On Sunday I participated in the Ravenswood 5K for the first time. It is a race that has been on my radar for years but there was always another conflict, so I was never able to participate. I decided it wasn’t going to be a goal race and I would just run it for fun. After all, the Wurst Running Club Ever would be out in full force.
Lucky for me that I choose to not have it as a goal race because the wind was brutal. But I am getting ahead of myself…
Friday after work, I went home and changed and then walked down to Fleet Feet to get my race packet. It was a beautiful day out so I walked home as well. On the way home I decided I needed Frozen Yogurt… Carb loading right?
This race is known for a good shirt design and this year was definitely no disappointment. I really like the shirt. Of course with the icky weather we are to have this week, it might be a while before I can wear just a T-shirt to run in… sigh… will winter ever end?
Fast forward to Sunday morning and I was wide awake at least an hour before my alarm clock. But I got up, showered, and started drinking water. Eric and I had come up with a plan the night before so I headed out with a little bit of time before the bus was to be at the stop (according to bus tracker). Eric and I tend to air on the side of early to a race since we have both had those races where we had to rush once getting to the race site (or in my case, sprint to the start line). But what we had not planned on was this particular bus driver going well over the speed limit down Clark. We arrived a mere 15 minutes or so after we got on the bus.
Talk about early…
We milled around a bit and both thought it was far cooler than either of us would like and the wind certainly was not helping. Eventually we went to gear check and then to the race start. We parted ways as Eric lined up with the speedy people and I headed back towards the 10:00 pace sign. I figured I would just run by feel but also didn’t want to be stuck behind a lot people.
While I was waiting, I spotted Mo and Anne and walked over to them. I knew Anne had a goal in mind for the race. Turns out Mo was planning to run with her so I decided to run with them as well. Racing is a lot more fun when you have people to chat with along the way.
We lined up right in front of the 11:00 pace sign and took a quick pic. (Pic compliments of Anne)
We slowly moved to the start line. We had been forewarned that there were speed bumps on course and we would encounter 4 of them quickly. And that was certainly true. However, I was rather impressed by how well they were marked and that volunteers were giving us advance notice that they were coming up. As such, I never found the speed bumps to be an issue.
Before the one mile mark we saw Lynton spectating but there was an older gentleman standing right before him clapping and wishing us all good luck. I looked right at him and had a “where have I seen him before” moment. About two steps later I realized he was the mayor so of course I had seen him before. Leave it to me to have a delayed reaction when the MAYOR is clapping less than 3 feet away from me.
We kept running and I veered off for water at the water station and told Mo and Anne that I would catch up to them. Thank goodness for Mo’s blue hat which made her easy to spot in the crowd.
One thing I noticed about the course was a LOT of turns. It wasn’t really an issue but it has been a while since I ran a 5K race with that many turns.
Eventually we turned onto Lawrence and were running directly into a strong headwind. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the Chicago wind?
Once we got up to the next turn we spotted Pete who hopped in to run with us toward the finish line. He spotted a co-worker so sprinted ahead to say hi to them. But by then the finish line was in sight so we ran on in and got Anne to a course PR! Congrats to Anne!
Afterwards, Mo and I headed to gear check to get out bags and quickly found the others. (Pic from Anne)
We then headed to the bar right at the finish line, which I cannot pronounce… let alone spell. But it was a nice little Irish pub. We grabbed drinks, beer for my comrades and a Mimosa for me and then got seated and order food. The food was yummy and it was nice just sitting around chatting.
Eventually we parted ways… well… I sprinted off since I had 6 minutes to get to the bus stop (thank you bus tracker).
My Official Time – 34:48 for a Pace of 11:13
All in all it was an excellent way to spend a Sunday. I also am really glad that I finally got to take part in this race. If things work out scheduling wise, I see no reason why this race won’t make it back on the race calendar annually.