The morning was very cold, a shivering and goosebumps and “why the heck did I think this light jacket would be sufficient” cold. We got there early to pick up our packets, put on our bibs, bathroom break, etc. This particular race encouraged costumes, so I wore a Wonder Woman shirt and glittery gold sweatband that was too tight. I spent the majority of our waiting time stretching the headband out so it would be more comfortable for the race (it worked!). As far as dressing up went, I saw everything from MC Hammer, a full-body penguin costume, Doctor Who, witches, zombie Dodger players, in addition to seeing said characters doing the full Thriller dance as a warm-up before the races.
I kept my gear simple: Nike spandex running shorts, Wonder Woman shirt, sweatband, and carried my phone to track my run with the Nike+ app. No headphones this time.
Following the gun, the start of the race was slow. For some reason, folks who were walking (or weren’t planning to run more than the first half mile) situated themselves near the front of the starting area. They did have pace groups for the half marathon, but the 10K seemed to be a free-for-all. Pro-tip: have consideration for your fellow athletes; stick to the right if you’re planning to have a slower pace, and stick to the back if you intend to walk.
The course was absolutely gorgeous with rolling hills, a large lake, beautiful misty morning haze, crisp energizing air, along with mixed dirt trails with tree canopy and paved trails. It was a very hilly course which was a new challenge for me (races thus far have been on flat terrain, and our last 10K just had a small bridge). While my legs definitely took more of a beating than usual, the hills were a great breakup to the course and the downhills gave me momentum to keep up my pace. None of the hills were too large, so I was always able to see the top which was also a good motivator to run them all even if “running” meant shuffle-jogging my way up on the steep last hill.
I loved running without headphones. Music and Zombies, Run! are a good distraction on a boring treadmill, but I wanted to wean myself off of them running outside. I loved the sound everyone’s breathing, my own breathing, the conversations between runners around me, the cheers of encouragement, the birds chirping, the fishermen on the lake chatting. There’s a whole world out there!
Overall Place: 116/309 | 37.5%
Age Group Place: 10/32 | 31.2%
This was a PR for me from my previous time of 1:14:52 a month ago! Andrew PR’ed as well, and got third in his age-group which awarded him a fancy certificate which I am trying to encourage him to frame.
My goals are to get in the top 25% of a 5K and 10K, and to finish a half and full marathon.