The Valentine’s Couples Run is a great opportunity to run together, work on your communication skills, and have a fun race experience together.
The first race of the year is completed! This first one was a bit of a fun run for me – a great time out running with my wife. Though we arrived with barely enough time to get ready and get lined up, I feel like we were both ready for the race.
We entered a few weeks prior to the race with another couple who entered as “Team McLovin'” (we entered as “Team RunByDesign after my wife turned down “Team Awesome”). We weren’t aiming to break any records or win, just do something fun together. My wife and I picked up the race kits on the Saturday prior to the race, and though a bit disorganized, the people were very friendly. As with the Road2Hope race, the shirt sizes were GIGANTIC. I mean, I’m not huge, but I’m certainly no x-small, but that’s the size that worked for me – it seemed more like a medium for sure. With a gift certificate in there for a facial for my wife and a carnation and pizza following the race (though we didn’t get any because we had to get going right after finishing) – the swag was alright (but nothing over-the-top).
[blockquote align=”left”]Communication is key – whether you’re tied together in a race or a relationship.[/blockquote]
There weren’t many people – only 44 couples, but it was a fun event. As previously mentioned, we got there with enough time to get ready and get in line, but with no time to spare. We met up with our friends, put on our bibs and chips (one bib and chip per couple) and tied ourselves together. The amount of ribbon seemed arbitrary, leaving some couples tied much closer together than others, but perhaps that was a result of how people were tying. It was interesting to have to discuss who would run on what side and think about pacing and stride as a result of being tied to someone.
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/thumbs/vc2011_thumb_0007.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/vc2011_0007.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”Almost There”/]
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/thumbs/vc2011_thumb_0003.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/vc2011_0003.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”Crossing Over”/]
Me + Sarah
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/thumbs/vc2011_thumb_0004.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/vc2011_0004.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”Me + Sarah”/]
Dan + Ellen
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/thumbs/vc2011_thumb_0002.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/vc2011_0002.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”Dan + Ellen”/]
The race started at the Cedar Springs Health & Racquet Club on Cumberland and went North (slightly uphill) to South Service Road, where we made a right (East) and went down to Harvester (after the bend towards Harvester there’s a gently downhill that was encouraging to many, so I heard), making another right and traveling down Harvester back to South Service Road. Passing Cumberland we went for our second loop along the same route until making the final turn up Cumberland to finish in front of Cedar Springs. It was a relatively flat route East-West with a few very small, very gentle hills (up going North, down going South). The roads were generally pretty clean, although a bit slushy and wet in a few places. With a lane closed off for runners on all streets it was nice to know we were safe from traffic, though it was sometimes difficult to pass other couples who were tied together.
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/thumbs/vc2011_thumb_0001.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/vc2011_0001.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”The Booth”/]
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/thumbs/vc2011_thumb_0000.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/vc2011_0000.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”The Gals”/]
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/thumbs/vc2011_thumb_0005.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/vc2011_0005.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”The Guys”/]
[image img=”http://runbydesign.com/images/thumbs/vc2011_thumb_0006.jpg” url=”http://runbydesign.com/images/vc2011_0006.jpg” rounded=”all” alt=”Medals/Prizes”/]
It was a lot of fun, and although I’m not sure that I’d run it again, it does have some great things that your average run doesn’t:
- the opportunity to run with your “other”
- the opportunity to see how others deal with the stress of being tied together while competing
- the opportunity to be stretched in aspects other than the usual mental and physical ways that you would normally
After taking a few pics at the end of the race, knowing that my wife and I hadn’t won any awards, we headed out for my grandfather’s 90th birthday party. While the winning time was a fast 19:24, we’re quite sure the people running were not, in fact, an actual couple. We were quite satisfied with our 25:25, and although it didn’t meet the hope of breaking the 25 minute barrier, it was still a Personal Record for my wife.
I did enjoy racing with my wife, and that’s one reason why we may do it again next year. It was a great reminder that communication is key – whether you’re tied together in a race or a relationship.
PS – Sorry the pics aren’t great, but we were in a bit of a rush. Better pics at the upcoming Winterman!
[info_box_1 title=”Race Stats”]
Cost: $50 (per couple)
Terrain: Roads, slightly rolling
Shoes: Brooks Racer ST 4
Fuel: Cereal after my long run prior to the race
Overall Place: 11
Gender Place: n/a
Age Group Place: 4