It’s essentially now a tradition for the Rasmussen family to compete in Run Wild Adventures’ Hangover Run on New Year’s Day. It’s such a laid back, yet timed, fun, and easy kickoff to the year that I can hardly think of another race I’d rather do. The event continues to be held on some rural property just east of the Salem city limits and circles around the property on gravel, grass, and trail to keep things interesting.
Last year, I ran the 5k by myself, the 3k with my wife and 4-year-old, and the beer mile with my brother. You can read all about 2017 here, but in a nutshell – I vomited. This year, the 5k was axed, but I took to the trails with my 8-year-old and now 5-year old. The day was absolutely impeccable with clear blue skies and the sun shining down. Though it was still chilly (around 42 degrees), it felt warmer with some light in the sky. Our goal was to run continuously to the halfway aid station (which included Fireball Whisky and beer in addition to water), walk through it, then run to the finish. We started off at a pretty solid pace (for 8 and 5 year olds), and I talked about running and pacing to keep them distracted. The course was perfect – minimal significant wetness – and the kids really liked running under the tree-canopied “forest”.
At the halfway point, the kids opted for no water (they both remember previous races with side ache problems), and we did a brief walk before they were ready to go again. Directly after the aid station is a fantastic jaunt through some trees that the kids loved.
We finished with a small loop around the house/garage area and my oldest decided she was going to separate from us to push to the finish. Even with only 96 finishers (the race is capped at 100 due to parking limitations), the finishing vibe is always fun.
Afterwards, there is always a great spread with Great Harvest Bread, peanut butter, homemade chicken noodle soup (perfect for chilly January afternoons), and hot chocolate and coffee. Even my picky eater chowed down on some food – not an easy feat! Both my girls were the youngest competitors and ended up winning their age division (don’t tell them they were the only ones in them). They were thrilled with their medals and are displaying them proudly.
I ended up skipping out on the beer mile this year, and I can honestly say I didn’t miss it. That being said, I still have a respect for those who can chug and still run crazy fast times.
It may be 360-ish days away now, but this is a race that is always becoming so memorable considering that I get to run with my family. If you don’t have a New Year’s Day race tradition (and there aren’t really all that many January 1 races anymore), you should definitely come down for 2019 and beyond!