Kelly the Culinarian: S-No-W Fun Run Race Report

Sunday, January 5, 2014

S-No-W Fun Run Race Report

The S-No-w Fun Run by the Lake Area Running Club has been on my bucket list for years. It's legendary in the Chicagoland area. You drive up to just over the Illinois border to run five miles in the cold in January at the Grand Geneva Resort. Sounds kind of miserable, right?

Except this race is the biggest party out there. It was described to me as a weird, sweaty wedding filled with already dehydrated and clearly deranged people. I'm in, obviously. It's held at what used to be a Playboy resort and back in the day, the bunnies handed out the trophies. Now, we just wear bunny ears and call it a day.

Erin and I carpooled up there and had a lovely lunch at Whole Foods Kildeer before rolling into the resort. There was nowhere to park and had about an hour before the 2:30 p.m. start, so we checked in, trekked over to pick up our packets and then herded ourselves back to the other end of the resort to the start line. By this time, it was snowing quite heavily and for some reason, the roads had not been plowed. I get that it's a snow run and all, but there's no need to execute the theme to this degree.

As we shuffled to the start line, I was concerned about getting injured. It was very slushy and there wasn't any pavement to be seen. But hey, what's a race without a little danger.
Mmm, slushy

The first mile loosened me up and I started to feel better about my situation. It wasn't actually that cold. But the snow blasting in my face coupled with the gross road conditions made it a slow slog. Had I known, I would have worn my clear cycling glasses and screw shoes to deal with the conditions.
Anne, Me, Erin and Rachel (Maggie and Maureen were also out there somewhere)

In the very last mile, you have to head uphill towards the resort, which left me gassed, and then, there's a turn to the finish line. I was hoping to kick it to the finish, but I was more concerned about not falling flat on my ass. Priorities.

Rumchata for runners
I finished in a respective 45:22, and I'm psyched about my 9:06 pace considering the crappy conditions. But once the race ended, the fun really began. It started with a Schnaps stop featuring different types of shots. Erin and I opted for Rumchata, naturally, although cinnamon, rootbeer and a bunch of other flavors were available. We changed into some dry, clean clothes before the festivities really took off.

Our race registration permitted us entry into one of the wildest post-race parties I've ever seen. There were generous amounts of Miller Lite and all varieties of Lienenkugel, along with a dinner of sausages, hamburgers, chips and cookies. Also, Diet Pepsi ensures I will love this race to the bitter end.

After enjoying a few beverages, there was also a raffle for door prizes. I won nothing except a set of bunny ears. Sad panda. Then, the games began. Let's just say the race now has a new reigning sausage queen, and she was quite the celebrity for the evening.
Dancing queen, wild and free

We enjoyed the dancing, drinking and fun until the lights went on, and then the party continued elsewhere. Some running clubs had afterparties, some people hit the hot tub and other reconvened at the hotel bar. The resort offered discounted rooms for participants, so we eventually made our way back to our suite across the street to hunker down for the night. This morning, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before making the looooong drive home. We saw an SUV flip as soon as we got on the highway, so I was more than cautious today.

This was a great event. As a stand-alone race, I would have been annoyed about the road conditions, but because we were there for a good time rather than to get a good time, I can't be that critical. Also, you got a lot of $30 - a picture frame, electronic timing, schnaps shots, beer, dinner, dancing and entertainment. They also gave away awards to the top person in each age, rather than age group, which is kind of cool. It was a highly competitive field, though, and my time only picked me up fifth in my age group.

Cost: $33.30 with processing online
Time: 45:22
Pros: Inexpensive, awesome post-race party, great atmosphere, discount at the resort
Cons: You basically have to stay the night. This is not a family-friendly race. The road conditions were very tough and the weather is unpredictable.
Would I do this race again? Yes!


Zenaida Arroyo said...

Looks like a fun time! And yes you do get a lot for $30. Wish more races were like that.

Rachel said...

That is a great pace for the slippery roads! Way to go!

I really enjoyed your company this weekend! It was such a good time to meet everyone and have so much fun. Good luck with your Ironman training!

Valerie said...

How did I not know about this race?! This sounds like SO MUCH FUN! Looks like you guys had a blast ;-)

Pete B said...

I went to the "schnapps area" to try some rumchata about an hour after the race, but it was all gone. I then tried to win a bottle by holding up my race bib for about an hour, but to no avail! Oh well, maybe next year. Anyway, I like the description: "dehydrated and clearly deranged people" that about sums it up! :)

Meghan said...

I loved all of the photos on Facebook and Instagram (I caught them through Maggie and Anne) - and I am definitely adding this race to my list. It looks like such a blast! And I had no idea the Grand Geneva used to be the Playboy resort.

KellytheCulinarian said...

True story, my dad went to an accounting convention there in the '80s long after Playboy moved out and said the place looked a little old even then.

Anne said...

I was definitely there to have a good time, rather than run a good time - mission accomplished! :)

Renee said...

Great write up on the race. Fun times.