Race Recap: VT Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k

All photos courtesy of my Dad 🙂

This is an annual fundraiser held by the Visiting Nurse’s Association of Chittenden and Grande Isle Counties.  It’s their second-largest fundraiser, and I have to say, they’ve really got their stuff together.

Before the Race:

When I woke up at 7am, it was POURING rain.  I was less than thrilled.  I ate a banana and some PB toast, and drank a few glasses of Nuun.  We arrived at the Allen Brook School at about 8:15 am.  Even though there was a lacrosse tournament happening, there was plenty of parking.  Registration/pick-up/donation drop off was inside the school gymnasium, and everything was very clearly marked.  As a bonus, there were real restrooms instead of porta-potties!  Since I raised $1000, I was part of the exclusive “Jiggety Jog Club” and got a special blue t-shirt (everyone else got orange).

Me, Dad and Mom

Me, Dad and Mom

It was really a lovely atmosphere–my mom introduced me to several of the race organizers, and I felt a little bit like a celebrity–everyone knew my mom from when she had done the race in the past, and they were all so excited to meet me and so happy I was there.  Top Hat Entertainment was there providing music and keeping everyone up-to-date on information, and Champ, the mascot for the Vermont Lake Monsters, was there giving high fives and taking pictures.  Just before the race started, we had a moment of silence for those who have had family members pass away at the Respite House.  And as we were lining up to start, the skies cleared and the sun came out–it was amazing!

During the Race:

There was a timed 5k as well as a “fun run,” so they started the runners first.  There were only 96 runners, so I started out in the middle of the pack (there were no corrals or pacers).  The course wound out behind the school through some lovely fields, and then went through some local neighborhoods.  The course was mostly flat or downhill for the first mile, which was great!  There were volunteers at every intersection making sure we knew which way to go, and there was water at every other intersection, which was great because it ended up being very warm.  This was my first time running in summer-ish weather, and it was tough.

And they're off!

And they’re off!

There was one big uphill at the beginning of mile 2, but thankfully, after my hill run on Tuesday, I was able to push through and it didn’t slow me down too much.  All of the volunteers were incredibly positive and cheered us on.  In the neighborhoods, there were a few groups of kids banging pots and pans, singing, cheering, and playing musical instruments.  I spent a lot of time thinking about Gramma Pat–her smile, her laugh, how she started every letter to me with “Darlin’ Rae” (hence the blog name)…  It made me smile and it made me a little sad that there’s so much about her I’ll never know.  Take it from me, friends–get to know your grandparents.  Ask them questions.  They are fascinating people, and you don’t get to have them for long.

Eventually the course looped back on itself and through the field back to the school.  I was starting to really need to pee, so I kicked it up a notch at the 3 mile marker and brought it home.  It was amazing to have Ben, my mom, my dad, and our family dog, Harley, cheering me across the finish line.  As I crossed the line, one of the volunteers said, “You know that dog didn’t bark for anybody else,” and I said, “Well of course, she’s my dog!” 😀

Crossing the finish line

Crossing the finish line

After the Race and Results:

My official time was 30:26 30:21 (updated 5/14), and I was 48 out of 96 runners–a strong middle-of-the-pack finish.  According to my GPS, the course was actually 3.3 miles, so I’ll take it.   I was also 4th in my age group of 20-29, so that’s pretty cool!<–updated 5/14

Mile 1:  9:00

Mile 2:  9:29

Mile 3:  9:24

Mile 4 (0.3):  8:24

The post-race food was sponsored by Hannaford supermarket, and it was great–bagels with cream cheese, bananas, apples, oranges, granola bars, donut holes, mini cabot cheese squares, coffee and orange juice.  I grabbed a few munchies and some water and went back outside to enjoy the day and cheer everyone on–one woman hula-hooped the entire 3.1 miles–can you imagine?!

Me with Sharon Keegan, one of the race organizers

Me with Sharon Keegan, one of the race organizers

The awards ceremony was awesome.  There were medals for the 1st and 2nd place overall finishers, with 1st and 2nd in each age category.  The medals got a little mixed up, but nobody seemed to mind too much.  They also recognized the top fundraisers in the individual and team categories with special plaques, and all of the Jiggety Jog Club members (only 10 of us) were recognized with certificates.  The best part was, the event surpassed their overall fundraising goal, and everyone gave a big cheer!

Overall, this race experience was one of the best I’ve ever had.  The event organizers were so positive and so happy to have people participating–I was thanked over and over again for my participation and fundraising efforts.  The course was pretty and well-marked, the volunteers were awesome, and the food and music were a really nice touch.  I plan to make this an annual race.

Friday Free-For-All

I think I’m going to start a new Friday series called “Friday Free-For-All.”  It feels like at least once a week I have a bunch of random tidbits to share that aren’t quite enough for a post all on their own.  I know a lot of you participate in “Friday Five,” but that’s a little too restrictive for me.  What if I only have 4 things to write about?  What if I have 9??  Having a Free-For-All means I can write about as many or as few things as I need to.  And so, without further ado…


My first present of the day--Chemex pour-over coffee system.

My first present of the day–Chemex pour-over coffee system. Beautiful and functional.

1.  It’s my birthday!  Woo!  That’s right–today is the day we celebrate my birth.  I love celebrating my birthday, and this year is going to be a good one.  Already this week I’ve gotten engaged and hit my fundraising goal for Saturday’s 5k.  Still to come are dinner with Ben tonight at Vermont Tap House (wood-fired pizza and awesome beer selection), the Vermont Respite House 5k tomorrow morning (which my parents are going to come watch), and my Cinco de Mayo-themed birthday party tomorrow night.  There will be tacos and we’re getting a keg and Ben has promised to wear a sombrero.  Lots of birthday win 😀

2.  Speaking of the Vermont Respite House 5k...  I’m still really excited for this race, but not so excited about the weather.  It’s looking like 70ish degrees with a 70% chance of rain.  Booo.  Oh well.  I guess a warm rain is better than a cold, yucky rain.

3.  I share my birthday with Billy Joel.  Billy Joel has been one of my favorite musicians since I was very small.  My family used to listen to his music all the time on car trips, and any time one of his songs come on the radio, I crank it and sing along.  “The Entertainer” was on while I was driving in to work this morning and it put a huge smile on my face.

4.  I got an awesome tech shirt for free!  I’m running the Vermont Corporate Cup Challenge and State Agency Race with some of my coworkers next week, and the company got everyone in the office awesome shirts.  It’s super comfy and really light-weight.  I wore it for my run on Tuesday afternoon and I already know it’s going to be one of my favorites–it’s a really awesome blue color!

5.  Ugly Race Pics.  I had already found this Tumblr on Wednesday afternoon, and then one of my fave bloggers, Salt, posted about how her race pics from her most recent race were actually decent (which is apparently not the norm for her, which I can’t really imagine since she’s gorgeous), and I decided I had to share.  Do yourself a favor, and head on over to Ugly Race Pics.  You’re sure to spend a few minutes chuckling, while fervently praying that you never see your own face.

Click for source

Click for source

6.  My friend is applying to work for my company.  Rebecca and I met as temps a few months ago and she’s awesome, and now there’s a chance that we’ll get to work together again.  She shares my love of Mexican food, cats, and musical theater, plus she’s an extremely competent candidate for the position, so needless to say, I’m super stoked!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!  I know I’m going to 😀

How do you celebrate your birthday?



I’m am so thrilled to announce that I have reached my fundraising goal of $1000 for the Vermont Respite House Jiggety Jog 5k!


Photo May 06, 10 03 49 AM

I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the donations pouring in from friends, family, coworkers and bloggers.  The Respite House is a truly special place, and this money is well-deserved.

Now that I’ve reached my fundraising goal, I feel like I can really relax and enjoy this race.  Unfortunately, the weather for Saturday isn’t looking so great right now–70s and rainy.  Booo.  I’m still excited, though.  My parents will be coming and this is the first time they’ve ever seen me race.  It’s also my birthday weekend (!!) so my energy is bound to be really positive.

This is turning out to be a really awesome week here on Darlin’ Rae!

Are you racing this weekend?  

Do your parents/family ever come watch you race?


Vermont Respite House 5k Jiggety Jog and Fun Run

I’ve registered for yet another 5k!  This one is supporting an organization that is really important to me.  The Vermont Respite House provides 24-hour end-of-life care for Vermonters who have terminal illnesses.  Personalized meals, massage, and the ability for beloved pets to stay with patients in the facility are just a few of the wonderful services offered.

My grandmother, Patricia Buckler, spent the last few weeks of her life at the Vermont Respite House, and honestly, if it weren’t for the care and attention she and my whole family received, I don’t know how we would have gotten through such a difficult time.  Not only was my grandmother given the best care, but the staff counseled the entire family through “letting go” and being able to say goodbye.

My mother was actually the top individual fund raiser for 3 years running, but due to bursitis in her hip, she’s no longer able to participate.  That means it’s up to me to carry on the family legacy and raise money in memory of my Gramma Pat.  I have set a personal goal of raising at least $1000 before the race on May 10.  That’s the day after my birthday, so instead of gifts, just donate! 😉

If you are interested in reading more about the Vermont Respite House, or donating to my page, please click here.  Every little bit goes directly towards helping a wonderful organization.

Have you ever done a race to raise money for a charity, or in memory of a loved one?