American 4 Miler 2016

This was the second race of the Run For Your Life 6 pack. I swore after the last time I ran this race in 2013 that I would never run it again. I guess never is too strong of a word.

I got up and out the door shortly before 6:30 am. I took a Luna bar to eat on the way. I also stopped at Starbucks and got a tall white mocha. The drive to the start was easy and there weren’t many cars out that early on the 4th of July. I parked in the Red Cross lot and headed to get my bib and shirt. I went to the tables and had no issues getting everything. I walked back to my car to drop off the shirt. On my way, I ran into my friend, Sam. He had on great head gear that looked like red and white crazy hair. I totally forgot to get a picture with him. I put the shirt in my bar, pinned my bib on, and grabbed my water bottle. Then I headed back to the area since the band was setting up. I figured I would find Nicki and Robert there.

Sure enough, when I got back and circled the parking lot looking for Sam again, I found Robert at the check in table. I talked with him and walked back to his bar so he could leave the shirt. As we were heading back to his car, we saw Nicki heading to the table. We also saw Sam heading back towards the table from the parking lot Robert was in. When we got back, we found Nicki. We hung out and talked for a while before everyone started migrating to the start area on the road. We always head towards the back. On the way, I ran into Carl. I chatted with him for a few minutes until it was time to get in place. I had Nicki take a second pre-race picture since I noticed that my eyes were closed in the first one.

I faintly heard the anthem and quieted down and started singing. Slowly, the rest of the crowd in the back quieted, too. After a couple more minutes, we were off.

We started on Park Road. We turned left onto Magnolia.

After only a couple blocks, we turned right on McDonald.

That picture was blurry, but you can always tell how close to the start we are by how many people are in my pictures. I’m consistently in the back part of the pack and the field thins after a mile or so. We turned shortly before South Blvd on Euclid.

This was where we got to the first of the hills.

This might not look bad, but believe me you feel it during the run.

At the top of the hill, we got to Mile 1.

We turned right on East Blvd.

There are some nice buildings along this stretch.

I will be back in the area next month for the Yaisou Greek Fest 5k. I didn’t get a picture, but we ran right by the church which is the start/finish line for that one. I remember hearing people ask if they could just cut through on some of the cross streets. We ran quite a ways down East before turned just shy of Kennilworth on Charlotte.

We got to Mile 2… halfway done.

We turned right on Dilworth.

And then another right a block later on Dilworth Road East.

Just after that turn was the one and only water stop.

I have to say, I don’t understand having only one water stop on a 4 miler in July. That is why I carry my own. I guess it must be enough for most people, though.

After a couple blocks, we turned left on Worthington.

We were on Worthington for a while before we got to Mile 3. I remember pointing out that we were running by the back side of the Greek church at one point.

Just after Mile 3, we turned left on Lyndhurst.

Being parallel to Euclid, we saw another nice hill.

We turned left on McDonald.

At this point we were on roads we had run before in the opposite direction. We turned left on Magnolia.

Notice the lack of other runners in the photo as we were nearing the end. We turned right on Park.

That lady officer was one of our biggest cheerers. You’ll notice a runner in the picture. He’s going the opposite direction putting in more miles since he already finished. The finish line is actually a right turn into the parking lot of the Famous Toastery center. I didn’t get a picture before, but this was the after.

I ran most of the way with the friend of Nicki and Robert I met at the Shamrock. Her name is Kim. We stuck to my 1min:30sec intervals with an extra walk break at each mile. We did walk up the last couple hills. In the end, I finished in 53:09 officially. Now I’m in taper/maintain mode for The Scream on July 16th.

By the time I finished, the tubs were empty. I can only assume they once held bottles of water.

They did have cups and coolers of water and Gatorade.

Also bananas and peanut butter crackers.

They also had a band playing in the finish area.

I waited an watched Nicki and Robert finish. They had taken it easy and pretty much walked the whole thing until the finish chute when they raced each other hard. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my camera up in time to catch the race. Here is the after finish shot.

It was at that point that I realized I didn’t have a medal picture yet. So, here is the medal we received for finishing.

I hung around long enough to see them setting up the awards. I have to admit, this cool spatula is a nice award in my book.

They did also give out an extra medal to anyone at the awards who had just finished their first race. That was an awesome thing for them to do.

Overall, this race was much better than when I ran it in 2013. I might be tempted to do this one again but I will definitely always carry my own water.

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About kristincooke

I am a mother of 2 that started running in 2012. I also enjoy baking and some crafts.
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