This is a very popular local race. In fact, it always sells out (at 1700). The race starts with fireworks and then you run uphill, around the lights in the park and it ends with a downhill.
Here are some pics from a previous year:
Last year, I ran this race in the rain. The year before in a blizzard. I was hoping for better weather this year.
I picked up my bib & shirt on Thursday to save time.
Then I pondered what to wear… I like to look festive. But it was COLD. The coldest it’s been in a while and very windy – 30’s but 20s with the wind chill.
I decided to park at work and walk the mile or so to the race. I wore an extra coat (that would ditch before the race) and I was still cold.
As I mentioned, it is a popular race and I bumped into all sorts of people that I knew– runners from my turkey trot training group, runners from work, runners from tennis and FB friends.
We chatted until it was time to head out.
It was so windy and cold that MP & I hung out with our backs against a wall to block the wind.
Then all of a sudden the firework began. We were accidentally very close. And they were great!! To Star Wars music, no less.
We even got our photo taken by the newspaper photographer.
Soon it was time to head to the start. I lost MP but found my (super fast) turkey trot group friends. I would have preferred to be closer to the start but hung out with them instead.
Unfortunately I made 2 wardrobe fails for this race. I chose to wear old shoes (because they were green, why else?) and they had my orthotics in them. I stopped wearing those orthotics after I broke my ankle because they were now SO uncomfortable. Yes, they killed the arch of my foot (the whole race).
Second, it was windy and cold but the wind died down and I was soooo HOT. I had a half zip, a shirt (cotton – my bad) and a vest – too many layers and my half zip felt so tight!! Yes, I was uncomfortable…
Back to the course:
The race started with an uphill, went through the city before we entered the park. It was very very crowded at first especially since I didn’t start right in front.
My legs felt really sluggish. I think it was all that standing around and starting at 5 pm (I have much more energy to run in the morning.)
I felt better once we entered the park and it was fun looking at all the lights. There were at least two hills that I remember in the park and I was proud of myself for not walking at all. I ran up them..slow but at least I ran.
The whole time I was running, I kept looking at the ground trying to avoid cracks and uneven pavement and keeping an eye out for potholes (I did fall during this race several years ago.)
Finally we left the park and ran downhill to the finish. I wanted to finish fast but was still hesitant to run at top speed …in the dark. I heard a friend yell: “Darlene, finish strong!!” That made me pick up the pace.
It was dark so I couldn’t see my Garmin but I knew by the timing clocks that this wouldn’t be a PR nor would it be as fast as last year.
I barely finished under 30 minutes. According to my Garmin, it was 29:46 but officially I finished at 29:54.
I went inside to check the results and wait for MP and her SIL, Shannon.
Shannon is so fast & finished 22:xx and MP is a social runner – she took videos while she ran and even got a picture with Santa.
Last year, I was 3rd in my AG. This year, 6th. (Even I had a great race, I wouldn’t have placed. Darn those fast old women!)
mile 1- 9:51
mile 2 – 9:50
mile 3 – 9:17
.15 – 7:42
Very usual for me to have negative splits.
So not an amazing finish time but such a fun race. Sometimes, you just have to “finish fun” if you can’t “finish fast.”
After the race, we continued our fun by going out for a bite to eat and for some drinks.
So my year of racing has come to an end. 38 races!!
Looking forward to 2016.
Happy Running? How was your weekend? Did you run in a holiday race?