Or, as Little Runner called it, “The Death Run”!
This was a small, hometown 1K, 5K, and 15K. 282 participants ran the 15K which led us down some of the “main” roads of town (eh, this is just an area where all of the interstates converge in one massive CF so there isn’t much of a town – but there are overpasses!) and then on some roads and paved trails through the local park before back to the streets/overpasses for a track finish.
This was a super cheap race and, even though they did end up filling all of the slots, there was plenty of availability until at least the week before. The race was organized by the local running store, Metro Run & Walk, and packet pick-up was there. No expo but, you know, there was an entire store. The shirt was an okay cotton t-shirt. Decent design so I’ll use it for low cardio days or bumming around. Various pens, key chains, etc., in the bag. Took about 3 minutes to pick up my stuff on the way home.
The race began at 8 am and I heard that this is 30 minutes later than last year. I wish they had kept to the earlier time. It was already heating up by 7 and the humidity was high. Parking was simple at the local mall (which is in the process of being torn down so no other traffic). The crew from Positively Chiropractic lead everyone through a series of warm-up moves and then we were off right at 8.
It was a mass start for all distances, even the 1K. I didn’t realize that so Little Runner didn’t get a chance to do his race. Everyone self seeded themselves into pace groups and seemed to do a decent job as I didn’t have to pass a ton of walkers at the start. The last pace group was labeled “walk/run”.
The 5K split off from us after a bit over 1.5 miles and then the field thinned quite a bit. There were a ton of kids running the 5K so I wasn’t sad to see them head for the turn-around. The run to the park was so incredibly hot. There was one water stop in that portion and I had my handheld but I think they could have easily added another water station in the sunny stretches. Luckily, once we hit the park, we had decent shade. The final 3 miles were in full sun and had the most hills. It felt like the surface of the sun and it was a pretty desperate slog at the end. We finished with a 3/4 lap around the track of a local high school.
It was 85 when the race ended and I was seriously fantasizing about the coffin-sized cooler filled with ice that Scott Jurek used in his Badwater races across Death Valley.
I wore a tank (something I never do!), capris, thinner socks than my normal wool, a white visor, sunglasses, and sunscreen. I still felt over dressed.
Small field so easy parking, no lines, etc.
Live music on the course. One group hit us 3 times and were very encouraging to everyone. I greatly appreciated their enthusiasm!
Okay food at the finish – though the oranges were gone when I finally arrived
Bounce house for the kids
The family that was giving out ice pops at mile 8ish. You can bet I sucked mine down, HFCS and all!
The spray shower that they were using at the last aid stop for the runners who wanted it
The weather. I know the race coordinators can’t control that but really? An 8 am start in this region on June 1 is NUTS!
Confusing start so first-timers didn’t know so send the 1Kers out too
Could have used at least 2 more aid stations
Needed better traffic control for the last 1/4 of the race. We were on live roads with no coned off lanes for some of it. There were police at busier intersections but I had to really hustle to keep from being creamed a few times. I suspect they opened traffic early so us back-of-the-packers didn’t have full support in that area.
B-. I don’t know if I will so this one again. I think any traditional road races are off-limits for me after early May. I just can’t handle the heat/sun. Yes, I am a whiny cry baby but one who survived the Death Run (and my first hot run of the season. Huh, maybe that was the problem…)