Parts of the annual 5k Paczki Run in Hamtramck are predictable and parts are unpredictable. The predictable parts are the paczkis, beer and polka tent. Unpredictable? The weather.
The February Saturday before Fat Tuesday in Michigan can be frigid cold, spring-like mild, bright and clear or cloudy and grey. This year the run was the morning after we got about eight inches of snow. The city did a great job trying to keep the roads clear but it was nearly impossible so as we ran through sloppy snow and slush the corners were tricky and passing other runners took careful footwork. And then there were the potholes. Michigan roads take a beating and the side streets of Hamtramck were no exception. Runners helped each other out by yelling to point out the numerous potholes that could easily cause a fall or twisted ankle.
This sloppy course affected my time as I didn’t want to risk a fall but still almost went down while turning one corner in the slush. So I was not disappointed with a 8:31 pace for a 26:24. For the first race of the year, my 12th place finish out of 136 in my age group was okay.
And of course, there was the predictable paczkis, beer and polka tent at the finish.