Race Review – Keeping Up With Jones 5k & Fun Run

The weekend before last we trekked out as a family and ran our first 5k race with the new addition Baby Z-peat. We ran the Keeping Up With Jones 5k and Fun Run put on by Jones Physical Therapy. I’ve always wanted to run this race but something has kept me from doing it each year. I’d heard it was a lot of fun with tons of great door prizes. The weather has been gorgeous here lately so I decided to sign us up online to get our butts out the door and get moving.

wpid-20141018_082641.jpgI signed Little Z up for his first one mile fun run. He loves to run around the house and he runs down to the pond and playground by our house to play and feed ducks. I thought this would be a fun introduction to racing for him.

We barely arrived in time on Saturday morning to get Little Z up to the starting line for the one mile run (it’s tough wrangling everyone). Mr. Z was running it with him to assist and carry him if need be. He was a little overwhelmed by the people and excitement and poor Mr. Z ended up carrying him for most of the mile. But he put him down toward the finish and told him to RUN! And he did! It was so stinking adorable watching the two of them run in together.

20141018_081938Immediately following was the 5k. We loaded Little Z into The Beast and got ready to roll. Smoothie King was there so he was super content to chill in the stroller with his strawberry smoothie.


We walked to the start and got at the back of the pack. I had no illusions of grandeur about running this whole thing. I just wanted to run some/walk some and have fun. The course was through old town and along the lakefront. We could not have asked for a prettier day.

wpid-20141018_082716.jpgI actually  managed to run the entire first mile! I was so proud of myself. We ran/walked the last two since I was getting a little winded and tired. I didn’t want to overdo it. We finished the race and headed to the finish area. There was a ton of great food. Another Broken Egg Cafe catered the race. There were Southern biscuits, bacon, scrambled eggs, Smoothie King smootihes, Starbucks coffee, and Starbucks pastries and bagels. Several of the local half marathon races were out promoting their races with discounts too!

wpid-20141018_092809.jpgWe met up with some of our friends after the race (my friend Claudia and me here). It was so great to see Amanda and Fred (NOLArunner) there too! Always a pleasure physically chatting with some of my social running network friends. Sorry I didn’t get a picture with Amanda though. Speedy Fred won his age division! Congrats Fred!

wpid-20141018_095136.jpgThey were calling out all the age division wins and they got to the “5 and under” division. They called the name of the fastest girl and then they were calling the winner for the fastest boy. It was Little Z!!! He won his age division in his first race! (now he was the only entrant, but that’s besides the point). He was SOOOO excited to get his prize. He kept asking all morning, “I was the winner Mama?” He won a very cool coffee mug with a packet of hot cocoa. He loves his winner mug.

20141018_094726After the age division awards and overall winner awards they started with the door prizes. There were a BUNCH of really cool door prizes! My friend Claudia won a $175 spa package! Mr. Z won a $20 gift certificate to Varsity Sports. There was local artwork, jewelry, gift baskets from local merchants and even a grill (as the grand door prize). It was really fun watching the prizes being handed out.


All in all it was a GREAT race day. We had a blast and I will definitely be back to run it again next year.

Keeping Up With Jones 5k


  • Small, local race – not crowded at all
  • Fun, scenic course along the lakefront
  • GREAT food and coffee after
  • HUGE amount of really good door prizes
  • Really good race t-shirt. It’s super soft and cute. Sorry – no pic.
  • Very family fun oriented


  • I can’t think of one!

Monday Motivation – Virtual Run to Beat Cancer

I’m posting a bit late for some Monday motivation but I got caught up in all of the Boston excitement and I had, HAD to go for a run to celebrate it all!!

For this week’s Monday motivation I’m writing about a race and cause very near and dear to my heart – the race to Beat Cancer! I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been touched or impacted by the war with cancer. It is such a devastating disease that we need to conquer once and for all. One of my dear Twitter and Facebook friends Chris Wilno (@Run2SaveLives) has organized this location race to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and We Will Find a Cure. And what’s even better, THERE’S A VIRTUAL OPTION!! For just $30 you get a race bib, a race medal (see pic below) and a chance to run for a cause. Run, walk, crawl, whatever!! No effort is too small. They still need participants to reach their fundraising goal. Please share this race with as many people as you know. Let’s all join in the fight to #BeatCancer!!

Sign up is EASY. Just click on the RunSignUp link here:

Beat Cancer 5k Fun Run & Virtual Run

Beat Cancer

Super cool race bling you will get for signing up for the virtual race!!

Chris is a huge…no…GINORMOUS fund raiser for LLS and is such a motivating, inspiring person. You should follow him if you don’t already. If you don’t know Chris’ story, you can learn about it on his website We Will Find a Cure.

I had a chance to ask Chris a few questions on the race and their goals.

How did you come up with the idea for this race?

My story of loss led me to endurance sports.  Had my Dad not passed away, I may never have been introduced to the world of 26.2 and 50 and 140.6.  I always used a race to raise money to fight cancer.  This campaign is different.  No race, which is good timing since I can barely walk right now.  Endurance sports led me to coaching and my belief that running can change your life and change the lives of others.  What better way to bring this life lesson into the campaign than to do this.  Certainly my hope is that a lot of people sign up and we raise money but the reason it is a fun run and all ages are welcome is because I hope the informal setting allows someone that has been sitting on the couch wondering how to participate….the chance to give it a try. That is why I hope people build teams and become an ambassador for the race.  Use it certainly to fight cancer but also to inspire folks to change wherever they may be.

Explain a bit how the virtual race will work, for people who have never done one before.

The virtual aspect of the race is easy.  You simply sign up for our race the same way as if you live in Los Angeles.  We will mail you a bib and a medal.  Your job is to put in the mileage wherever it is that you reside or are traveling on that day.  If 3.1 miles is intimidating, do some mileage but push yourself beyond what you think you can do.  If 3.1 miles is not challenging enough, push yourself to run a half or a full or a 10K.  The point is to be out on the streets making a difference.

What are your goals for this race?

My goals for this race are 500 participants.  We would also like to have representation in as many states as possible. The name of the campaign is We Will Find a Cure and I would be thrilled knowing folks from all over the country/world were participating. It would do justice to our name.  My other hope is that somehow some way this race inspires someone along the way.

You inspire so many people daily with your coaching and encouragement. What inspires you to keep going?

A lot of things inspire me to keep going.  Too many to list here.

1) My story albeit sad provided me with more motivation than one should ever need.  It is one of the blessings from my story.  I promised my Dad before he passed that I would do my very best to fight back against the disease that took him.  I made the same promise to my wife and I promised Isabella I would lead a life that makes her proud.  When I am tired and don’t want to keep fighting…..I remember these promises and I move forward.

2) I hope by moving forward and fighting back and sharing my story that I can inspire others…..inspire them to do the same…..inspire them to stand up and fight when they would rather curl up in a ball……inspire them to push past their limits and what they think is possible.

3) Truthfully I give a lot but I get much more in return.  Over the years, being a part of changing lives…….I would not trade that except for more time with my Dad and Isabella.

4) There are people out there in the world in a dark place.  They find themselves where I once found myself.  They may read something I post. They may just be someone that watches me run all of the time. They need a spark in their life.  In the chance my life crosses with that life…..I want to know I did my part to make a difference.