I guess I had visions of being trampled by thousands of angry runners who were upset I snuck into their corral but it turned out okay after all. The race began at 7am in the dark which was another first for me. I got into Corral H which was clearly marked and may have started dancing. Come on - they were playing LMFAO before a race. I got pumped and started the shuffle to the start.
Since it was my first race of this size I wasn't sure how long it would take me to get across the start line but it was about 7 minutes so definitely not bad at all. I made friends with the runners in my corral and we prayed that no full marathon runners would cross the finish line before us. (I was spared - I think the winners started coming in a good ten or fifteen minutes after me, thank God.)
The temperatures at the start were almost 70 and I was drenched by mile one even though it was still dark. Thankfully most of the course is shaded and I was really only in the sun the last two miles or so. As for the elevation of this course: there is no flat. Really, I promise I'm not exaggerating. On the plus side there are definitely a lot of downhills to balance out the uphills.
Toward the end I was praying for a flat piece of road but it was either up or down the whole way. Most runners around me were able to maintain a pretty steady pace the whole time so it was definitely me who just needed to be stronger.
Highlights of the Course:
-Great crowd support. Groups of neighbors came out to cheer and it was a fun atmosphere.
-A lot of people who were clearly still out from their Saturday night before were cheering us on and pretty entertaining to watch.
-Water spray stations to cool runners down (twice on the half marathon course).
-Water/Gatorade nearly every mile and Gu in the middle.
As soon as I crossed the finish line I started being handed stuff and I liked that. I ran out of hands because I basically took anything that was being passed out. After my medal and (ice cold) water and chocolate milk I grabbed a cold towel full of ice water and then found Tim for a regulation post-race shot.
Do you see that, chocolate milk people? I'm shilling your products. Send me awesome places now, please. Thank you. After I downed my drinks I got a bag of food (the sponsor was Publix) and I thought it was a good haul post-race: cookies, M&Ms, banana, pretzels and granola bar.
For all of you people who are secretly hoping I was sick during this race - I was ok! I started feeling bad every time I started pushing it up a hill so I ended up walking maybe 10 times to catch my breath every time I felt sick and I was fine. I decided early on with the heat and hills just to take it easy and I'm so glad I did. Final time/ranks as follows:
Chip Time: 2:20:12
Division Place: 188/385
Sex Place: 2454/5113
Overall Place: 5337/9123
I think that puts me solidly in the middle of each category. I can do average so incredibly well!
I had to check out of the hotel early this morning so I just headed back to the room and showered after the race. I wish I had stuck around because the whole post-race party looked like a lot of fun. I had my own party after all because Tim and I went to Ikea. I managed to find somewhere comfy to relax, don't worry:
The alleged reason we went to Ikea was to look at rugs and blinds but really I just wanted to eat lunch there. They have these amazing veggie wraps and I get one almost every time I go. Today, though, I was really needing more than a veggie wrap. Solution? Get two meals.
Veggie wrap on the left and salmon, mashed potatoes and vegetables on the left. Perfect. Tim had pasta which is such a waste to me. PASTA IS CHEAP - eat it at home!
Oh, I should also say - the tech tee and the medal are both the best I have gotten from a race. The medal is heavy and clearly that means I am a better runner. It makes sense in my head.
Do you prefer big or small races?
I've always said small races but now I want to say big ones. As long as I am staying close by and can walk to the start it is really ideal.
Would you rather pay for cheap race with no extras or pay a little more for a nice tech tee, medal, snacks, etc.?
I would still probably pick the cheaper races because of budget but I certainly like the perks!