|Such a great city. (source)|
Note to self: running 13.1 (or however many) miles in 85ish degree heat and high humidity when you are sick, contrary to popular belief, is not therapeutic. Even if, on some level, I did perhaps question whether this would actually be good for me, not running never really crossed my mind. I was not going to bail on accompanying Daniel and his 2nd half marathon adventure. Though I suppose there were times in the race when he seemed to wish I did (apparently I was having too much fun, which may not have been true for everyone around me?). Either way, we finished together and everyone was happy (especially after some beer and iced coffee!)
Anyway, let's get some race facts in order.
|Early morning drill...|
The magnitude of start corrals was crazy/impressive. There was a corral for pretty much every letter of the alphabet, based on estimated finish times. Wave starts were separated by 1:30-2:00 minutes, so I would have been pretty annoyed in, say, corral Z.
But there were about 5,000 runners/walkers and since all were to be unleashed onto a narrowish bike path, I totally understand (and appreciate) the intention to separate people. It didn't feel crowded, even as runners were rushing/sprinting back on the other side of the path (it is an out and back course).
The beauty of out-and-back courses is that you can see and cheer on those really fast people that sprint by when you've still got a good way to go...and then once you've turned around, you are reminded that, in fact, you are not the last person and you may just chill out. And keep cheering.
The course runs along Lake Michigan, on the lakefront bike path, and is quite picturesque. The scenery does not change much through the run, but there are subtle variations or sights in the distance that keep it interesting.
Given the heat, there were a handful of sprinklers along the course, which felt like heaven. They were giving out hand towels too, which would have been useful, had they been cold. Ice was also being handed out in water cups, and while I debated stuffing some down my shirt, I decided to just cool my water with it.
Hot or not though, the winner did set a new course record of 1:08:02. I bet he really wanted to get out of there. Fast. The lady winner finished in 1:22:40, which is still pretty amazing.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with the event and it sort of makes me re-think my aversion to running the Los Angeles edition of the 13.1 series (though that course is hardly appealing).
| That's a big bucket of shoes! Imagine how smelly it must be in there.|
I do love it when races make a real effort for charity.