Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Publix Georgia Marathon Weekend

Before I get into the details of the weekend, allow me to present a brief outline of my work schedule:

10am to 4pm: Drive to Birmingham, AL
5pm to 8pm: First Annual Karhu Madness Extravaganza @Trak Shak
8pm to 12am: Drive to Atlanta

8am to 6pm: Expo setup @Georgia Dome


8am to 12pm: Expo setup/prep
12pm to 7pm: Expo

6am to 9am: Karhu 5k and "Beat the Bear" promo
10am to 6pm: Expo
6pm to 9pm: Booth teardown
9pm to 10pm: Delivery of booth to finish area in Centennial Park


6am to 2pm: Finish line festival

So, given the above, you shouldn't be too surprised to learn that my weekend didn't involve a whole lot of running. This was largely due to the all-encompassing work schedule, but in truth my low mileage (I think I topped out around 35, but it's too pathetic a number to seriously add up) can also be attributed to a sore left knee/IT band. I think last weekend's double race effort may have been too much too soon after the marathon, and unfortunately I'm paying the price this week. The worst part is, had my knee been a non-issue, I had every intention of racing the half-marathon on Sunday and contending for the $1000 prize purse. Part of me hoped the winner would run a ridiculously fast time, something so absurdly out of reach that I wouldn't have been able to compete on my best day, but unfortunately the first place time of 1:21:55 was not particularly remarkable. (That said, my buddy Leo deserves a shout-out for winning the men's race by a full seven minutes in 66:53 on an extremely hilly course. He may not have that Trials qualifier yet, but I have no doubt he'll achieve it within the coming months.) Instead of racing, I played things uncharacteristically safe and took both Saturday and Sunday off from running. On Sunday afternoon I hit the hotel gym for core and elliptical, but Saturday was completely free of exercise (minus, you know, 14 hours of working on my feet and what not).

My badass electric acupuncture treatment on Tuesday night,
courtesy of the one and only Dr. Greenapple

Fortunately, the overall craziness of the weekend kept me so busy that I hardly had a free moment to think about my running (or lack thereof). The 20,000+ participant Publix Georgia Marathon is the largest event that Craft and Karhu has sponsored to date, and I am thrilled to report that it was a huge success. More importantly than the copious amount of footwear and apparel we sold is the brand awareness and publicity that we delivered to the Atlanta market and to the Southeast in general. Our booth was jam packed from open to close both days and I lost count of the positive comments we received from customers and other exhibitors. The "Beat the Bear" promotion also went swimmingly, as our bear ran just over 20 minutes and beat nine competitors in the 5k. He also spent several hours roaming the expo and posing for photos with children--or, as was the case on more than one occasion, causing them to scream and/or cry and/or run in the opposite direction--and by the end of the weekend the Karhu Bear had endeared himself as the most popular mammal of the entire event!

The bear meets a few of his biggest littlest fans

Bearing down the home stretch of the 5k

The bear was on Comcast Sports South!

So, after such a busy and exhausting weekend, I'll indulge in a full 48 hours at home before embarking on another adventure. Next up: NYC City Sports run club in Central Park on Wednesday night, then a few days in Boston/Beverly with the corporate gang before returning home for this weekend's CRC 100x5k world record attempt. Aaaaand go.