Monday, July 1, 2024

Volunteer then race - Firecracker 4 Mile St. Louis

I've been hearing about Bodies Race Company for quite some time now but when I saw an option to "volunteer then race"  in their Firecracker 4 and 8 miler at Creve Coeur Lake Park, I decided to check them out and take advantage of the discounted race entry for volunteering.  The discounted 4 mile entry was only $20 but then I also opted to not receive a shirt, which cut an additional $5 off of the cost.  I really like how some races have caught on to this trend of giving a discount for opting out of the shirt.  Their race shirt was fine, I just took advantage of the additional discount instead of receiving another shirt.  What I really wanted and what draw me to this race in the first place, was the medal!

I signed up at the beginning of June and race day was June 30th.  Between registration and race day, there were plenty of email reminders.  My volunteer shift was at packet pick-up, which was on race day starting at 6:15 a.m. and ending at 8 :00 a.m. when the race started.  I've volunteered at plenty of packet pick-up's before but what was different about this one was that we used our own phones after downloading the RaceDay CheckIn app. It was easy to use and runners either had their QR code ready or gave us their last names. From the app I could also tell that 250-some had registered for the race and by start time, 87% of those registered had checked in.  There were quite a few volunteers at pick-up too, which made the time fly by and the line never got too long for the runners. 

Some fun tidbits from check-in included one gentleman who asked me where the awards would be as he was picking up his shirt and bib.  I guess it came off to me as presumptuous at first (my bad), so I told him what I knew. Then I saw his age. He was 77!  Right there I decided that was one of my new life still be finishing races at 77. And he didn't look 77, maybe late 50's, so there's another life goal!  There was also the woman who was concerned about finishing since she was injured.  She downgraded from the 8 miler to the 4 but I reassured her that with Creve Coeur Lake Park being open to the public, she would never feel alone on the course and that the course closure time was pretty gracious with having an 8 miler.  Later I saw her at the finish line taking a selfie with her medal, so that also made my day!

I ended up walking 99.9% of the race since I had two blisters on the bottom of my left foot from breaking in new running shoes. I didn't bring music, I just took in the cooler temps and the lake views and enjoyed myself on the 4 mile walk.  Since the course was an out-and-back, you got to see all of the 4 mile runners and also the very fast 8 mile runners. I was just happily walking along when so many people told me "good job" or "keep it up."  It just made the walk that much more pleasant. 

I should mention parking. Most races at Creve Coeur Lake Park start and end at the Tremayne Shelter, just like this race did.  We always park here when we walk or run at this park because there is a large parking lot and it is adjacent to year-round restrooms.  So parking was not an issue at all for this race. 

So what caught my eye about this race was the medal, which was a Top Gun theme.  I love Top Gun, including the new movie and I use the phrase "negative Ghost Rider, the pattern is full" quite often to convey that I am already at capacity and not taking on anything else.  Anyway, the medal lights up and flashes red and blue!!!  I will probably wear it on the 4th of July just to feel festive.

Then here are some pictures that I took during the race.

One section of the course took you onto a trail, but the majority was an asphalt paved path
Prettier in black and white

Post race snacks included ice cream from a local food truck and then water and granola bars. 

I had a great time completing the "volunteer then race" option for the Firecracker 4 Miler. I will definitely keep an eye out for future opportunities like this.  Bodies has races all over the country, so here is their website to check them out:  

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