Fortunately the weather was dry & sunny but it was the coldest day in the 10 day forecast. I had a hard time deciding what to wear but settled on a long sleeved undershirt, thermal top & windbreaker on top. I wore compression shorts, thermal pants & knee high wool socks on the bottoms. I also wore a ear wrap & my Thoroughbred Classic beanie & 2 pairs of gloves. Overall it worked. The only thing I took off during the run was the gloves & depending on the wind I unzipped or zipped my jacket.
We got there a little early & hung out in the Expo area to stay warm & take some pre-race pics.
|Me, Audrey & Shannon|
|Me & Steve|
So speaking of Steve. He is 7.5 weeks post rectal cancer surgery & was committed to running this race. He has run all previous years of the Run the Bluegrass & would be one of 60 streakers if he raced this year. He also wanted to show cancer who is the boss.
|Steve, Jen & Dave at the Start|
Three of his running buddies ran the entire half with him to keep him company. I think they thought it would be an easy run but nothing about this Half is easy. The hills are constant. I think someone said there are 33 hills in the half marathon. His Garmin 920 has the live tracking feature which comes in handy. When I finished the 7 miler I saw he was already at mile 10 maintaining a sub 9:30 minute / mile. He ended up finishing the half in 2:03. Crazy. He totally kicked cancer's ass!!
My race was uneventful. It is pretty much the same story as last year. Lots & lots of human traffic for the first 3.5 miles. Wave 7 is when all the 7 milers start which means weaving through the wave 6'ers & even some wave 5 folks. Around mile 3.5 the half marathoners turn left & the 7 milers go straight so the second have of the race is awesome. The half marathoners rejoin the 7 milers shortly after the split but then it is the lead runners. It isn't often that I get to run with the leaders even if it is only for a few seconds as they zoom by. Still it was awesome to see these speedy guys & gals fly by.
For the most part I maintained a 4 minute run / 1 minute walk. There were a few times I adjusted based on hills/water stops but for the most part I tried to stick to the plan. Every time I thought about how tired my hips & legs were I thought about Steve & how he was probably feeling. Thinking this way got me to the finish line & with a time about 45 seconds off of last years time which I was very happy with.
The crowd support & volunteers are awesome! This race has really blossomed over the past 5 years. This year they had over 4,000 runners and it keeps getting better & better. Post race there was live music, food, beer & an indoor expo. They had gear check which was extremely convenient. It meant hanging on to warmer clothes longer before the race & having dry clothes post race to change into. They even did right by the race shirts. Due to the port strikes the normal Nike dry fit shirts were not going to make it in time for race day. They came up with an alternate plan & had hoodies screened by a local company. They are pretty sweet. I think I like these better than the Nike shirts.
My only wish was that it was about 30 degrees warmer so we could enjoy hanging outside more.
This year they offered the option to sign up for free race photos automatically posted to your Facebook wall. Below is an example of the free race photo - hehehe.
|Ruth, Audrey, me & Shannon post race free photo|
|Race Results Station Inside Expo|
|Hoodie, 7 Mile Medal, Race Guide & Personalized Bib|
|Steve's 5 Year Streaker Shot Glasses & Half Medal|
Post race we headed to West Sixth for their 3 year birthday celebration. We hung out there for a couple hours then headed home for some serious couch sitting & to watch some basketball. Go CATS!
If I am serious about this Olympic Triathlon in May then today I have a 1 hour swim & 2 hour ride on the schedule. I am trying to muster up the energy & motivation to head out the door.....