Do you know that the Car-X CrazyK is coming up on September 8? We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it as we sponsor the 2012 CrazyK Kids Fun Run (more on that later)! So what is the Car-X CrazyK? It’s a fun twist on a traditional fundraiser run. Participants will race over, around, under, and through 5 kilometers of varying obstacles and challenges at the Champaign County Fairgrounds. After completing the course, participants are welcome to hang out and join an after party that is sure to make racers forget any troubles they had on the course that day. Live music will be featured and plenty of hot food and cold beverages (both adult and kid-friendly) will be available all day and night. Of course the end result is to donate money to local charities – last year, a total of $34,000 in one day!
Today, we’re featuring the brains behind the Car-X CrazyK. They are the two guys who put together the wild-and-crazy course full of messy, silly, and downright hilarious obstacles that we’re going to run on Sept. 8: local dads Adam LeGrande and Bob Schimmel. Parham Parastaran, owner of the local Car-X franchises and the idea man behind the CrazyK, asked LeGrande and Schimmel to come up with the course ideas. They promise this year will be even more fun (and messier) than last year’s.
LeGrande, dad of two girls and husband to Audrey, is a project manager in IT at the University of Illinois. Schimmel is a loan officer at Farm Credit Services; he and his wife Amy have a 7-year-old daughter (who ran in the kids race last year) and a 3-year-old son. Both men are Champaign natives.
Q: How did you plan out the CrazyK course? Had you been in a similar event before?
Bob: I have never been in a similar event but did a lot of research last year and also this year on the Internet looking a similar events web sites. The course was a work in progress brainstorming with Adam and Parham and trying to be creative with ideas from other events and our ideas.
Q: Do you have a favorite obstacle on the course, and what is it?
Adam: A couple of my favorites were the Muddy Hill climb at the 2.5 mile mark, which is essentially a slick muddy incline that leads back to the infield and the home stretch. That turned out to be gold for photo opportunities, lots of people spinning their wheels as they scrambled up the slope, sliding, losing their footing and slipping down in the mud….hilarious! The HayMaker was also great, where the runners climb over big bales of hay at about the 2.75 mile mark. It was toward the end of the race and was difficult for some people, so teamwork was needed in some cases to get over the top. It was cool to see the teams helping each other out on that obstacle. And obviously the MudPit, loved seeing people go down into the mud pit, and slosh through the muck…great action right at the finish.
Q: Why are you so passionate about this event?
Adam: I like running (as much as you can like running anyway), I love building and designing things, and I love Parham and his enthusiasm when he gets behind something. I think it is an incredible event that is providing a great service for the community, which is to raise money for local charities. It was and is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling experience for me. It is a lot of work and a lot of stress at times, but I still remember how incredibly gratified I felt after the last runner crossed the line last year, knowing that we pulled it off. I remember seeing Parham in the band area after we finished tearing down Crystal Lake, I hadn’t seen him most of the day, because we were all over the place, and we both just shook our heads at each other, smiled wide, and said “We did it!” We pulled it off….it was a great moment and a great feeling to have accomplished something like that, especially knowing that it will have a positive impact on the community we live in.
Bob: When a friend and local business owner wants to give back to the community in a fun and creative way, I want to do everything I can do to help make it bigger and better every year. The bigger it gets, the more fun it will be and the more money raised for local charities. It is a win-win for everyone.
Q: What is new and/or different this year on the course?
Adam: The actual route of the course is essentially unchanged. It is still a 5K, but instead of the 11 obstacles we had this year, I believe we have 20, and almost all of the new ones involve something that will make the racers muddy or wet. A couple of the new obstacles that should be fun are: Muddy Tarp Crawl (.5 miles in) – where the runners crawl over mud and under a Muddy Tarp…that should have them looking weathered and dirty, early in the race! and Water Slide (2 miles in) – runners slide down a manmade waterslide inside the fairground property. Essentially a big slip-n-slide.
Q: What will you be doing on race day?
Bob: During the race I make sure everything out on the course is working and people are not getting confused on where to run.
Q: Do you have any behind-the scenes tips for the runners?
Adam: The feedback we got from the event last year was great, but one of the most common requests was more obstacles and more mud. So ask and you shall receive…if you run the course this year and aren’t completely sloppy at the end, I will know that you cut some corners! J So a tip….do not wear anything you are worried about keeping clean, and I mean anything.
Another non-race tip, more of an event tip, we encourage everyone to make a day of it. The fairground facility is awesome, there is lots of green space to hang out in before and after the race. So we encourage teams and individuals to come the Friday before the race and set up a tailgate tent. That way you will have a basecamp, so that before and after the race you can hang out, enjoy the event food and drink, and bands that will be playing throughout the event and up until dark.
Many racers last year raced and went home, and missed out on a beautiful evening of music and fun after the races were complete. Come and stay a while this year. Another feature to encourage families to stay is the Kid Zone, which will be full of inflatable attractions to keep the kids occupied while the parents can enjoy the event after their race.
Q: What are you looking forward to for this year’s CrazyK?
Adam: I am looking forward to a bigger and better event. Last year we had over 950 racers, and this year we are hoping for 1600!
Bob: We have added I think eight or nine more obstacles. Will be a lot more mud and water on the course this year – should be fun.
To register for the Car-X CrazyK, visit the website and pick which charity you want to benefit.