This year's race shirt.
On Saturday, I ran in the BCS 5K/10K race - I did the 10K, which is 6.2 miles. We had this race on our training schedule, and a lot of our members also participated.
USAFit BCS - wearing our new shirts!
The start/finish of the race was at the George Bush Presidential Library, so Jeff and I did our warm up walk on the grounds - here's a shot of me in front of some pieces of the Berlin Wall - and horses, because it's Texas:
It was cool enough and a bit windy, so I got to wear my new jacket!
Jeff and I pre-race - ready to run!
While I originally planned on running this race with Loretta, that didn't happen due to her hip stress fracture:
Jeff brought the camp chair with the footstool just for Loretta. It was her birthday, too - we sang to her before we ran.
I started the race running with Amy and Becky:
So glad I grabbed my sunglasses at the last minute - the sun was rising and it was bright!
Jeff ran with CC and Love; also in this picture are Jarvis, Julia and Scott.
Becky, me and Amy starting out! Diane is in the back - you can really pick us out of a crowd with our green shirts!
We took off, doing our 1:30/1 intervals. The race route goes through the Texas A&M campus, and I'm not real familiar with it, so I figured I'd just follow the crowd and the route markers and it would get me to the finish. As it turned out, there weren't a whole lot of route markers, but we followed the right crowd..and yes, there is a story to tell about that later on in this post. While the first mile felt slow because I was still warming up, we ended up having a pretty decent pace. By mile two, I was feeling good and felt like I was running strong. Mile three? Zipping right along! That was where Amy dropped back - she was having a hard time keeping up with me and Becky, so we went on ahead without her. I took a GU at mile three, and while I was carrying my handheld water bottle with me, I was getting low on water and wondered where the aid station was.
We finally found it at mile four, which was crazy - the first aid station four miles into a 10K? We got to the table and discovered that they were completely out of cups. Not a huge issue for Becky and I, since we could refill our handhelds, but there were a lot of runners with us who were pretty upset. An older woman kept pace with us for the next two miles, and she just kept saying how this race was "bullsh*t" and she was composing a letter to the race director as she ran. Another man was also expressing his dissatisfaction at the water/cup situation quite loudly as he ran.
Mile five went by in a blur, and before I knew it, we were turning onto the long, winding, hilly drive toward the finish line. It's a mean way to route runners, having an uphill finish like that, but there isn't another option at this location. We saw CC, another runner from our group, waiting for us and she yelled some encouraging things and ran us up the rest of the hill. We turned the corner and saw Becky's husband and kids (her daughter, Love, ran with Jeff and CC and finished in just over one hour) - they were cheering, and then we saw the rest of our running club cheering us on as well! Jeff got a couple of pictures:
I don't know who the man in the white shirt was, but he was very happy that we were finishing!
Running it in - we look strong here!
You are looking at one happy finisher here!
The race has a 1:30 cut off time for finishing. I knew it would be close - I ran six miles in California last month in 1:24, but when I ran the Blerch virtual race a couple of weeks ago, my time was 1:31. Our finish time for this race was 1:24 - woohoo!!! I was happy about that.
Afterward, we had a cookie cake! Loretta's partner brought it to celebrate Loretta's birthday, and our first group race:
Yes, we made the birthday girl pass out the slices!
Loretta also brought a treat for everyone - chocolate milk!! Plus, she put a funny tag on the bottles - it said "You know you're a runner when, you pay to run in a race located in a place where you can run for free any other day" - so true, so true.
Here's Jarvis, the only person who ended up completing our new Fit 5 program. He trained for and ran his first 5K - we were so happy for him!
Here's Diane, who is new to our program and had a great race, too!
Sisters Cristy and Cary - I'm going to sound like a broken record, but they, too, had a great race!
Overall, I had a great time. My running went well, and I got to hang out with my running club peeps - they are such a fun group of people and they make life more enjoyable. No one takes themselves too seriously, and even with particular running goals, there's a lot of good-natured joking going around. But as for the race itself, well, there were problems. Due to a lack of route markers, everyone ended up following the group in front of them. When I said that we followed the right crowd, that wasn't a joke - our race ended up being a true 10K - my Garmin read 6.18 miles when I finished. However, the majority of the 10K runners ended up running 6.6 miles - nearly half a mile extra! Jeff was trying to break one hour for his 10K, and when he finished and saw his time of 1:02, he was bummed. But then he looked at his Garmin and saw the distance as 6.6 miles - so he really did hit his goal, but it was weird. Everyone was talking about the extra distance that they ran, and it made the awards seem a little wonky - like, did this person run 6.2 or 6.6 miles?
The race director apologized for the mess up, but the whole thing felt sloppy, from the lack of aid stations earlier in the race (they said there was one at mile 2 but most runners didn't see it - was it inside a building??), to running out of cups at the only aid station (they posted that they had 650 participants - wouldn't that be a clue as to how many cups you might need??), to the route not being marked very well. Yes, I had a great time, but I wouldn't recommend this race...and I'm wondering how the next one in the race series will go. I'll find out in a month!