Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Packers Training Camp 5K Recap

Now, the official end of Packers Training Camp 2012, seems like the perfect time to finally get around to recapping the 5K race, no? 

The Packers 5K, my second of that day, went surprisingly well, and even though I did it solo, it was fun. In fact, there were benefits to running this race on my own, and the first benefit came about 10 hours before the race even started.

After the Brewers 5K I debated whether or not I would shower. I had some packing to do, it was incredibly hot outside, and I had another 5K to run later that day. On the Pro side, I had a 2-hour drive to make and didn’t want to smell. So I showered. And I drove. And I arrived in Green Bay with more than 3 hours to spare, so I picked my race packet up early. But I knew that, because I was driving and running my second 5K alone, I COULD’VE not showered if I had wanted to.

That’s what counts.

The Start
The Packers 5K was incredibly well organized. There were thousands of participants and every monitor in the Lambeau Field Atrium had a map of the race route and the color-coded pace group corrals (to correspond with your self-determined color-coded race bib).

Yes, not only did the 5K have pace groups, but they also had stationary corrals. It’s enough to make you weep.

The Route
Lombardi Ave was closed in front of the stadium and there was plenty of room for runners to line up. The route had a bit more incline than the morning’s 5K, but I totally passed former Packers, Chris Jacke and Mark Chmura, before I hit the Mile 1 marker and they had started at least 2 pace groups ahead of me at the very beginning.

The Stadium
I had planned to take my time on the field and walk through Lambeau, but there was such a bottleneck to get in that I didn’t want to waste any more time. Plus, they opened up the stadium for race observers and the crowd was cheering us on so earnestly. I did NOT attempt a Lambeau Leap – despite what it looks like on TV, that wall is really freaking high and I had no chance of coming close to making it.

The Results
They had a neat set up at the end where you could check your time immediately after getting your snacks and water at the finish line, and my official race time was Tramon Williams : Aaron Rodgers. Slower than I expected, but after running a 5K that morning I’m okay with it.

The Conclusion
In conclusion (lamest conclusion statement ever, amiright college essay graders?), the Packers 5K was the best organized 5K I’ve ever run. From registration to packet pickup to pace groups to finish, it flowed so well I wish I had gone with a group so I could’ve utilized the alphabetized flagpost runner reunion stations. Seriously, they even helped you find your friends at the end.

What a great “kickoff to training camp,” though it was neither a kickoff nor was it the actual start of training camp.

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