This past weekend was jam-packed with awesome. Saturday I ran the April Fool’s Four Miler put on by the Winner’s Circle Running Club, Sunday I did the Spartan Race “Spartan 300 Workout” at Mohegan Sun…and right before the weekend started I got confirmation about a major development…

I’m going to save the Spartan workout for another article. Today’s story is all about the April Fool’s Road Race and my big announcement… So, that said…

The April Fool’s Four Mile Road Race Was A Blast!

I had a ton of fun at the race! There’s so much to say about it! In order to understand a race like this, you have to understand the people putting it on – The Winner’s Circle Running Club.

I had read the information online, but somehow it didn’t click until I got there – The Winner’s Circle is a sports bar. So this is a running club more or less based out of the bar. They meet at The Winner’s Circle weekly for a run (and have a monthly meeting as well) and after the run…well…they have “social hour” at the bar! The club helps out with lots of local races…many of which they put on themselves! It also appears that they participate in USATF Grand Prix racing (look into if it you’re curious).

I met a number of WCRC members at the post-race party…and enjoyed a number of libations with them…and I have to tell you they’re a hoot and a half. The group I was with was a bunch of older guys, and man were they a tough crowd! They joke and pal around just like I’m used to with my college fraternity brothers – it felt like these guys had been buddies for decades. I have to say, I felt very welcomed by them – I was easily 2 or 3 decades younger than most of them, and I felt just as much a part of the conversation as any of them seemed to.

I also (of course) made a point to meet the Race Director, Laurie. This woman was all. over. the. place. In a good way! I swear, I didn’t see her stop moving until well into the post-race party, after most participants had left and it was down to the hardcore partyers and volunteers who finally got to relax. I have to give her and the WCRC folks a big hand for putting together a great race – well-organized, and a lot of fun!

This was also the first time
I have ever had to do race-day registration. For some reason I wasn’t sure up till the last minute that I was GOING to do this race, and by then it was too late for pre-registration online. I got there, walked in, filled out a form, and they handed me a bib. It was that easy. No hassle, no headache, no worries…no nothing! It was a breeze! I’m not sure if this is how race-day registration USUALLY works, but I was impressed. Oh…speaking of the bibs…

EVERYONE was #0!

Hah. April Fool’s, huh?

Everyone’s ACTUAL number was up in the corner – I was 844. Those bibs made for a pretty hilarious scene at the start and finish though.

So…Back To The Race…

This was the 33rd running of WCRC’s April Fool’s race. After over 30 years of putting on the same race it’s evident that it’s survived so long because it’s well-planned, well-executed, and fun for everyone. The course was an “out-and-back” – I’m coming to appreciate them. I know I’ve mentioned in other articles and recaps…but it’s fun to start anticipating the turnaround as you watch the leaders come back at you toward the finish. It’s also cool to see everyone else behind you after you go through the turnaround and head back towards the finish yourself. The course was VERY flat – no noteworthy hills or inclines to deal with. This was definitely a pleasant course and a fun run.

I’ve run a number of 5K’s, 5 Milers, and 10K’s…but I’ve never before run a USATF (U.S.A. Track & Field) Certified 4 mile race, so this was a bit of a different experience. Even though this race was about 1/3 longer than a 5K (4 miles vs. 3.1) I still tried to run it like I would run a 5K – hard, fast, and aggressive. I also tried to treat it like a 5K as far as walking was concerned (meaning DON’T walk if I can help it). Overall, it went pretty well. I finished in 31:55.4 – 7:59 min/mile and 182nd of 825 overall (21st /41 Open age group)! Not bad for four miles, and not bad for not having run all week! Not to mention my lack of sleep the night before…I’d say I’m satisfied!

As I may have alluded to earlier…the post-race party at The Winner’s Circle was a ton of fun – everyone got two beer tickets…but people just kept giving beer tickets to me! And the WCRC guys I was hanging out with kept bringing beer to the table and sliding some my way! I wasn’t about to be rude and refuse, of course…

So 5 hours later I left The Winner’s Circle. HAH. What a fun day! I highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a good time on an unusual distance. Again, BIG thanks to Laurie and the folks at the Winner’s Circle Running Club for putting on a GREAT race!

While We’re Busy Thanking people…

Most races I have someone there to support me – a friend, family member, etc. For this race my aunt Dorothy came out! Her husband (my uncle Joe) is an electrician and owns Flanagan Electric out of Newburyport, MA. Flanagan Electric was my sponsor for this race. I tried to be clever with my shirt and keep it “electrical” themed…I thought I did ok with “Wired To Run”. I’m very fortunate to be sponsored for so many races this year – my sponsors (and some generous RD’s) are literally the only reason I am able to run this many races, so a big thank you to Flanagan Electric and my aunt and uncle is in order for making this race (and a few more to come) possible! If you’re up in that neighborhood and need some electrical work done, call 978-463-4330 – Flanagan Electric does both residential and commercial. Who Knows…maybe I can get him to put together a website and/or a Facebook page! 21st Century, here we come!

On the topic of Sponsors…

 ANNOUNCEMENT – I am a Team Armored Athlete!

Just in case I couldn’t consider myself one in the traditional sense before…I am now officially a sponsored athlete! I’ve been picked up by as one of their Team Armored Athletes! I am beyond excited to be a part of Team Armored and look forward to what will come in this new relationship! You can check out my profile on Team Armored here!

I do my nutrition shopping at a combination of brick-and-mortar store and online store. One of my sponsors prior to Armored is a brick and mortar nutrition store – I love them to death! Both have their benefits, and I’m not saying to stop going to the brick-and-mortar (not at ALL)…both have their place…

That said – I really believe in Armored Nutrition and what they have going on! They’ve got incredible, honest customer service that’s only a live chat or call away and their shipping is LIGHTNING quick! They have 7 warehouses across the country, so they can ship orders to MOST places within one day. Couple that with their incredible effort to get it packed and shipped as fast as possible (often same-day) and its at your door before you have time to turn around! I’ll have to do an article soon on the benefits of brick-and-mortar vs. online…hmm…anyway…

Check them out! Give Armored Nutrition a try and support my new team! Not only do they have kick-ass service and shipping, but their prices are actually pretty good too.

You can use coupon code “RunArmored” for 5% off your order to give them a whirl! Let them know Darrell sent you!

Look for me running for Team Armored in the future! Can’t wait to take this on the road and see how it goes!

What’s the moral of the story here?

Get Out Of Your Own Way! If you work hard, strive for it, and put yourself out there you WILL get what you’re working for! I went through the list – it looks like, so far, I’ll be running 32 races this year. Why on God’s green earth would I do that? Like I’ve said before – It’s all about showing that it CAN be done! If I can go from a hopeless 300 lb lump on the couch resigned to a life of mediocrity and health issues to becoming a sponsored runner…there is no reason Joe Six-Pack can’t get off the couch and start getting healthy! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times more –

The Only Limits We Truly Have Are The Ones We Set For Ourselves.

Stop limiting yourself, get out of your own way, and go get it! Happy Motivational Monday 🙂