What an adventure! Today my family & I “ran” the Brain Freezer 5K in Burlington, Vermont. Let me explain this race. As I’m sure you know, Vermont is the home of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, so what would a 5K in Vermont entail if it’s called the Brain Freezer? Yup. You guessed it! At the halfway point of the race, you must consume a PINT of B&J ice cream. Sounds odd? Yes, but my god, was it fun!
This was the first time I had ever “run” with my husband and son. We knew there would actually be very little running, due to the fact that my husband is out of shape, but also my son drags his feet and whines a lot. He’s 6. I know this is what kids do, but it often frustrates the hell out of me.
Near the beginning of the race, my boy wanted to run. And my, oh my, did we run!! At one point we were running downhill and I yelled out, “Hey, don’t lose me!!” Some of the walkers in the race were quite amused to watch my son zig zag far out of my reach. When he slowed down, I caught up with him and we turned around to see my husband running after us. We cheered for him then took off again. For most of the race, though, we walked, jogged, poured water on the boy’s head and pulled each other along….literally. Once we got to the ice cream eating part, it was amusing to watch my son attempt to consume an entire pint of Chocolate Therapy ice cream. His face and hands were very brown and sticky and just plain gross!
My husband & I both finished a pint about the same time (I had Chunky Monkey–the middle was frozen and I wish I had a fork), and our son ate about 2/3 of his pint. He had enough, he said, so he & I both took off running. Believe it or not, I didn’t have a stomach ache or felt sick at all. The sugar rush only lasted a few blocks for my son, and then he thought he was going to puke. Our last mile included a little bit of dragging my six-year old along, placing him on my husband’s shoulders for a bit, and walking. At the very last bit of the race (we were not only last, but the awards ceremony was starting), my boy HAD to pee. He had held it for nearly a half a mile, and in adult terms that’s like 5 hours. So we stopped at the porta potty while my husband kept going. Once my boy was done, I told him we had only a few more steps. “We’re not done?” he cried. I pointed his Papa out to him (my husband was crossing the finish line) and my boy took a deep breath and walked on. We were guided onto the grass at this point and I said, “Ok, son, let’s finish this strong!” We started to run uphill toward that banner, and I stayed just two steps behind him, cheering him on. There was no way I would let him finish last. “Go, go, go!” I yelled and completely choked up as he finished what felt like the longest race in history.
A volunteer took the photo you see above, which was also just after my son stuck his hand in someone’s vomit. I wish I was joking, but I’m not. He sat on the ground just after we finished running, and although it didn’t look like there was anything on the ground, there certainly was. Ewwwwww!!
All in all, though, we had a really great time. I got irritated and frustrated a few times, but that was mostly in the first 5 minutes. After that, we got into some kind of rhythm and joked with the volunteers at the race (especially the poor woman who had to ride her bike behind us). I do wish that we had trained better as a family, and since my husband is already planning to do this again next year, then perhaps we can try again. Next time, I’m hoping for a little more running and a little less whining. I’m not sure we could have more fun, but anything is possible. 🙂