Race to beat the pumpkin

It wasn’t your typical track meet when the UVM running club hosted the second annual Pace the Pumpkin 5K race this past Sunday, Oct. 30. Waiting at the starting line, runners showed off their best Halloween outfits, from a fallen angel to a pumpkin to a runner who used a whole lot of green hairspray.

Runners from both the club team and the surrounding Burlington area were welcomed to take part in the race and to beat out the bitter cold and harsh winds that greeted them Sunday morning.

After the runners went out for the next 20 or so minutes, this reporter got to talk with some of the heads of this unfairly unknown club. After a mix of conversations from ski plans to Halloween costumes from the night before, the topic soon changed to the club and how it works.

Runners work together all year, going on group runs a few days a week and then coming together to compete against other running clubs.

The first runner to finish was Binney Mitchell, a 40-something year-old Burlingtonian who calls this course his home. Coming in impressively with a time of 17:51, Mitchell hardly seemed proud.

“My time was good today,” Mitchell said. “I just really feel that I could have done better.”

After running for his whole life, the sport has become somewhat habitual for him, and he has passed the running tradition along to his daughter.

“We tried to run together once, but I got us lost on the trail. After that, she has never wanted to run with me again,” he said with a laugh.

As the rest of the runners began to trickle in one-by-one and two-by-two, the race started to draw to a close, ending as the last competitor came walking in. The members then took part in a costume contest competing for assorted prizes. Next was the raffle, where all were fortunate enough to win a choice of a prize from assorted baked goods and t-shirts placed on the team’s table.

To sum up the experience, it really wasn’t like any race I have ever been to before. It was, however, the perfect way to close out this Halloween weekend here in this not-so-typical city that the UVM running club calls home.