Sunday, June 5, 2011

Firefly Race Recap

After I write this recap I'll be deleting summer races from my calendar.... except for maybe the 10k at The Hottest Half. The bling for that race is pretty sweet. I'll Jeff Galloway it from the very beginning if I have to!

The race started at 9pm last night. After dinner I put the finishing touches on my costume. I couldn't add trim to the socks until I put them on over my shoes because the trim wasn't stretchy. My costume was supposed to be a firefighter, in case you can't tell. It didn't interfere with my running, though I might have been a littler cooler or more comfortable in something else. We got to the race around 7:45 because they were advertising that road closures would start at 8. My parents came in from out of town to watch the race because my brother and I were both racing, along with our spouses.

This recap is pretty long because it's probably the first race where I have a lot to say. Feel free to look at the pictures at the bottom and skip my novel. You won't miss a recap of a grand PR race.  I won't even talk times.

There were nearly 3400 people registered for this race, and it's only the 2nd year for it (last year was barely over 300!). They offered a 5k and 10k.  One of the biggest complaints was regarding packet pick up, but I can't say that I feel sorry for those people. Packet pick up was available at 2 local running stores from Tuesday-Friday this week. If you had to wait in line for an hour on race day, that's your own darn fault. Another complaint was the shortage of porta potties. We figured out a great alternative to standing in that line, since we parked in a field. We found a great little treed alcove to use as our private bathroom. Some guy came walking around the corner as I was taking care of business, but he found his own alternative porta potty. That was my first time to pee outside at a race! Congrats, huh?

The race started pretty close to on time. We didn't start too far back, but a lot of people lined up on the grass to the side of the road and pushed their way in once the race started. In hindsight, separate starts for the 5k and 10k would have been a good idea and might have helped the congestion a little. The course included a couple of spots where we had to u-turn and come back the way we came, which was tough given the number of participants. My brother and I ended up running in the grass for quite a bit of the first mile, which made me really nervous for injury, but was the only way to try and maintain a good pace. The water sprinklers were on much of that mile and it felt good to run through the water (I think the temperature was pretty close to 90 at the start of the race) but the blisters on my right foot are proof that might not have been my best idea. There was only one water station on the course, at about mile 1.5 for the 5k, and you would hit it again around 4.5 if you ran the 10k. That was my #1 complaint. It was too hot to not have more water on the course. I was glad I carried my handheld, but by the time I hit the water spot on the second lap, my bottle was bone dry. I did a lot of alternating walking/running but it was the best I could do. I've never had my neck/base of my head hurt during a race but it felt like my head weighed a ton. My brother ended up running just slightly ahead of me. He was close enough that I could catch up to him when he was taking a walk break, but then he'd be ready to run and I was ready to walk. The split for the 5k to finish and the 10k to begin the second lap was poorly lit/marked but at my pace it didn't really matter. I can see how if you were flying through at 6-minute pace you would be mad that you had to slow down to figure it out. There was no PR for me, and like a lot of people who commented on the race's Facebook page, it was a PR worst.  I finished 37th out of 62 in my age group for the 10k. The race started out with a time restriction- you had to finish the first 5k in under 30 minutes in order to be allowed to continue on for the 2nd lap. They didn't publicize it very well, but they removed that restriction when they changed the course a week or so ago, so not many people slower than me took on the 10k. They show 496 finishers for the 10k, but they ended up closing the course and some people were allowed to continue on and their times are reported as actual finishers. My sister-in-law was the first person they shortened the course for, and in the final results it shows that she beat Jake, when he actually ran the full 10k course and she didn't. Not a big deal to me personally, but I think if they lifted the time limit, they should have allowed people to finish. Either have a time limit or don't. They're showing 2376 finishers for the 5k. I'm not exactly sure what my 5k time was because I didn't look until a minute or so after I was on the 10k course, but I would have finished somewhere around the top 30 out of 277 in my age group if I would have just done the 5k.

After we finished, we found the costume contest. I still call bullshit, as did most of the other people in the costume contest, but the winner didn't walk, much less run in their costume. It was creative, yes, but the contest was held at a RACE. It was actually 2 people- one was in a box that looked like a light switch, connected to a light bulb that actually glowed. The person judging didn't even hardly look at the other costumes, and the only ones she did see were in the front row. Guess I'll have to buy my own iPad.

We walked back to the car, only to realize the pouch on Jake's Amphipod belt had come open. The car keys and his Sony Walkman were both gone. We walked around a bit trying the find the keys, and checked with the announcer, race organizer tent, and some vendors but nobody turned in the keys. They did turn in the Walkman, which is cool, but the keys are more expensive to replace. Somebody was nice enough to let us borrow their phone so I could call my parents back to the race. While we were waiting for them, we met the race director who asked for our opinions of the race. We weren't too hard on him- he already knew packet pick up and the water were major problems. I felt bad for him, he said a lot of people were really angry with him. My parents took us home and we took our other car back to the race with a spare set of keys to take my car home. By the time we got home I was feeling disgustingly similar to how I felt after my 15k when I had to get IV fluids. My stomach was cramping and I had a killer headache. I managed to fall asleep before I actually got sick and I feel better, though hungover (minus the beer) this morning. After breakfast, we'll head back to the race site to look for my other set of keys.


Jill @ Run for the Hills said...

Your outfit was amazing!!
I'm sorry you had such a sucky experience. The heat, the lack of aid, the course limits...ugh. I would be disappointed too. :(

Shanda said...

Good job!! Your a good looking fire women runner!!! If looks like it was aloof fun!!

bobbi said...

That just sounds like a bummer race. I'm glad you actually got to give your opinions to the race director though - maybe some changes will be implemented.

On a positive note, your outfit rocked!

kilax said...

Did you find your keys the next day?

It sounds like a lot of the issues were due to the HUGE increase in registrants from year to year. Good for them on the increase! They will have to figure it all out for next year.

Cute costume!

Laima said...

Cute outfit! Bummer about the poor race planning and heat:(