Yesterday, March 30,2014, I participated in a Biggest Loser Run/Walk Half Marathon. This was my first half marathon. I’ve previously participated in 2 5K races. One was 14 months ago and the other was at least 5 years ago. Yeah. I’m so not an experienced runner.
I chose the Biggest Loser Run/Walk Series because of the experience I had last year. These events do not cater to the skinny runner who is trying to qualify for Boston or New York. These events cater to those of us who are on a journey to turn our lives and health around. These events are a celebration of the journey, a celebration for those running our first race. The web site provides a training plan for both the 5k and Half Marathon for first timers, so you know how to prepare.
The day before the race, you will pick up your packet at the race start location. You usually have all afternoon to get there. However if you can spend some time there, it is worth it. Sponsors are there with their booths and you get to check out fitness and nutrition products. At each race, they have former contestants from the show there to share their stories and answer questions. When they aren’t on stage, the former contestants mingle with the crowd, rather than staying out of site in some back stage location. This is a great way to learn more about how to succeed and recharge your motivational batteries.
The run route will have periodic water stops and “porta-potties” for your use along the way. At the race end, they’ll hand you water and a banana or other fruit to replenish your body.
Your registration includes your “bib” with the timing chip. The bib is the number the participant safety pin to their shirts. The timing chip activates when you actually cross the start and finish. At an event like this, they release the runners in waves to keep things from getting too chaotic. It can take as long as 15 minutes to get all the runners out on the road depending the number of registrants. The chip ensures that you aren’t penalized for starting at the back of the pack. Most race registrations include this.
You will also get a commemorative shirt. Some races will give you a cotton shirt. Others give you a shirt made of a technical fabric. BL gives you a technical shirt. The quality on these shirts is quite good. Technical fabrics take the sweat and move it away from your skin do it evaporates. It doesn’t get all sticky and heavy like a cotton shirt. These shirts also last for years. I’ve never seen one wear out. My spouse has been wearing them for years. You also get a free drawstring bag that is handy to take to the gym. Naturally you get a finisher’s medal.
You will also get free photos of you crossing the finish line. Most races provide the photographers but require you to purchase your photos.
If you are feeling brave and want to try a 5K or your first half marathon, I strongly recommend this series of events. You will be “well cared for” and feel like you belong there.