The cause:
Zachary Tompkins Foundation
The T-shirt:
Short-sleeved cotton
The aftermath: Bananas and oranges


3 responses to “Stadium-sized tribute: Zach Attack 5K

  1. OK, so it’s probably not cool to comment on your own blog, but I’d forgotten about the age group award. Nice work!!

  2. I wish I had run this race, not because I went to high school at Alvirne (which I did) but because I would love to have had a picture of myself next to an “official” Slow Pokes sign!

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