I was kind of looking forward to this race. Apparently, I had completely forgot about the hills in this one. I got up early since I knew getting to the parking deck before others was key. I stopped at Starbucks on the way. I also had a banana from home.
I had $5 since I knew we needed cash for parking. There weren’t many people there when I arrived. I was able to park on the bottom level and back in with no issues. I ate my banana before leaving my car. Then I went in search of the check in table. I had no issues getting my shirt and bib. I’m sure the shirt is too small, but I don’t care. I went back to the car to drink my coffee and put on the bib. Nicki had dropped back to the 5 miler and then decided to totally skip it. So, I knew I was just running with Robert and his mom (who is a fast walker). When I walked back to the gathering area, I saw Robert and his mom coming from the opposite direction. I think they had just used the port-o-potties. We hung out and talked for a while and I got a pre-race picture. Yes, I was wearing the race shirt from the last time I ran this race.
Then we wandered over to the start area since we only had 10 minutes. On the way, I ran into Annette. She told me about her race strategy and how she was hoping to finish quickly so she could at least see the end of her son’s track meet. By this time, it was almost start time so I said goodbye and found Robert again. We were all on the wrong side of the line and had to move around it. They also told us we were delayed 5 minutes. There was a 5 miler option on this one that Carl was running. I didn’t see him before the start. They did announce that the 5 miler would start 15 minutes after the half so they should not be in the start area yet.
We waited the appointed delay time and then we were off. We started going south on 7th Street. Robert’s mom is a pretty fast walker and walks all her races. We were going to do slower intervals and stay with her. Our first turn was left onto Hawthorne.
We got to Mile 1 on this stretch.
We figured we were at a good pace at this point. There is a 3 hour time limit on this race. That averages to about 13:45 per mile. Soon we came to a DJ blasting music.
Sorry for the blurry pictures. I didn’t realize they were so bad while I was running. Next came a right onto Belvedere.
We made a small S shape through this neighborhood by turning right immediately on Thomas. You can see some of the people ahead of us at the next intersection.
We got to Mile 2 on Thomas.
According to my watch, we were still on pace. We were at the back, but still doing good. We made a left onto Kensington.
Then we immediately turned left onto The Plaza.
We got to the first water stop shortly before the next turn. We decided to wait for Robert’s mom.
She was being followed very closely by the tail police car. There were some people behind that car.
They were playing music between the water stop and the turn. We would see the DJ and water stop again later in the race.
We turned right to continue on The Plaza.
We got to Mile 3 in the middle of this stretch.
We turned right onto Shamrock.
We got to Mile 4 in this area. It is also where the hills really started to kick in.
We finally came to a downhill with a right turn on Palm.
I’m pretty sure I had lost Robert and his mom at this point because I couldn’t stop my momentum. I was also afraid if I did stop I wouldn’t want to start again. I had a fear of the tail vehicle. I guess it’s like the balloon ladies in a Disney race. That vehicle kept getting ahead of me. We zig-zagged at this point so it was a lot of turns after only a block. First, we turned right on Flamingo.
Then we turned right onto Hillard (during a nice downhill).
Then we turned left onto Jeff and found the water stop.
Next was a right onto Arlie.
We found some spectators at our left onto Country Club.
We also found Mile 5 during this small section.
Next was a right on Dunlavin Way.
The officer and spectator at the left on Bentley were super encouraging and much appreciated.
Our final turn of the trek through the neighborhood was a right on Eastway.
We were only on Eastway for about a block before we turned right onto Arnold.
Arnold had a very steep downhill section.
They had music playing.
Then the bad part about having the downhill, an uphill stretch.
Which took us to Mile 6.
The 10k speed bump was in a dip.
Then came a heavily used water stop (and yes that is the tail car ahead of me).
We turned right onto Central which was heavily traveled.
Mile 7 was along this uphill stretch.
We turned right onto Club.
Then left onto Belvedere for a very short stretch.
Then right on Winter. Believe it or not, that man was not a spectator but a resident that had been out for a walk.
Somewhere in all this, Robert’s mom decided to throw in the towel. Her body was hurting and she decided to just take herself out. Robert then worked himself a little too hard to catch up to me.
We got to Mile 8 at our left turn onto Mecklenburg.
There was a roundabout on this section. This really confused the drivers.
Here’s were we got back to the previous section of the course and turned left onto The Plaza. The DJ was right at the corner.
The water stop was just after the turn.
We got to Mile 9 halfway through this section.
We turned left onto McClintock where there was a DJ.
Then an almost immediate right onto Julien.
There was a nice officer at our left onto Commonwealth.
A family was in their yard cheering.
Soon we found another water stop.
Mile 10 was along this stretch.
There was a decent uphill toward the end of this stretch of road.
Then we turned right onto Briar Creek.
On the other side of this bridge is the old coliseum where the Checkers play.
There was actually a couple cars that did not respect that the road was partially closed for runners. The cop did get onto them. Just after that area, we found Mile 11.
We turned right onto Monroe.
And immediately found this DJ.
We passed Lupie’s Cafe which has the best Peach Kuchen ever.
Then we came to the final water stop.
Mile 12 was only a little further up the road.
We were on this road all the way to the finish. Finally, we could see it! Then, a biker went and picked up the Mile 13 sign before we got there. I did get this picture of him taking the sign. It was at the 3 hour mark. But seriously? Can’t you see the runners that you allowed to keep coming on the road?
This is the intersection where the sign would have been right by the small red one.
Finally, we made it to the finish.
Okay, we technically missed the race limit by 6 minutes. However, they did have everything still up and plenty of provisions.
We had to walk across the parking lot that was the finish party area to get to the food part.
This is a view back towards the finish line.
The band was still playing.
We were happy to have finished.
I finally took my medal selfie in the car.
Since this was the last race in the series, the medal was a spinner. The other side has part of the store logo on it.
Overall, this race is not a bad one. I think I prefer the Myrtle Beach Mini which was the next weekend. My official time was 3:05:40. It was hillier than I remembered. The music on course was nice. This is not a race for slower runners, though. If you are slower, I’d stick to the 5 miler for this one.
Finally, here is the whole series of medals together.
They did have little magnets in the sides to help hold them together.
For those not familiar with the Charlotte area, Run For Your Life is a local running store that puts on a lot of our local races.
I love doing series races and it did keep me active for the whole year. I would have to do some serious thinking before I did this again. As much as I love the longer distances, I’d probably have to stick to the shorter ones if it was the same courses and time cutoffs.