So its taken me a few days to get around to writing a race report, but here goes.
A couple top line observations. The race was a blast and I really enjoyed it. I found it very well organized and things seemed to come off flawlessly. I know the striders put alot of work into the race and should be congratulated for their work.
Also it was the first time I ran with that many people. The race closed with its final count of 4500 runners. Wow. Also while the beer at the end was swill that I would never drink again it was really cold and tasted really great after running 10 miles.
Personally, most importantly I ran faster than I expected. I did a 10 mile training run a few weeks before the race where I finished right around a 12:00 minute pace - the cut off for getting the finisher premium. I went into the race a little worried that I wouldn't make the 12:00 minute cut off for getting the swag. I got the swag. I'll model it soon.
To review, lets start with the important things. The results: I finished in 1:51:16 for a 11:08 pace. I was 3928 out of 4500 runners. This was fast and strong for me. Not the blow by blow.
First couple miles.
I went out worried that I would end up going too fast. Everyone had warned me that I needed to pace myself and not get caught up in the run and the excitement and run too fast and not have anything left in the tank at the end of the race. When I hit the first mile marker it was clear that I wasn't running too fast and that I should be ok. I heard some folks who said they were running an 11 minute pace and tucked in with them for a few minutes.
I did discover something in the first few miles though. Take advantage of the port-a-johns even if you don't think you need to. It was very disconcerting to feel like I had to poo for the first few miles. I came pretty close to despoiling some of the trees along the side of the road, but I kept things together long enough that things seemed to take care of themselves. I don't know what my bowels did to settle things down but they should be congratulate. YAY GI tract. It was a good thing they made things right, becuase the first port-a-john I saw was just after mile 5.
On a brighter note, right before I turned onto the bridge for my climb I heard a "DADDY" from Sophie and was able to get over to the girls and get a high five from everybody. Out of all the little people yelling for their dads I was clearly able to make out Sophie. The kids were super supportive and I was glad they were out for me. It was really sweet to see them out there.
Miles 4 - 6 ish.
The next couple miles squirreled through some neighboorhoods on the other side of the river and were relatively uneventful. I started to feel really good on these miles and got into a nice groove. There were tons of make shift water stops in this area put together by the local community that really enhanced the race. The neighbors hosing us down with their sprinklers were particularly welcomed. The homeowner playing the Notre Dame fight song was a bit odd, but a fun spot.
Mile 7 - finish.
Once I got past roughly mile 6 3/4 there was a long out and back. The out and back seemed like a nice section from the begining but seemed to go on forever once. Once I got to the turn-around I realized that I'd been going down hill for a bit and would have to head back uphill. The climbing was fine but I did drink a little too much at mile 7 and paid for it later. I had been a bit hot and when I took in too much water a ended up with a bit of a stitch later on. It wasn't the end of the world and I was able to run through it, but it was a bit uncomfortable. Had I not taken on so much water, I could have run faster.
Once I finished the out and back I really felt good about the race. I knew I was near the finish and I still felt like I had alot in the tank. I still had to go back over the bridge and that was going to be a bit of a challenge, but I knew Noel and the girls would be on the other side. I made every effort to make sure I was smiling and looking strong when I got to the spot where I thought they would be. I expected that they would be at the same spot they were at in the morning but as I got there they weren't there. I knew they would see me before the finish so I kept the smile on and saw them out in front of our favorite place, Naval Bagels, where they had eaten breakfast earlier that morning. I ran by them and got a good high five from Sophie (who was tuckered out and sitting) and a high five from Sophie.
I then trucked on in to the end of the race and ran across the finish line to my finishers premium and a nice cold towel!
All in all perfect weather, a fun race and something I will certainly do again next year.
Splits and map below:
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