Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cleveland Rite Aid Experience

I was totally prepared to dislike the Cleveland Rite Aid race.  I didn't sign up last year (even though it was a Turtle race) because I was worried that a) I wouldn't be able to find a parking space in time, b) there wouldn't be enough bathrooms, and c) I wouldn't be capable of running a 10k.  I looked up the race on Marathon Guide, and as you can see, the reviews were horrible.  This year I realized that I must face my fears, and I signed up for the 10k for twenty bucks.  Twenty dollars, people; that's it.  I figured that even if it was bad, I only paid twenty dollars for it, so I couldn't complain too much.

Let me tell you, I was soooo wrong.  This race was awesome!  There were over 22,000 runners in four events: the 5k (on Saturday), the 10k, the half marathon, and the marathon.

This is how I look from a helicopter.  See me smiling and waving?

Let's get the worries over with, shall we?

Parking:  I parked in the Cleveland Muni lot (cost was only $5.00), and it seems that NOBODY else did.  It was difficult to get to the lot because I had to go through the city first, but it was super-easy to get out because I could get directly onto the expressway to go home.  PLUS.  People in front of me were waiting in line to get into parking garages that cost $15.00 or more.  Suckas.

Bathrooms:  There were several huge lines for the portapotties and the bathrooms just inside the stadium, but I walked about 500 feet farther around the stadium, and I NEVER had a line.  And I went at least four times, just sayin'.  Oops.  Was that TMI?

Ability to Run a 10k:  Pshhhhh.  I got rid of that fear running the 10k at the Canton Marathon last year.  In fact, I PR'd here by 4+ minutes!

The Good:  The last 1.2 miles were COMPLETELY downhill.  How awesome is that?  I felt GREAT in the last kick, partly because of the hill and partly because of the St. Ed's Trash Talkers, who played cadence on trash cans as we came in.  Also, it was a great surprise to see this guy:

John Adams , the Tribe drummer, is the bomb-diggity.

The Bad:  The crowd was too big for me to get my beer.  Boo.  Never fear; I drank one with lunch at home.

The Ugly:  I would like to sincerely apologize to the gentleman that I punched in the area-where-gentlemen-should-not-be-punched-unless-they-are-very, very-bad-men.  It was a complete accident.  I was walking through a water stop, and I dropped my right hand (which was in a loose fist) to shake it out a bit.  Unfortunately, this poor man was right behind me (in my blind spot), and I nailed him.  Since it happened around mile 3, I'm sure the rest of his race wasn't very comfortable.  I hope he's had all the kids he wants.

Shout-Outs:  Thank you to Jenn, who was just near the finish line cheering for us.  Thank you to Sheila, who has made sure that we are more than adequately trained for our races.  Great job to Bill, Amanda, Marilyn, Steve, Suegene, and any other TORN members who ran this race.  Lastly, a message to Vashti and Rosie:  I am so impressed with the two of you!  This time last year I chickened out and refused to run this race, but the two of you came on your own (ok, with Bill), and you ROCKED it!  There will be plenty of great races in your future!

Overall, this was a wonderful day for a race; I thoroughly enjoyed it!  I love you, Man.

Video of my finish

I'm the one in turquoise shorts and a red turtle shirt at :50.