Tuesday, May 3, 2016

I Challenge Race Recap

I think I will just start this recap with a Pros and Cons list before I get into my personal experience.

  • PDF of the race booklet was sent out a week or so prior to the race and you could grab a printed booklet at the expo.
  • PDF and booklet contained detailed parking maps and course information.
  • Ample free parking at the expo/race start/race finish.

  • This year's race course included severe weather shelters since the 2015 race was cut short due to thunderstorms.  This was the first time I have seen this much pre-planning at a race.  Great job!
  • Because severe weather threatened the 2016 race too, we received updated forecast information via email and their Facebook page.
  • Runners received a drawstring bag at the expo.
  • Option to purchase a day pass to the student recreation center for post-race showers.
  • Option to purchase tickets to the pasta party so you wouldn't have to find carbs on your own.
  • TONS of volunteers who worked all morning in the rain and still had smiles on their faces.
  • Wave starts.
  • PLENTY of porta potties around the start line/parking lots and along the course.  At one spot on the course there were six porta potties clustered together.  Amazing!
  • Great scenery along the course and it was very flat!
  • Plenty of support from the community along the course for all the events.
  • Race day live broadcast on several local radio stations.
  • Post-race food trucks and entertainment just outside the stadium both Friday night and Saturday.
  • Great t-shirts and medals

  • Finishing on the 50 yard line and being on the big screen!

  • None!  I really can't think of any.

My Experience:
The 5K Friday night was dry, so the pictures above are from Friday.  It pretty much rained all day Saturday and rained the entire time I was out on the course but luckily, we didn't have any thunderstorms.  Before I went to my corral, I did seriously consider going back to my step-brother's house and skipping the half marathon entirely.  Then I remembered that I paid $100 for the I Challenge, which re-motivated me.

I had somewhat planned ahead and wore a poncho but my clothing, shoes, and socks were still completely soaked almost immediately.  By mid-race, I developed blisters on the bottoms of both feet which resulted in me walking the entire second half.  I also did not expect the cold that accompanied the rain, so my hands and arms were bright red and felt frozen the second half of the course as well.  I eventually reached the point where I could not wait for the race to be over.  I was miserable!  I did find some comic relief in the observation of laundry detergent suds oozing from of my clothing when I stopped to stretch.  Apparently I use too much or use the "small load" setting too liberally.

After crossing the finish line and grabbing the delicious post-race food I headed to my car, turned the heat on high, and shivered under my heat sheet.  Looking back on my finish time, I set a record.....this was my slowest half marathon to date.  Yeah!  At least I set the bar low for the next half.

This race was still top-notch despite the rain and the blisters.  I intend to run this race again in a few years to redeem myself and hopefully the forecast will be better next time.

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