This Sunday, I'll be 33 years old. For the past couple of years, I've started my birthday with the Runs for Cookies Virtual 5K--a "fun run" to celebrate turning a year older. This Sunday will be a little different, considering my ankle injury is preventing me from running; but I'll still be participating by doing a deep water run ;)
Thanks so much to all of you who have signed up so far! I'll leave the sign up open until Saturday night. You can find that post here: Runs for Cookies Virtual 5K sign-up.
There are two reasons for signing up: 1) So you state your commitment to actually doing it! and 2) To be eligible to win a prize.
I bought three pretty awesome prizes this year. (A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a reader--who wants to remain anonymous--asking if he could donate $100 toward prizes for the Virtual 5K--how generous is that?! He was clear he didn't want this name mentioned, but I just wanted to say a public thank you! I wouldn't be able to get all three of these without that help.)
Without further ado, here are the prizes you have the opportunity to win for participating in the Virtual 5K:
The first is my very favorite running gadget--a Garmin Forerunner! This is the FR 10. Noah just got one for Christmas, so I've had a chance to try his out a bit. This is perfect for someone who doesn't need all the bells and whistles, and just wants to know his/her pace, distance, time, etc. It's very user-friendly, too. This can be used for walking or running, so you don't have to be a runner to use it!
This next prize is a gadget that I love to use to keep me active throughout the day when I'm NOT running. This is a Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker--an activity monitor that gives you the number of steps you've taken, the calories you've burned, and distance traveled throughout the day. You can use the website or app to compete with your friends (a little competition always gets me moving!). This is the same model that I have. (I will buy this after selecting a winner, so that I can have it directly shipped to the winner)
Finally, this prize is something that I've become very friendly with over the past week. Since I'm not able to run right now, I'm doing deep water running with a flotation belt. This is the model that I use-- the Aqua Jogger Classic. Aqua jogging is a great exercise for pretty much anyone; it's no-impact, so even people who are injured or have a hard time with other exercises may find that it works well for them. (Again, I'll buy this once I select a winner)
I hope at least one of these prizes will interest all of you doing the 5K this weekend! Like I'd mentioned on the sign-up post, you choose a goal for the race--it can be simply to finish, or you can choose a goal time--and if you meet the goal you set, I'll enter you in the drawing for one of the prizes. I'll do three separate drawings, so when you submit your race results, you can choose which drawing you'd like to enter. (Whether you meet your personal goal or not is all on the honor system--I trust you).
Here are the instructions for the race ("race day" is on Sunday, the 25th; but if you have to do it Saturday, that's fine, too).
1) Enter your info on the sign-up form by Saturday night. (If you forget what you stated as your goal, you can just sign-up again).
2) Print out a race bib. (This bib is the size of a typical race bib--so if you print it at 100%, it should be good.)
3) On Sunday, run or walk 5K (3.11 miles) wherever you'd like: outdoors, on your treadmill, a track, etc.
4) Take a picture! I love to see the pictures from all over the world where people are running. If you don't want your face to be public, then take a pic of your shoes, or your surroundings, or treadmill, whatever you'd like.
5) Submit your results on the form here on my blog by Monday at 8:00 pm EST. The post will be up on Saturday night. It will just ask a few basic questions, including your finish time (if you don't time it, then you can just select "untimed"). On the form, you can state whether or not you met your goal, and if you did, then select which prize drawing you'd like to enter.
6) This is optional, but I'd love for you to post your pic on my Facebook wall with a brief race report. It's fun to read about everyone's experience! You can let us know if this was your first or fiftieth 5K, if you did it in extreme temps, if you share a birthday with me, whatever you'd like to share. Going through the pictures on Facebook was my favorite part of last year's event. It's super inspiring!
You can tag your photos with #RfCVirtual5K on Instagram and/or Twitter, also. (My username is "runsforcookies" on each of those.) Just FYI, if your Instagram or Twitter account is private, I won't be able to see/comment on the photo--wish I could! Just please don't think that I'm ignoring it.
I'll accept the race results on the form until Monday night, and I'll randomly select the prize winners on Tuesday at 1:00 pm EST.
If you want to make a t-shirt, here is the logo download. It's the same as the bib, only without the green border around it. I had a shirt made last year, and I love it! :) (Note: Mine is a little different from the download above. Stephanie helped me with the 2013 one, and I can't edit it to save my soul, so I had to make a new one. Also, the file is much bigger than t-shirt size, so you won't use it at 100%. You can size it however you'd like.)
Okay, I think that pretty much sums it up! Three more days until I'm 33--yikes!