|BIL, SIL, me and nephew pre-race.|
Unfortunately, Mr. H. has not yet fully recovered from his marathon, so he bowed out of the race. He ended up making the smart move, because despite the fact that it is 40 degrees right now and was in the 40/50s the week before the race, race day it was in the mid 70s with 90% humidity. Yeah, we basically ran in soup.
This being Cleveland, even with three races at one time, the number of people running the race wasn't too bad (about 12,000 overall). Of course, it's all relative, because my relatives mentioned how much larger this race was than their last (and only) 5k. Corrals were self seeded, so we got into our mid-pack corral and waited. While standing around, there was a 2-3 minute downpour that I both wanted to continue and wanted to stop. I don't mind running in the race, especially when it's hot. But then again, I had my phone on me and had forgotten to put it in a plastic bag, so I didn't want to risk it getting wet.
We started downtown right next to the Q (where the Cavs - boo - play) and then wandered around the west side of Cleveland before heading back downtown. All three races were on the same course until mile threeish. My sister-in-law had a dream about not making the 10k turn and finding herself on the marathon course. I told her it would most likely be clearly marked. And it was. As we ascended a bridge, marathon/half marathon runners were directed toward the left, 10k runners on the right even though the bridge wasn't divided. There was another sign directing us to the correct path at the bottom of the bridge where the split actually happened. After the race she laughed and said the signs couldn't have been plainer. Of course, I've seen courses that aren't well marked, which is never fun.
At about mile 4.5 we went back up another hill - an entrance ramp to the Shoreway (kinda their Lake Shore drive, but more a highway than LSD). The last mile and a half mirrored the marathon and half marathon course. We had the marathon flags on our side, so it was kinda fun pretending that I had run 25, 26 miles when I actually actually run 5, 6 miles. With how hot it was, it felt like I'd run more. And I honestly have no idea how the marathon and half marathon runners did it. Last year it was cool at the beginning of the race, I remember having on a coat and gloves to watch Mr. H.
My finishing time was 1:01:47. I finished 30/176 in my age group, 351/1,520 gender, 808/2,478 overall. I'm happy with this time. I know I could have gone faster, but am glad I didn't push it.
So this is what I've learned from this race:
- I really need to do some hill training if I'm going to run in other cities. Seriously, we have no hills in Chicago.
- It does not matter if the week leading up to a race has been 40 degrees and cloudy. If it is April, May, or maybe even June, on race day it will most likely be above 70 with some ungodly amount of humidity. There is nothing to do about this but get used to it.
- Marathon Photo does not like me. Pictures of the rest of my family. None of me - apparently not even the one that I am actually in with them because while they were tagged in the photo, I am not (yes, my bib is clearly showing).