Friday, October 11, 2013

Chasing My Sanity

Women's Run - The Sanity Chase, well, what can I say?  It was awesome!

First, let me start by saying, this is one of my most favorite companies.  I discovered them just over two years ago when I was just starting to run.  To be honest, I am not sure exactly how I found them but the moment I saw their products and read their manifesto, I was hooked.  You all know this if you have been reading my blog for a while.

My first purchase was a shirt, maybe a hat too, can't remember.  Doesn't matter because I now own about 5 short sleeve shirts, 4 long sleeve shirts, 1 sweat shirt, a hat, two magnets, a coffee cup, travel mug, not to mention, the items I have gifted.

There are a few more things that I want, but I have to space these things out so I don't give Mr. RWM a heart attack.  BTW, Mr. RWM, Christmas is right around the corner and then my birthday soon after that.  Just saying...

I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with Kyra, founder and Chief Runner of Women Run, a number of times now.  The first time I met her, was at the Providence Rock and Roll Expo. She knew my name when I introduced myself and it was just a thrill to talk with her in person.  Since then, we have been at a few races together but we didn't always know it.  One of the last ones being the FirmMan.  She was also on a relay team for that race.
Kyra and I at the FirmMan

When she first announced the Sanity Chase, I checked it out but was hesitant to do an obstacle course in the middle of marathon training.  I was afraid of getting hurt.

The more I looked into it though, I was quite certain, no one was going to leave injured. There was paddle boarding, hula hooping, tricycle riding and to finish it off, a chocolate slide.  You could also be as young as 9 to participate.  Since I am so close to 9...

I sent out an email to all my running and a few non running friends and after a couple days, we were a team of five and we called ourselves, Gansett Girls Run.  For those of you who don't know, Gansett is short for Narragansett, RI.

Once our team was together, we had to decide on what to wear.  Yeah, this is a, "have a super good time and dress cute",  kind of race.

It was Elaine's idea to get the Gansett shirts from Crosswyndes Traders and from there the obvious choice was a tutu to go with it.  I picked up socks for everyone and our outfits were complete.
Look how cute!
Painted my nails to match my shirt and tutu.

I woke up the day of the race to cold and rain.  This is not what my guy at channel 10 had said the day before.  Not nice weather man, not nice!

We all met at Steph's house and from the moment we were together, the fun and laughter began.

The race was held at Fort Adams which I thought was the perfect spot.  Easy to get to. Plenty of parking and big enough for all the obstacles.  Oh, and real bathrooms!

We headed to check in to get our numbers and the woman at the table recognized my name and introduced herself to me. Her name was Krissy and she also works at Women run.  She knew my name from FB and said it was nice to meet me and that, "I was one of them."  Wow, just wow!

There were waves every half hour and we were the 11:30 wave.  When we first got there it seemed the rain was letting up.  By the time we got our numbers and headed back to the car, it was drizzling.  I grabbed my hat and was just hoping it didn't pour on us.

Our wave was very small. We lined up, got our instructions, and off we went.  There was no sun, but luckily, no rain either.  This is good, yay!

Steph and Lori are not really runners but they did a great job!  To get to the first obstacle, we had to run a mile.  Since the race was not timed, we only ran when all of us were able to.

The first obstacle was paddle boarding, something I have never done.  Oh, and I can't swim.  The water was only waist high and we had life jackets.  Plus, there were two kayakers in the water with us.

Agnes, was the first to hop on the board and go.  She was finished before I was even to the first buoy.  She rocked it!  Elaine was next and then me.  I got nervous when I started to stand, so I stayed on my knees.  Once I figured out how to move and turn, it wasn't so bad.  I had fun and would try it again.  Have to be able to stand up for next year for sure.

From there, we ran a bit to obstacle number two, the rock wall.  Do you remember this post?  I am not much of a rock climber.  We had a bit of a line here, but that gave us plenty of time to get our harness on.

The wall was brought in by the Army National Guard and was manned by two soldiers.  A cute, young soldier approached me to make sure my harness was on right.  He looked confused and said to me, "Can you lift up your tutu?"  We all started to laugh and I replied, "I bet you never said that before!"  We all got a good laugh and there may have been a little blushing.

I did not get very far on the rock wall, in fact, only one of us made it to the top.  Not only did Elaine shoot up to the top of the wall, she did it on the hardest of the three sides. How cool is that!

The next obstacle, I was sure I would have a hard time with.  We needed to hula hoop and walk from point A to point B. I picked a hoop that matched my shirt and tutu and before I knew it, I was hula hooping and walking.  It never fell!  I went the whole distance and had such a good time!  My best obstacle of the day.

BTW, still not raining on us.

Next we had to get on bikes. Little bikes, the size that my Gracie would ride.  I picked a cool purple one and started to go but was having trouble.  A young man on a bike who was helping, noticed that my back tire was flat.  So back I went for a new one, a pink princess bike.  I really had a hard time peddling. My knees kept hitting but despite that, I was smiling the whole way.  The time and thought that went into this race was incredible. What a wonderful idea to get together with your daughters, mothers, aunts, and girlfriends.

My girls were already at the next obstacle, putting on high heel shoes. I just cracked up as I approached them. I grabbed a pair of black pumps and we went shopping.

Three bins, filled with toys and we had to pick a toy from each bin and put it into a shopping bag. This was not hard, but it was very funny!

We turned in our shopping bags and headed to the very last obstacle and finish line, the chocolate slide!

This was a double sided slide.  One side just had water.  Come on, who did that side? Where is the fun in that?

We went back and forth a bit, tutus on or off. There was no way I wasn't going to do it in my tutu!

Steph was the first one up. She came down fast and hard and got covered in chocolate from head to toe!

Elaine was next and she came down smiling the whole way.

I went next.  The slide was much faster than I expected.  I thought I would have more control but that was not the case. Into the chocolate I went.

Now, I have only been running for just over two years, but I have crossed quite a few finish lines.  At every one, even the not so good races, there is a feeling of accomplishment and joy.  A true feeling of being alive.  This was no different.  I got up, covered in chocolate, looked at my friends and felt all of the those same feelings.  I love this race and I will be back.  Hopefully with the same girls plus a few more.

Agnes, went down the slide without her tutu. This was ok because she was leaving the race and going to a meeting.  She had decided to wear it to her meeting!  Ha, so cool!  I would of loved to see her colleagues faces when she walked in.

Lori was the last to slide.  I wish I had a pic of her face.  Best expression of the day.

We got cleaned up, changed into warm, dry clothes and headed to the beer tent. We all got a free Narragansett Beer.  We got sandwiches and while we were eating, it got windy and the skis opened up.  The race was still going on and we were right next to the rock wall.  I am so very impressed with all the ladies, especially the little ones, who didn't give up under those conditions.  They stuck it out and finished. Now they are true champs! Way to go ladies!

Lori enjoying a Narragansett.

It got cold. Once Elaine put her hood up, I thought she looked like an elf. So stinking cute!

The finial stop of the day, was the retail therapy tent.  I bought two shirts for me, a shirt for Gracie and a magnet for a friend.  My day was complete and I left happy.

Oh, and did we catch our sanity?  Well, I can't speak for everyone, but for just a few hours, I was totally sane and happy!

I loved everything about this race and I am also happy to report that a portion of the proceeds went to the Women's Fund of Rhode Island.

Fun, fun and more fun. A big thank you to the race organizers and volunteers.  You all did a fantastic job and we look forward to next year!

I wish I had more pics.  If any turn up, I will update and let you all know.

Run Strong, Think Big! ~ Nicole

FYI, I was not given anything for this post. The opinions are my own. 


  1. What a perfect re-cap! It was wonderful, wasn't it!? I am already forming a team for next year! Your team rocked it, Nicole...

  2. What a complete recap!!!!!! Best part? Rock climbing in a tutu. SO awesome!

    1. Oh yeah, it was so fun! You should join our team next year!

  3. Oh my gosh I was smiling throughout this entire blog post! HOW FUN!! I've never heard of anything like this! I think the Color Run is the closest I've gotten to the sort of atmosphere you describe. That was fun - just a crazy time with girlfriends. We don't do that enough! I'm just wondering where's the chocolate? You all look so not covered in chocolate?!?! Did you lick it off??? :)

    1. You are right! We need more fun like that in our lives! I don't have the pics of us after the chocolate slide but I hope to add them after this weekend. Agnes's Mom took them and I have not seen them yet. Stay tuned! But I have to tell you, it was very water downed chocolate and it doesn't look as bad as it felt!

  4. It looks like you had a great time. I just started running and am going to check out the running company you mentioned. Thank you!