Race Report: Chi Town Half & 10K

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On Saturday I ran the 10K portion of this race. Once I knew that I would have to take a DNS on Shamrock, I was a little irked. It has been a while since I raced and I had no idea where I stood from a racing standpoint. And yet… I didn’t really try to push the page at all… just sort of chugged along.

It also didn’t help that I was still recovering from my death plague of a cold and was therefore still congested and with a slight cough… which gets worse when I am thirsty or running into the wind.

But I am getting a little ahead of myself…

My friend Mike had posted to FB that he was going to sign up for this race… and it happened to be the same day where I knew I was taking a DNS on Shamrock. Since the race just happens to be a LP race and thus a mere 3 block walk to get to the start line, I was all in.

Packet pickup was nice and easy… although I found it odd that they were mailing a good portion of the hoodies when they had so many available at packet pickup… but oh well.

Since Mike lives in the burbs and parking in my neighborhood isn’t exactly easy, I offered for him to crash at my place and join me for my usual pre-race pizza dinner. I went bed later than I normally would, which I was ok with since I had zero intentions of running for time. Despite my intentions to NOT run for time, I was wide awake at 4:45 am… lovely…

We both decided against gear check since I live so close to the start/finish line and the brunch spot was also super close. It was chilly but not too terrible out.

After a quick snafu where Mike for got his bib, we were heading to the race. After a quick meet-up with one of his friends, we headed to the start. I ducked into the 9:00 pace area. I really had no idea what pace I would run since I was still very congested but I figured I was running sub 10s through recent training so why not.

Most narrow start line I have ever seen… holy moly… It was MAYBE wide enough for three people to go through at a time. I was rather surprised since there is plenty of space on the path and I have run plenty of races that start/finish in the same area with wider start lines. I knew there was the potential for that to mess up some half marathon finishers due to crowding…

Running through the park heading north to start and I knew there were some spots with puddles due to the recent rain we got… But I also knew how to avoid them. I saw that the half marathon and 10K would share the entire course until the 10K split off to go back to the finish line, while the half marathon continued on.

I noticed that the wind was picking up and we were heading directly into it. The remnants of my cold were making me feel more thirsty than normal and I noticed a little bit of wheezing… not a good day for running fast. A mile later and I am really very thirsty but I have yet to see a water station.

Finally after the two and a half mile mark… closer to three miles (according to my Garmin), I finally get my water. Luckily it was a nice full cup so I walked and it until I was done. We were approaching the area where we would go underneath the underpass to get into the park and start heading back toward the finish line.

Except a volunteer was shouting that there was water under the underpass so we could either turn or go under the underpass… which caused a TON of confusion. No one could really tell if they were trying to split up the 10K and the Half or what was going on. Since I saw the sign for the 10K/Half split earlier in the race, I knew they were coming up with a last minute re-route. It was very clear that they did NOT check the course before the start of the race… that underpass ALWAYS floods when we get heavy rain and takes quite some time to drain…

A last minute re-route wouldn’t be an issue if they had a way to shut down traffic which we would now have to run through… I got luckily and had the cross signal when I approached the intersection but the light changed as soon as I was across and I wasn’t sure the cars would be nice enough to let everyone behind me pass. I saw a cop pull up ahead to cut off traffic for the runners which was good. Even though I wasn’t running for time, I would be beyond angry if my time was longer because I had to wait for traffic… and I was only running the 10K… I knew the half marathoners would be even more angry than me.

The rest of the race was uneventful… that is until I heard the person on the bike coming up behind me for the half marathon lead runner… with only about three tenths of a mile left. It would have been nice to have finished before the winner of the half… But oh well… it was not my race day.

I knew I was running slow and I also knew that I had some kick left in me. But since I was insanely thirsty and congested, I kicked it a little but didn’t go all out.

When I crossed the finish, I got my nice large medal and my bottle of water and headed to good viewing spot to see Mike cross the finish line.

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I checked my time on my Garmin and though I wasn’t thrilled with the time, I was ok with it considering it was more or less my second run in three weeks.

Once Mike crossed, the three of us stood around and chatted for a bit before Mike and I headed to brunch (his friend had to go to church).

It was a decent race and hardly a BAD race experience. Really wish there had been another water station on course. The re-route was annoying and if I had been running for time, I would have been very angry… I overheard the winner of the half saying that he had to run through the underpass and the water was up to his knees which I am sure slowed him down and running with wet feet isn’t exactly fun… so I feel really bad for the lead runners. Also don’t think the narrow start/finish chute was very smart. I definitely saw several half marathoners struggled to find room to go flying across the finish line around 10Kers.

All in all it was a fun experience and I am glad I did the race.

My official time – 1:07:09 which isn’t fast but I am glad I was able to run the entire thing with only walking through water stations. So not bad all things considered.

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One thought on “Race Report: Chi Town Half & 10K

  1. Pingback: Weekly Training Report: March 23rd – April 5th | It Never Gets Easier - You Just Get Better

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