We had 5:00am wake up call as the race started pretty early (for a 10K). Hubby had to be at his volunteer station along the course at 6:30am so I dropped him off and drove to the nearest train station to park my car and take the train down to the race start. There was virtually no parking around the race area and even if there was, most of the roads were blocked off to traffic.
The weather turned out to be absolutely beautiful after a week straight of torrential rain fall. It was chilly to start and I am super happy this race had a bag check so I could wear my jacket while waiting but check it just before I had to line up at the start.
|Crowd of people walking to the Race area|
I immediately ran into Rose in the port a potty line up (one of my previous clinic buddies who was running her first HM after battling some injuries during training). She was nervous and I remember thinking to myself that I wasn’t nervous at all at that point!
My running buddy Kristen decided to race the 10K instead of the half marathon so we met up by the start line. I waited until about 15 minutes before the race start to check my bag (best idea ever!) with my jacket that I wore. It was still a bit chilly with my long sleeve shirt and vest but I could tell that I was going to warm up in no time as soon as I started running. The sun was shining already and there wasn’t any wind.
|Kristen and I|
|Bag check- best.idea.ever!|
Finally it was time to line up and this was by far the largest race I have ever run in. There were about 10,000 participants in total (4 distances), and I think at least a few thousand doing the 10K. I lined up closer to the middle/back, right by the 1:05 pace bunny. I figured if I stuck around her it would help me stay on track.
Right on time, the gun went off and we slowly made our way to the start line. It only took about 2 minutes but it felt like forever! Just as we passed the first corner I recognized the sound of hubby’s cowbell! I turned around and sure enough there he was. I shouted out to him and he saw me but I had already passed him. Since he was around the 1K mark on the Full/Half Marathon course, he was done his duties before the 10K started and was able to make his way over to cheer us on.
The run was pretty uneventful. We ran on the road the entire time which was another first for me. It was pretty neat to run down the middle of the street that I drive to work all the time. There were lots of cops and volunteers along the course.
Before I knew it we passed the 3K mark and I felt so good. Usually it takes me a few K to get into the groove but I was in it right away. I just kept on my pace (ahead of it actually) and started chasing down people to pass. I found in my other races that it was harder to chase down people because we were so spread out but that was not an issue this time. Kristen stayed with me for the first 4K but then she slowed down.
I lost the 1:05 pace bunny within the 1st K. I felt bad for about a second until I realized that I was on pace and to forget about her. I never did see her again.
I did my 10 and 1s which works for me. I wore my water belt and I had 2 Gu Chomps starting about 40 minutes into the race. I didn’t end up listening to my iPod at all during the race which is a first for a road race. There was so much going on around me that I didn’t feel I needed music to motivate me. I just kept chasing people down and I repeated Kristen’s mantra a million times- “I can handle this for now.”
At the 5K mark I checked my watch and I was around 31-32 minutes. I wasn’t feeling tired at all, although I did feel a bit warm. At the turn around (just passed 5K) we passed by the half marathon route (I loved watching them come down an off ramp!) and was so relieved that I was only doing 10K!! I had less than 5K to go and who knows how long they still had to go!
At the 8K mark my watch said 50 minutes so I knew I was going to be under 1:05 if I kept up the pace. I was a little tired but nothing was slowing me down now. There was one hill in the last K but I just breezed up it. You could tell lots of people hadn’t done hill training because I passed them as if they were walking. Nice confidence boost!
We went around a couple corners and finally the finish line was in sight!! Yay!! The chute was pretty narrow so I was weaving in and out to get around people. There were tons of spectators but I couldn’t see hubby anywhere. I did see my one friend who volunteering just before the finish line.
I sprinted as fast as I could the last 100m to the finish line. There was a barrier of people crossing it the same time as me so that finishing photo is going to be crappy.
I stopped my watched and read 1:03:10. Holy smokes- I did it!!
|Sporting my new medal!|
I stayed in the chute for about 10 minutes, grabbing some water and waiting for Kristen to finish. There were so many people and somehow I missed her. Then I got kicked out of the chute and went to the sidelines to watch for Leigh. I waited for probably 45 minutes and missed her also! It was so congested and since I didn’t know what Leigh was wearing I wasn’t sure what to look for. She ended up having a great race!
After waiting around for 45 minutes after I finished I figured I should go find hubby. I went over to Bag Check to get my stuff so I could call him as obviously my ability to find people wasn’t going so well! Turns out he had the same thought so I ended up running into him on my way over there. He was pretty bummed that he missed my finish (he was at the last corner before the finish line- I ran on the inside and he was on the outside of the corner).
After grabbing my bag, I got some food (banana, water, chips- boring!) and we headed back home. It was way too crowded to hang around the finish line.
It was a really well organized race and I will definitely do it again. At first I wasn't sure about big races (big line ups, early starts) but after doing the 10K I am sold. It was nice to have lots of people around to motivate me and get me to push harder. I am sad that it was next to impossible to spectate and see my friends finish due to the congestion.
Another amazing race experience!!