November 15, 2015

Kona Chocolate Run 5K

Jerry's employer pays the race entry fees to some races for employees (and/or their families), which is really great for a family of four! They had a sign-up at work for the Kona Chocolate Run, so Jerry signed the four of us up. He had to work last night, so he got home at 6:30 this morning and then we headed up to the race at 7:00.

The kids were both nervous, even though I told them there was no reason to be. Noah was hoping to run a good race (possibly even beat his time from the Halloween 5K last year) and Eli's goal was to run the entire race without walking. Since I ran with Noah for the Halloween race, and Jerry ran with Eli, we decided to switch this time; Eli and I would stick together, and Jerry and Noah would run together.

The morning started off on the wrong foot for sure. We were told that parking was going to be $5, and I wanted to stop and get some cash (I only had $3 on me). First, though, we had to go to the Middle School to pick up our packets. We had requested a men's medium jacket for Jerry, a women's small for me, and two men's small jackets for the kids with our registration. The registration said that if you sign up by a particular date, then the jackets were guaranteed, so I wasn't worried about getting to packet pick up yesterday.

Well, Jerry ended up getting the very last men's medium, which was good; but they didn't have any men's small jackets for the kids. So the race wanted to give them a women's small (which is cut for a woman--tapered waist) or a men's large... seriously?! At $200 for our family to do this race, they really should have "guaranteed" that we would get the sizes we requested several weeks ago. The kids ended up with the women's small jackets.

Trying to get from the packet pick-up to the starting line was a big mess, too. Jerry and I were both frustrated and said we'd never do one of these races again (we will, of course, but it was not fun until we got to the starting line! ha). We had to go find somewhere to get cash for parking, so we went to a CVS where I bought M&M's and got cash back. Turns out that we didn't end up needing any money to park!

There was a wave start, but we weren't told what wave to get into, so we just hopped in the middle of the crowd and hoped we were in the right place. Both of the kids were super nervous! I kept reminding them that it was just for fun, but I always get nervous before races, too, so I understood.

Once the race started, we split off from Jerry and Noah, and I let Eli set the pace. When we weren't even a half-mile into the race, Eli asked me, "How much farther?" Hahaha, I knew it was going to be a long race after that!

We knew there would be one water station at around mile 1.5, so I just tried to get him to focus on that. I told him that walking through water stations doesn't count as a walk break, and he liked that. So every time we turned a corner, he was on the lookout for the water station. At mile one, he said he wanted to do a walk break. I told him that we could if he really needed it, but that I knew he could finish the race without walking, as long as we went slow.

When we got to the water station, we walked through nice and slowly so he could drink a couple of cups of water. Then, we started running again, and he said he felt much better. He still asked me how much farther every quarter mile or so. I tried to take a selfie of us at one point, but he just wasn't having it ;)

I was trying to talk to him the whole time, to keep his mind off of the fact that he was running. I told him the story of my sub-50:00 10K, where I chased down the pacer in the last few miles and passed him just before the finish line. I reminded him of funny stories about Joey or the cats (I've never seen Eli laugh so hard as he does when Joey does something funny).

Finally, we had just a half mile to go, and he was really struggling. The course does a lot of turns, so you don't actually see the finish line until it's right in front of you. When we got close, though, he said he was thinking he might sprint to the finish line. I told him to go ahead, and I'd be right behind him. He took off, and ran as fast as he could at that point. He finished in 35:42, and I was right behind him in 35:43. He ran the entire distance without walking (minus the aid station, which, as I told him, doesn't count)--and he was super proud of himself!

We walked over to meet Jerry and Noah where we planned to meet up after the race. Noah wasn't feeling very well, but he finished in 30:32 (Jerry in 30:34). We got in line to get our chocolate goodies (hot chocolate and chocolate chip bagel slices from Panera, pretzels, and rice krispies treats to dip into melted chocolate, and chocolate milk). The kids wanted to sit down on the spot and eat.

When they were done eating, we headed out. It was a good race, and the kids really enjoyed it once they got over being nervous. Eli said that even though it was hard, he had fun.

The medals were pretty cute! They were shaped like a chocolate bar with a bite taken out of the corner.

I just looked up the kids' times from last year at the Halloween race (it was the same exact course as today's) and Noah had finished it in 30:31--just ONE SECOND faster than this year! He's bummed, because if he had known that during today's race, he would have picked up the pace just a little ;) Eli's time last year was 36:24, so he beat his time by 42 seconds.

I really like doing races as a family like this--it's a fun, active thing to do together and feel good about all day afterward!

Don't forget, tomorrow is Motivational Monday, so if you have a submission, please get it to me tonight if possible. Hope you all had a great weekend!


  1. Congrats to the boys!!

  2. So, so, so cute! I love that you are able to do these races as a family. The boys will have some great memories. :)

  3. At least you didn't have to pay the $200 out of pocket and then not get the sizes you ordered!

    Trying to look on the bright side of that issue here...

    1. Yes, that is very true! I had to remind myself of that yesterday :)

  4. How wonderful Jerry’s work paid the entry fees! What a sweet perk! It sounds like such a fun experience, and I love that you are promoting an active lifestyle for your boys I would have loved to grow up doing more active things with my parents supporting me. YAY for Eli working through this tough race!

  5. You two are EXCELLENT parents!

  6. What a great race recap!! Good job, Runs for Cookies family! :)


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