The race had a fairly small turnout - about 350 runners total. Most of our running club was there, which made it fun - we set up our USAFit canopy and brought chairs and blankets to relax and stay warm before the race. Even Sadie decided she was a lap dog...it was a little breezy with temps in the low 50s, and she needed to stay warm:
I'm pretty sure Sadie was going over the route in her head..."dis will be where I pee, and dat will be where I pee, and ober dere I might try to chase a bunny rabbit"
We took a group picture:
And we were off! The race started with the 10 mile people heading off first, and then the 5 mile group a few minutes later. Guess what song the DJ played as we started? "What Does the Fox Say?" - that song stayed with me for miles, ugh! Anyway, we pretty much stuck to 1:1 intervals - occasionally we kept up the running beyond one minute when we were running downhill, or when we approached an intersection where the police were holding traffic for us, but we really tried to take it nice and easy and not aggravate our injuries. We had lots of good conversation, told tales that will forever stay in the cone of silence that exists during a long run, and finished in the record time of 1:19 (hah!). Hey - we weren't trying to be fast, just wanting to get out there and finally run. Which we did, yay us!
Karen, me, Edith - 5 miles done!
I can't remember what his time was, but he was very pleased. New shoes plus cold weather made for a great run!
Then we went to get our post-race treats - root beer floats!
Plus biscotti from a local restaurant...both were very tasty, although Pam and Sadie came in while I still had most of my biscotti - Sadie sat down so nicely in front of me that I had to share (Pam doesn't mind if we feed Sadie, as long as she's polite when she asks).
Pam got her float and saved some ice cream for Sadie:
I earned my treets dis morning.
We waited in the finish area for the rest of our runners to come in - I have to brag on my running club peeps, because they are so supportive not only of each other, but of all the runners who participated. It can be hard to be a finisher when the crowds have thinned out considerably, so having a few people there who are genuinely cheering you on is pretty nice.
A couple of things rubbed me the wrong way about this race. For one, we were around mile 3 and could hear the age group awards being handed out already. It was weird to hear that going on while we were still running...don't get me wrong, we were going slow, but this was less than an hour after the start, and we weren't the only runners still on the course. It seems like a lot of emphasis is placed on the winners versus the runners, and instead of celebrating everyone's accomplishment of finishing a 5 or 10 mile race, attention was focused only on the elite. Quite honestly, I'm beginning to think that this race series does not value runners like me. There was a time limit for the 10 miler, and the announcer began counting down the minutes left. We could see our last runner (who has only been running for four months) nearing the finish line - he was at most a quarter-mile away, when the race clock was dismantled and the timing mats were taken up. That was uncalled-for and just plain rude.
Also? This is what we saw when we came up to the first water station on the five mile course:
A ghost aid station.
The supplies had been dropped off, but the volunteers never showed up to set it up and man it. There was one more aid station on our route that was manned, thankfully, but the race director should have hopped in his car and driven the routes to be sure that things like this were taken care of before the race started. And it wasn't just on our route - the first water station of the 10 miler looked just like this, too! Some things are slipping through the cracks, and that makes me a little uneasy for the marathon/half marathon next month. I don't know if the organizer has tried to grow his race business too quickly, but between the less-than adequate aid stations at the last race, and now this...sheesh. Get it together, BCS Marathon.