Monday, August 17, 2009
ETA: *SCREAMS* I made 2nd place!!!!!!!!! 1:00:49, pace 9:47/mile. YAY!!!!!!
Hi all! Epic weekend trip was epic. Race day was...a cluster you-know-what of epic proportions as well.
When we picked up our packets on Saturday and noted that we needed to be in the lot by 6:45am and got there at our planned time of 6:30am. I warmed up and we headed to what we thought was the area for the 7:00am lineup.
Only it wasn't. The gigantic mass of humanity turned out to be several lines of people trying to a) pick up their race packets/bibs and/or b) turn in their admission tickets for a hand stamp. Twelve HUNDRED people. We jumped into line and immediately noted with the other folks that the probability of a on-time start was nil. It was nearly 7 when we got to the staging area, and they announced a 7:30 start time. I warmed up some more (and it was getting hotter by the minute) before we hit the road, cruising around the parking lot as the sun appeared through the Son of Beast.
This race was not what I expected, that's for sure! The 10K route had 1 mile inside the park proper; the rest was routed through the maintenance roads and back-of-house areas, which were HILLY. Like, vertical drops and lifts bent over double hilly. When we crested the hill behind the Beast, everyone on my pace said, "OH S^&T!!!!" as we were looking straight.down. I was wearing my pavement shoes, so those hills were taken at a pathetic pace. There weren't many cones in the free-run areas, or mile markers - at times the group wasn't quite sure of the route.
Luckily, I was one of the last groups to get water at the water tables; there were people behind that only had Gatorade in the last 3 miles. Did I mention the 30-minute delay in start time and temps approaching mid-80s by 8am? :-
The big hill put me off pace, unfortunately. I finished 60:48, nearly 3 minutes slower than my goal, and probably putting me out of the top 3 in my category. Trying not to be depressed about it, but :-(
I was not so lucky with water at the finish. This year is the first I've noticed Vitamin Water doing sponsorships, and this is the second race this year where VW brings a miniscule amount of SmartWater and case after case of chemical-infused swill (Vitamin Water 10) to hand out post-race.
To say I was angry would be polite - I was HULK!SMASH at that point. I got water from the fountains near the entrance and found my friends (who did the 5K) once I'd calmed down a bit. While I don't need bottled water or even cold water, I get a bit worked up over not having water unless I seek it out myself.
The food was really good, though - watermelon and trail mix were my choices. The picnic area did have a fountain hookup so more water was available.
We headed back to the car to change (they did have showers available, but I figured I would be sweating in the ride lines all day) and hit the park for the rest of the day (well, until about 5pm).
My feet are quite sore; even though I brought thin wicking socks to change into and changed my shoes for the post-race, they still swelled up. I soaked them in cold water, but the toes are still tender. Other than a slightly sore knee, nothing has manifested itself yet. I lifted and went to step class this evening and had plenty of energy.
Will I do this again next year? I dunno. This was the race's first year, and while there were a lot of burps and bumps, it was an awesome destination race. Afterglow might set in once I'm a few months out and I'll try it again. :-)