This was the second race I did as part of the Will Run For Beer race series. The 32nd Annual April Fools 4 miler, which I am happy to say benefits The American Red Cross and The Alzheimer’s Association!
Today was a much better day for a road race than the first one with waves crashing over the course. It basically took place at a place called The Winner's Circle (or so I thought).
It was nice to have a place to be inside while waiting for the race to start especially with bathrooms, mainly because the hour+ ride there is not something I can do wearing my compression pants so I had to change.
As you entered the building there were lists in alphabetical order with your bib number. Once you got your bib number you headed up stairs to get your actual bib and your choice between a t-shirt or a hat. I opted for a t-shirt mainly because it is actually a tech shirt which I can always use. Then we just waited for it to all begin.
I decided at about 10:50am that it would be a good time to go out and get ready. That was when I discovered the start was not actually on Elm Street but on Old Elm Street which was a little bit of a walk but when you are not expecting that it throws you off a little bit. I actually got to the back of the pack at the Start line just as the start gun went off. I really couldn't have timed it any more perfrectly. And we were off!
It's funny because most of the runners were talking about how the only thing getting them through the four miles was knowing there was free beer at the finish line for them. First off it's not free you paid for it with your race registration, second drinking alcohol directly after running four miles is probably one of the worst things you could for your body. But I just keep to myself and carry. Ironically enough I am doing a Will Run For Beer 5k series and I don't even drink beer! So I have no idea what got me through the race. Maybe it was the fact that I know I need to at some point in the near future be able to "run" 6.2. I put run in quotations because after my experience today I have a feeling after swimming and biking there will be a very real chance I will be walking the 6.2 miles but we will see what happens.
Anyway back to the race. Everything was very clearly marked, the volunteers were amazing (as they usually seem to be for road races). They all made sure we were on the right track. My favorite thing about this race was that at each mile marker they had not just a sign but also a clock and the volunteer standing there would yell out your time to you at each mile. I run using my Garmin watch so I am always right on top of my pace and time but I observed lots of people that do not run with a watch so this was a very nice added extra bonus and I think probably helped motivate people and keep them on track.
At the beginning of the race I try and pick a target. Which I know sounds very assassin of me but it helps keep me on track. Usually it takes a few time to actually get a real target. Mine ended up being a women who was speed walking the race. I decided after playing leap frog with her for a little bit that I was going to make sure I crossed the finish line before her. Although I have to say I am not sure I feel about my goal of finishing before a speed walker but I will let you know what happened!
When I did the 5k a couple weeks ago I had set a goal for myself to finish in under 40 minutes which I missed by 4 seconds. There was no way I was going to let that happen this time. At about 2.98 I decided I was going to run my hardest/fastest until I reached 3.1 miles. I reached 3.1 with a time of 39:18 so I successfully set a new personal record for a 5k. However I did this directly after having chugged water at the last water stop. My stomach did not appreciate that! This was the one time that I thought I might actually vomit. The feeling came and went for the remainder of the race but I decided I was not going to let that stop me. I was about 0.4 miles away from the finish line and I just decided to give it my all and go for it. I ended up crossing the finish line with a time of 50 minutes and 38 seconds!
|Photo by: My mom, she missed the finish pose and got me stopping my watch instead...oh well!|
I was very happy with that considering I had set my goal to finish in under an hour. And yes I did cross the finish line before my speed walker mark but for that last little bit I wasn't sure it was going to happen.
At the finish line there were a few bagels left with peanut butter, some power gels and water. I was very sad to see that all the fruit was gone (bananas and watermelon) as was the pizza, peanut butter crackers and granola bars. I know these things are hard to plan but I feel like this was a very large over sight.
We walked back over to The Winner's Circle which of course was packed to the gills because everyone wanted their free beer. I on the other hand just wanted the bathroom. I seriously considered the port-a-potty to avoid the building but then decided against it. I heard several people say that there were more participants and supports than they anticipated but I am telling you the amount of people in the building had to of been a Fire Hazard. It took forever to get in and just as long to get out. Whoever designed the doors to open out and block the staircase was not very smart. At any rate we got the bathroom changed and when you come out all you could see was a sea of people and these everywhere...
I know there was mention of trying to setup and outside space for the beer but that didn't happen. I hope for next year it does because that would have really helped the over population problem.
All in all this was a good race. The course was a nice flat out and back so you knew what you were in for by the time you reached the second mile. I would definitely do it again but probably stay away from The Winner's Circle post race if there is no outside area for the beer.
Thanks to everyone at WCRC for all your hard work as well as the volunteers. These races couldn't be done without you. I am looking forward to my next race in the series The Beyond The Rainbow 5k next sunday in Newmarket, NH. Even though I heard another runner talking about it being a hilly course. :(
Still time to register if any of you would like to do it with me!