After running the Allstate Half Marathon, this was my first race. I tried to give my body a break to recover after running the half, as everyone told me I should. I made it almost a week before I need to feel the wind on my face and the trails under my feet again. After my brief rest, I began to get out again and just in time to look forward to the Run For Boston 5K, put on by Muddy Monk and our very own Chicago Running Bloggers! All of the wonderful people who put this together to help raise funds for ‘The Who Says I Can’t Foundation’, which:
“…help[s] those struck down by a disability get back to an active happy life using high challenge activities to rebuild self-esteem and THRIVE.” - The Who Says I Can’t Foundation
did an incredible job! Thank you everyone who helped put this together and all of the volunteers and sponsors who helped to make it possible!
|'I miss the peace of fishing' - Marko Ramius|
We started the trek to the burbs earlyish when Jennifer and I met up with Eric outside his apartment so we could all catch a ride together. We made sure to leave enough time to get there and do packet pickup. After getting everything sorted out, we walked around a bit and ended up running into Maggie as well as Kelly before the race. It was warmer than I had expected that day and it eventually started to rain a bit which helped to cool things off somewhat. Most of us eventually took shelter under whichever large tree was nearest to us at the time in a futile attempt to remain dry even though we would be running in this same weather soon enough. As the start of the race got close, we slowly started to emerge from our hiding spots and gather in the starting area to listen to some of the race organizers say a few words before one of the members of The Who Says I Can’t Foundation themselves stepped up to the mike to say a few words of thanks and inspiration. I hadn’t noticed until the speaker pointed it out, but he was sporting his own $60,000 artificial leg and mentioned that with all of the money everyone had raised for this cause, it would help many more in a similar situation to begin to dive back into an active and fulfilling lifestyle after whatever tragedy had affected their lives.
As the ‘gun’ was fired, releasing us into the rain, the driving beat of inspiration from the Dropkick Murphy’s was pouring out of the loud speakers. I momentarily reflected on whether the choice of song was either in poor taste or perfect and landed on Inspiringly well done [‘I’m a sailor peg and I lost my leeeeg’!]. ‘I'm Shipping Up to Boston’ was an impressive and motivating choice in tunes to run to, I decided as I quickly heard the sounds fade while I continued along the trail. I had left the starting gate faster than I had planned [looking back at my split times later on] and managed to keep up the pace surprisingly well. I wasn’t sure if it was the music or the cause or the feeling that this distance was nothing after having run a half marathon about a week prior, but it felt wonderful!
I ended up finishing about a minute and a half or so after Eric [so I was quite impressed] and walked over to meet up with him and another blogger I met that day, Pete. We stood at the top of the final hill and cheered people on for a while before I decided it was time to head over to the car to grab my ID so I could imbibe some well-deserved Goose Island, post-race. I grabbed the car keys from Eric and ran to the car and back to grab my prize, an ice cold can of 312 and some more Chicago Running Blogger Camaraderie where I met GingerFoxxx. We all chatted a bit as they announced top finishers and gave out prizes. At some point I apparently won something which turned out to be a colander full of goodies. Seeing as I am not home often enough [work, socializing, etc.] or that I am too lazy when I am, I figured it would be a good idea to give this lovely prize to Jennifer, half-jokingly, as a belated condo-warming gift.
Before everyone took off, we managed to get in a group photo of the Chicago Running Bloggers while so many of us were present at one race! Thanks for the photo, photo person, and thanks for the good times and a great race to everyone who helped to put it together!
|Chicago Running Blogger!|
Packet pickup – I opted for the Race Day packet pickup, since the alternative was to go out to the middle of Nowhere, IL at some weeknight before the race. No thanks, I travel to the burbs for a salary or for Muddy Monk Trail races only, thank you very much. Getting there early was nice as there was no line (not that it really mattered, as it was a smaller race with all good people to mill around with beforehand). We actually showed up early enough that when we did packet pickup, they hadn’t even gotten the safety pins to the pickup table yet. There was apparently a mix-up with the race bibs and runners names, but no big deal, you just got the added surprise of looking at the race results afterward to see how you actually did and how well the person who was wearing your previously assigned bib fared during the race. Good times.
Gearcheck/Waves and Corrals. – Gear check isn’t really applicable for Muddy Monk races as everyone drives there and uses their vehicles as gear check. Simple, safe, reliable. Also, for a small race, there really was no need for waves or corrals. You simple climb out from your shelter under a tree where you were avoiding the slight pre-race drizzle and line up near the starting line as a few words are spoken before the ‘gun’ goes off.
Course layout – Classic loop. The race course started on top of a small hill overlooking a little lake of unknown name and proceeded to loop around the lake, over a bridge crossing the lake, and back up the hill to finish where we started. Apparently several friends I had arrived with noted that the course was not entirely 3.1 miles but instead closer to 2.98. I didn’t notice as I started a little farther back from the start line and began my GPS app (MapMyRun) before actually crossing the start line and continued running until after crossing the finish line. When I stopped running and turned off my GPS I had managed to end up getting in just over 3.1 miles. Great course. The final hill gave me some false hope as I thought it would loop around directly to the start line and we would cross it the same way we had originally started. Instead, we continued past the hill and around another area of trees before circling back and ending by crossing the finish line from the opposite direction that we had come through at the start. Well done.
Finish line – Finish line was nice and stocked with food and water as well as spectators and volunteers to watch you cross. Great race! It was nice to run with people who knew not to stop and linger after crossing the finish and instead grab their water and move out of the way. Perhaps the lure of free, unlimited Goose Island 312 only steps away help motivate them as well.
Official time: 22:39 [Distance: 2.98ish] [Place: 34 of 259] [and technically a PR, but not really counting it as it was not chip timed and I suppose not officially 3.1 miles, but I’m still happy with it and inspired anyway] ;-)
MapMyRun Results: [Distance: 3.18 Time: 23:25] J