Sunday, July 10, 2011
Boilermaker Race Recap
Ahhh. The Boilermaker is finally over. And what a day for it. Beautiful sunshine. Low humidity. Perfect temps.
My alarm was set for 4:20 but my internal alarm clock woke me at 4:14. That always happens to me. Everytime I have to be somewhere early, I automatically wake up a few minutes for the alarm goes off. Weird, but definitely a good trait to have. Anyway, trying to be as quiet as possible, I got dressed, ate my Special K and packed my last minute items for my bag. Felice picked me up a little before 5 AM and we were on our way to Utica.
We made good time and arrived to the start line at 6:30. We had no issues finding a parking spot and it almost seemed too easy. Regardless, I was happy it was so simple. With 10,000 runners, I was a bit stressed about how crowded it would be. But - we had left early enough that none of that was an issue. We met up with Elisa and her friends and prepared for the race. We pinned on our bibs, slathered ourselves with suntan lotion, and went to the porta-potty a few times.
Finally it was time to line up. Race time was 8 AM. Felice was in a faster section than I was, so she went more towards the front. Elisa and I lined up and the gun went off. It took us EIGHT minutes to cross the start line. Yes. That's how many people there were. I had never been in a race this large so I was a little shocked. I couldn't believe that it took us that long just to start!
Anyway - we finally got on our way. Now - for weeks and months, all I have heard was that this race was all hills. We hit the first hill and it really wasn't so bad. Of course, all along the race there was entertainment like bands, belly dancers, and irish dancers. That made it more bearable as we ran by. Plus - there was a ton of water stops and people in their driveways handing out popsicles and ice pops and some people even spraying hoses on us to cool us down. There was so much communtiy support and I think that's what made the race so great.
I kept running with Elisa and her friend Gail. Mile 2 and 3 flew by. Then we hit the golf course. That's when we hit a big hill. All the way up and up. It kept going. About this time, my stomach was complaining. I knew this wasn't a good sign. But I kept going. We finally hit the top of the hill and we were rewarded with a gorgeous view. And then it was downhill for a while. That was nice. We coasted along enjoying the downill.
Mile 5 flew by and then around mile 6-7 - there was a massive hill. That pretty much sucked. My stomach was really hurting. The only thing that kept me going was that I knew at the top of the hill that my former next door neighbor Kathy would be there with her family. So I kept plugging away and running. I kept looking for Kathy and finally saw her. She waved. I waved. She took a photo. I kept going. By this time, I had lost Elisa and Gail and I was alone. This was not a fun feeling. I had no ipod. No running buddy and an upset stomach. Not a good combo.
I kept going and after mile 7.5 I lost my mo-jo. My legs were killing me and I started running/walking. This is the part that should have been easy. After all, there were no more hills and it was the home stretch. But it was probably the toughest 1.5 miles I ever ran. This is when I needed a running buddy to keep me moving. I found myself really missing Janis. She would have kept me going. But - Janis wasn't there and Elisa, Gail and Felice were way ahead of me. In fact, they were probably done at this point! So I was alone.
I kept plugging away and finally hit mile 9. I only had .3 miles to go. I finally crossed the finish line at 1:37:28. Definitely not my goal of 90 minutes. But - in all fairness, the race was congested with 10,000 runners so that definitely contributed to running slower. And then I had the stomach issue. And then there were the hills. So - I guess it's not a bad time considering all of those factors.
It was a fun day and I am glad I ran it. We were back home by noon and by 1 PM I was in my bed taking a nice 2 hour nap.
415/619 people in my age group
8037 out of 11,049 people
Average pace - 10:28