Pajama People Pizza Run

Along with exploring sites and restaurants in Albuquerque – we’re really diving into running out here.  We’ve done a bunch of running with the Albuquerque Road Runners – joining their Saturday and Sunday runs with regularity.  It’s a wonderful group of friendly people – so it’s really helped our transition.

This past Wednesday, we joined a full moon run.  A local running shop (Heart and Sole) hosts these full moon runs – this one started at Kit Carson park and ran along the Bosque.  It was a beautiful night and over 70 people showed up.  It’s a fun run – run out 20 minutes, then turn around.  They had raffles, hot chocolate, and snacks afterward.  A nice event.

Saturday – we joined the group for the morning run.  This week’s course started at Admiral Halsey Road and the run was a nice out and back, about 6.8 miles.  Now – we had also signed up for a 5k for today that was being held at 12:30 (well, they said it was 12:30 initially).  So I took the 6.8 miles relatively easy – trying to leave a little gas in the tank for the “race.”  I also wasn’t planning on racing hard – but I know myself too well not to realize that I will naturally push myself in any “race” type situation.

The 5k was called the Pajama People Pizza Run and it benefited the First Nations Community Programs (for kids and teens I think).  This is the first time that the race has been run.  They encouraged everyone to wear their pajamas – but Derek and I didn’t really do that, we’re generally not huge costume-y people.  After a quick turnaround between our runs – we headed out to Academy for the race.  The race was once around the Academy (a private school here in Albuquerque) – which is about 5k, but actually a bit longer.  Exactness doesn’t seem to be an important quality around here.

When we arrived – we got our bib numbers (35 and 36 – we must have been early entrants) and we heard the race director mention that the 5k would go off at 12:55pm – oh well, I guess we could have come later.  The loop around the academy is part dirt and part paved – it has a big downhill and a corresponding big uphill (about 200′ in 1 mile).

After the race – they gave us pizza – sponsored by Ahhroma’s Wood-fired Mobile Pizza.  We were curious how this would work – but if you look at the picture, on the left, you’ll see a mobile wood-fired unit (you’ll also see lots of runners in their pajamas).  They were making personal pizzas (pepperoni or cheese) for each runner.  I have to say – the pizza was pretty tasty – the crust was nice and crisp and the sauce/cheese had a good flavor.

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As I had been running – it seemed like there might be an outside chance that I could get an age group award – it didn’t seem like too many women of a certain age had taken off ahead of me (although it’s always so hard to judge age).  So we hung around for the awards ceremony.  They did 5-year age groups for the kids, then 10-year age groups up to 40, then just 40+.  And I got second in the 40+ group!

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And I recall seeing the woman who won first while I was running, so I don’t think I was that far behind her.  I was pretty psyched – I know that it’s all about who shows up, and this was a small race – but I was still happy with the result – 3 weeks into my living at altitude, having run 6.8 miles earlier in the morning (and 4miles the night before), and a tough course – I’ll take it!  Poor Derek had no chance – there were some real fasties in the 40+ men’s category (and one of them was just running “easy,” as he was a bit injured) – I think all three finished in 18 minutes or so (not bad for a hilly 3.36 miles).

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