I will first say that I am glad this was not my goal race. I traveled 4 of 5 days last week for work and the weather turned really hot & humid. I admire everyone who raced yesterday - whether it was a PR or not - it was less than ideal conditions and you rocked it!!
|Looking fresh! Me & Deb ready for 13.1.|
We lined up to pace pretty early as we were expected to be at the start by 7AM. We loaded up in the very front of Corral E because we were the highest pace for the half - 3:20 for a 15:16/mile pace. I've been in races where they did the corral system before but I have never seen them actually stop people from moving up as they did this year. The gun went off shortly after 8 and they started letting people go. We probably didn't move at all until 8:15. When we finally got to the start position, the volunteers held us back with a rope until it was our time. It was neat that they were sounding the gun for each Corral but it was also frustrating at the same time! We were impatient, warm & ready to go!
Right as we crossed the start line, I watched A who I had trained with on Tuesdays/Thursdays go running past me! He had underestimated his time & put himself in Corral E. He had a great race yesterday! As we passed, the best cheerleader leader ever shouted our names & snapped a quick photo!
|Photo courtesy of Sarah!|
I am apparently the only one who thought the weather was somewhat perfect at the beginning - 93% humidity but there was a slight breeze. I did find myself with a a slight chill but that didn't last long!
One thing I liked about this race was the bands at certain miles throughout the course. One of my friends was singing with her husband around the three mile mark. It was cool to scream her name then get a shout out! The band coverage was a little light between miles 9 & 11 and unfortunately, the performer around mile 10 was heckling the walkers. The majority of us were walking at that point and he decided to announce that he was going to heckle anyone who was walking and not running. I was close to going back and beating him with my pace sign! The nice part? I know the race organizers and I reported it when we got back & I've already had them respond. This event is very good about supporting runners or walkers but apparently that dude did not get the message! Throughout this race, we had a group of people with us - who wanted to finish at our pace. Other times I paced, I didn't have the same experience. Last year, we were pacing a 16:02 at this race and we didn't have as many interested. This year, there was one girl named Tasha who was a first timer. She was all over the course. We'd lose her when she made pit stops then she'd be back. She stole our pace sign once to have her friends take her picture. When we got near the finish line, she actually STOPPED to have Andrea Cambern, a local TV anchor take her picture. I heckled her to get her butt up to the finish with me because that's what she wanted but......she didn't. I also stopped her from taking a pain medicine during the race which she finally admitted was percosett. I told her it was a terrible idea and to wait until the finish to decide if she needed something. After we crossed, gathered our medals, some food, she came up to us, stole the sign again & begged for a group shot. I brought them in around 3:20ish which is pretty well near perfect! I am always amazed at how tough it is to manage a perfect pace during a race! Especially one that is about 4 minutes slower than my pace!
|Tasha is holding the sign.|
The weather was very hot for this race. Until the very end, I didn't see anyone down but we had to go around a woman who they had already given an IV to. The person I was pacing in didn't even notice her - that was baffling to me! I have heard from many others that there were too many down and I can't get any of them off my mind! I hope everyone is recovering well.
After the race, we made our way over to the MIT Recovery tent, picked up my bag, found some friends, enjoyed some Snowville Creamery Chocolate Milk (even got one to take home!). If you have never had it and live local, I demand that you go to a store and get some. We stopped buying Kroger or Giant Eagle white milk because we'd end up throwing it away every week but when we buy Snowville, there's none ever thrown out. Even Biv likes it better.
|Mandy, me & Amy|
I was glad to be reunited with my friends and so impressed that they made it through the race and brought home PRs! They are amazing! Even with how long it took us to finish the race, they waited for us. I won't mention that I gave them 2 of them a ride, but they still waited.......and then let me have some time to wait for some of the walkers to come back.
|Mandy, me, Amy, Deb, Suzi & Nita|
I've never actually registered and walked this race. Last year, I had registered for the Quarter Marathon when they decided they needed someone to pace the half. The year before, we were going to be in Costa Rica so I missed it. I am not sure I will register for it - I do enjoy pacing it quite a bit but I think next year I have to commit to a faster pace!
Have you ever paced a race?
Any experiences with pacers, good or bad, you want to share??