Despite the fact that this race (the 5K) was my very first race back in 2010 and I have very fond memories of that race… it is not my favorite 5K. Mostly because it is a royal pain in the tushy to get to unless someone drives.
Enter, Eric, with car and an Allstate employee. Logistics are no longer an issue
Eric signed up for this race to be his first ever half marathon. I decided I was all for cheering him at his first attempt and said I would do the 5K… because really… what the hell else are you going to do when you have 2 hours to kill? We told … errr… asked Chris to sign up for the 5K as well.
In the weeks leading up to the race, Eric was making plans for us to go eat afterwards and then go to a street festival. I knew he was a little too confident. I had no doubt that he would finish but heat and sun exposure play a HUGE part. For weeks he was insisting that his evening (with setting sun) same temperature runs would prepare him for the sun exposed course. Despite knowing that he trained hard for the race and he is very competitive and stubborn, I also knew that he was likely to feel a LOT worse than he expected. He brushed off my warnings.
Because of Eric’s nice little perks, we had it very easy once we parked. A shuttle picked us up in the parking lot and dropped us off at the race. It was a hot and sunny morning… a far cry from my last experience which was overcast and cool.
We hung around for a bit until it was time for the Half Marathoner’s to line up. Eric lined up in his corral and Chris and I went to the starting line to see everyone off. I really wanted to get a picture of Eric crossing the start line but I failed to tell him which side of the start line we would be on so he was on the opposite side and we weren’t able to see him cross.
Chris and I then killed a little bit of time before lining up for our race.
Since it was REALLY hot out, I opted to take it easy and do some walking on the course… plus I knew I would have time to kill. I just wasn’t willing to go all out in that heat knowing that I would be stuck in the heat for quite a while after the race as well. I started to walk around the half way mark.
After crossing the finish line, I found Chris easily. We found a nice shaded spot right next to the finish line with a fence that we could sit on. We chatted away while waiting for Eric and I gave a friend of mine a scare when I saw him cross the finish line and shouted out his name… he had no idea I was there and had no idea who was shouting for him at the time.
Finally, we saw Eric rounding the corner for the finish line (we really had an awesome vantage point of the end of the race) and I was able to get a picture of him crossing. We then rushed to the end of the finisher chute. I immediately noticed he looked a little rough.
We got our pizza then made our way to the Shuttle pick up spot. We were waiting in the hot sun and none of us were happy about that. I suggested we walk and Eric said, “I can’t walk any more”.
Now, I know this is REALLY mean… but he did the same thing to me in Vegas when he suggested we walk the rest of the way to the hotel. Plus he kept boasting for weeks how he would feel awesome after the half. And so… well… I was rather happy to make him eat his words and tell him I was right. He learned. But he did REALLY well for his first half marathon. And I was very proud of him but the sun exposure got to him. Hell… it got to me and I ran 10 miles less.
Once we got back to the car and blasted the AC, we all headed back to LP. Eric then hobbled home and Chris and I stopped for food.
The street festival waited until the next day :-p
Official Time – 35:51 for a pace of 11:32