Since I ran this race last year, I was a little more comfortable with it. I stopped at Starbucks and got a tall Pumpkin Spice Latte on my way. I ended up getting to the deck about 6:30 am. I was able to park on a very low level. When I walked down to the finish area, there were just setting up.
I beat most of the volunteers. I wandered for a little bit. As soon as I saw the registration table open, I picked up my bib and shirt. I was hoping for a more colorful shirt since the volunteer shirts were bright. We ended up with a darker blue shirt. It’s still a very comfortable shirt. I took the shirt back up to my car. At my car, I put my bib on my shirt and got the disposable timing strip on my shoe. I walked back down to the finish area to wait for Nicki. She was only a few more minutes away. Once she arrived, she picked up her stuff. Then, we found the place to get the parking validated. We went back to her car to drop off her shirt and then went to mine a level lower so I could leave the parking ticket. I didn’t want that to get too sweaty during the run. We decided to wait in line inside Brixx for the bathroom. It looked like a longish line, but moved quickly. Once we finished there, we walked over to the starting area. I ran into one of my former coworkers, Sam. We chatted briefly and he took a pre-race picture for us. I never saw him on the race, but I expected that. He’s much quicker than we are.
Soon, the group started moving forward. We were a little confused since it was early and we hadn’t heard anything. Then we realized they moved the starting line up to the intersection this year. Once we got closer, we heard the music. It wasn’t too much longer before we started. I let Nicki set the pace since I knew I wasn’t trained for a PR this time. Running with someone and talking sure makes the race go by faster. This race starts on 7th street heading away from downtown.
We cross the bridge over 277. At this point, we were already at the back of everyone.
There were only a few runners behind us. We knew we would eventually catch a few. Mile 1 was about halfway down the 7th street section.
We did catch a few people at this point. Mile 2 was just before the right turn at 5th Street.
The turn is always tricky except during a race since there are cops at the intersection. Shortly after turning, there is a place where you can look left down a side road and see 3 different sections of the race. By this point, there are runners in all 3 sections. We run all the way to the hospital and then turn left on Osborne.
We continue the block until we get to the parking deck and turn left on Kenmore.
Mile 3 is along this stretch.
I can’t remember exactly where it happened, but Nicki almost got hit by a car. He was yelling something about living in the area but we were obviously supposed to be on the left. There was no other traffic so he could have driven more on the other side. I know it was right after the water stop which was on the left side. We made a right onto Emerson and followed it around onto Deacon.
After a block, we make a left on Dotger and then a block later we turned right on Vail.
There is a funky intersection at Laurel where we are technically staying on the same road but it looks like we are doing a diagonal crossing.
I must say, all the cops were friendly.
I really appreciate them coming out and helping with the traffic. Mile 4 was just as we got back to the hospital again.
I told Nicki we were now on the top of the parking deck we ran by earlier. That was proof that we had run uphill. It was a whole level of a parking deck. We continued running to the other hospital building and turned right on Caswell.
We made a left on a little side street.
Then we went left on Park.
We ran next to the park in this stretch. Different for this year was an out and back on a section of Park between 5th and Elizabeth.
We were all encouraging each other since we were the back of the packers. I think Mile 5 was just after we turned left on 5th Street.
We ran next to some nice green sports fields.
We saw the Mile 2 sign for the 5k. We turned right onto Charlottetown.
We continued around the parking deck and turned left onto 7th Street again.
When we got back on 7th Street, we knew we would have to move to the sidewalk. The 5k race started and we could see the whole pack coming down the road. The leaders passed us shortly after we got by the parking deck. The only issue we had were the 5k walkers on the sidewalk. We were told to use the sidewalk to finish the 10k, but the 5k walkers were blocking it. Nicki did get mad at a couple that did not move to the road. I can only assume they were not informed that the sidewalk was for the slow 10k racers. Mile 6 was right before we turned off 7th.
Soon we made the left turn to shift over a block to the finish.
I left Nicki at this point since I had more in me. I turned right onto 6th Street and could see the finish.
There was only one lady between myself and the finish. Once she crossed, the announcer started making comments about me. He said something about my skirt possibly being Camo. It was actually the Orbits design of SparkleSkirt. He amended himself as I ran by. I crossed the finish and felt good. I remembered to stop my phone app shortly after crossing. I grabbed a Publix bag from one of the volunteers and then grabbed a bottled water. I turned and waited for Nicki to finish. She was only a few seconds behind me. We walked to the coolers and got a cup of Gatorade from them. We slowly made out way to Brixx and the buffet. One of the best parts of this race is the port-race buffet inside Brixx. We finished before the first 5k person. So, the buffet line wasn’t very long and there were places to sit inside. We got pasta and pizza and they had ice cold water in coolers inside.
Nicki and I sat in a booth and chatted for a while. Neither one of us had a desire for the beer they also had outside. After a while, we decided to let the 5k people who were waiting have the booth. We went back to our cars. I was very lucky to be next to the end of a row on the 2nd level. The deck was gridlocked. However, the car next to me on the end had already left. I caught the guy behind me checking his phone and half backed out and then cut across the empty spot and into the traffic flow. Although I got out relatively quickly, I know it took Nicki quite a while. She was almost directly one level above me.
This is still a good race and I will probably do it again. The volunteers are great. The amenities are outstanding with the pizza, pasta, and beer. I did check the web site later and my name was nowhere to be found. I sent them an email and they put up the time I told them I finished in. According to my app, I finished in 1:31:17. I think I told her 1:31:00 since I was approximating thinking she would go back and check their records. It’s not that much different. Since I finished in just over 1:15 last year, I know I can do better. Hopefully I can keep up my training for the next few weeks and do well at Myrtle Beach in October.
Mile splits: 13:01, 14:33, 14:42, 14:57, 14:54, 14:18, and 4:50 left