The race was scheduled at 6:30 AM, and the race-day communications suggested runners arrive before 5:30, when roads would start to close. I live less than fifteen minutes away, so I left my house at 5:00 and got there in plenty of time. . . sort of. I arrived at the ONLY OPEN ROAD to the parking lot around 5:15 and waited in a huge traffic jam to move less than a mile into the parking lot, where there were plenty of spaces, by the way. I didn't even get into the lot until 5:40, which set off my grumpiness and irritability. I was lucky. Anyone who was behind me had an even longer wait, and checking the Facebook site for the race, I saw that traffic was backed up onto the expressway. This was definitely a fail on the part of the race director, but he made it right by delaying the start time by fifteen minutes and sending police out to the off-ramp to direct traffic. This is the inaugural year for the Burn Rubber, so I am willing to give this mistake a pass because I am certain it won't be a problem next year.
I found my peeps from The Ohio Runners Network, and we took a cool picture in front of the start line:
|The picture isn't blurry; we are. It's early!|
Then I found Shelby in the corral, and we took a selfie:
|This is EXACTLY how I look before I find out there is a fifteen minute delay.|
I went out fast in my first two miles, which seems to be my MO, but usually I feel great in the first two miles of a race, and I have to calm myself down. This time I was still going fast, but I felt awful; I could tell that I would be racing the struggle-bus the whole time, and I was grateful that I chose the 10k rather than the Half-Mary.
By Mile 3, I was super hot, and I decided I would walk through every water stop on the course, drinking a cup and dumping a cup over my head. This lost me a lot of time, but it was my choice not to carry my own water, and I did think about it, so I can't be too angry. My body was telling me that I was still not 100%, so I'm glad I made a conscious choice to slow things down a bit.
|The Goodyear Blimp followed us the whole race. I never get tired of seeing the blimp.|
We headed into the Goodyear Proving Grounds for the last mile and change of the race, and boy, was that cool! I have never seen a race track up close, let alone run on one, and I really enjoyed it, as well as the DJ and loud music parked in there. At this point I started getting excited again, and I actually felt pretty good (Really??? It took me almost FIVE MILES to feel good?), so I shaved thirty seconds off that mile, but I still didn't push it until I got to the chute.
Waiting for me in the chute were a super-sweet medal, water, chocolate milk, a banana, and the best part was a towel from TruMoo soaking in ice water that a volunteer draped around my neck. It was so hot, and I really appreciated that towel.
Then the fun started. I had two food tickets and a beer ticket to cash in while listening to a great band sing my favorite songs. There were food trucks from Swensons, Eddie's Cheesesteaks, and Strickland's Custard, all Akron institutions. And there was great beer: Shock Top, Goose Island, and Bud Lite. I'm so happy that many race directors are moving away from crappy Michelob Ultra beer; runners love good beer.
|8:00 AM: Strickland's Custard and a Shock Top beer. Missing: the Galley Boy from Swensons that I just devoured.|
|Way to go, Shelby! What a badass!|
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