Runner at Large

My whole life, I have viewed runners with a sense of awe. Now I am one of those, and I am extremely proud to be considered a runner.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

My New Most Favorite Race Ever

Since I began racing in 2003, I have experienced a large variety of races. I have gone to small, community-focused 5Ks, where 30some people get T-shirts, race bibs, and then shuffle to the finish line. I have also experienced large, tens of thousands of people gathering to run a race through the streets of a city, and experience a life moment together. Each race has its perks, and each race has its cons.

However, I have never come across a race that seems to capture the good parts of each race experience and eliminate the bad.

Ted and I drove up yesterday to the expo and to pick up our race packets and bibs. The first nice surprise was the ease of parking. The second nice surprise was the upgrade of the standard race shirt to a nice windbreaker (we look tough).

The expo was nice--it wasn't crowded when we were there, and there were just enough vendors. I found my long-awaited 26.2 magnet for my car, and got an autographed book from Amby Burfoot (it wasn't until after we left the table where he was sitting that I realized I really wanted to ask him what shoes he wore when he won Boston in 1968).

Race day was perfect. It was overcast, cool, and we didn't experience any traffic on our drive in. I had spoken to Reba and we had planned to meet up prior to the race. Despite the large crowd of people that had begun to gather outside the school, we were able to find each other. Of course, I had just checked the bag, with my camera in the bag. So I didn't get a picture of us, so I had to do the next best thing:

Okay, so it doesn't really do either of us justice, but it gives you the idea.

The race had sold out at around 4,000 entrants. For a smaller race, this particular course had more excitement and music and crowds than most of the larger races I have done.
There were bands along the course, I even caught a few Bon Jovi and Frank Sinatra tunes. A particular spectator rode his bike to various spots of the course, and cheered and cheered and cheered. The best line? Way to wake up and say "I'm going to do it!"

I was expecting more hills, also. The few hills on the course were quick and relatively painless. We had decided to hang with the 2:20 pace group, and probably hovered between the 2:10 and 2:20 most of the time.

The end of the race was a stadium finish, and Ted and I were able to pull in a finish of 2:19:50some, chip-time. A painless shuttle bus ride back to the parking, and a quick ride home, and we have nothing but a few blisters, a nice jacket, a pretty cool medal, and pleasant memories of this one. All the good things about the small races, with all the good things about the large races. All bundled into one great race, which the the Lehigh Valley and Runner's World should be proud.


At 11:08 AM, Blogger ShoreTurtle said...

That's awesome. The race sounds like a dream. Congratulations to you and Ted. I'm definitely jealous of the windbreakers.

The drawing of you and reba is the best.

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Reba said...

I LOVE IT!!!! The drawing is soooo great! I'm writing up my blog now. You want MORE hills? You're an animal! Congratulations on a great race. It was so nice to meet you! We have to do that again next year. I'm so glad you had a good time.

At 10:51 AM, Blogger Reba said...

Hey.... good luck to you too! Hopefully it won't rain too much. After this, we rest, right?

At 6:03 PM, Blogger Reba said...

As much as I love this post.... I'm anxious to hear about your Broad Street. Hope it went well. We can take a break from running now, right?


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