Last night, I participated in of the most popular races in the area, with over 6,000 other runners. It was my first time running this particular race, and was joined by some coworkers.
We arrived downtown shortly after 8 pm, and I had to use the restroom. Bad idea. The lines were 20 minutes long. I waited in line and finally got to a restroom with a minute to spare. I sprinted to the starting line - probably my fastest run of the evening! I settled in an area with what I thought were other average runners, figuring that was a good area to stay away from the rush of the starting line. This was another bad idea. By the time I crossed the starting line, 4-5 minutes had passed from the start of the race. As soon as I passed the starting line, I had to weave in and out of dozens of walkers. I had seeded myself too far back, and spent the first mile trying to get out of the mass of slower runners and walkers.
The entire race was very congested. Only toward the last half mile was I able to get some space. The turns were tight and I definitely added some length to the race by weaving in and out of obstacles and people. I'm not sure what my final time was - waiting for the chip results to come in later today. I didn't have much of a final kick at the end like I usually try to. During the race, a runner came up to me and asked me how I was doing. I told him "Fine", and he tapped me on the shoulder and said "Tag, you're it!". Once I realized what had just happened, I surged forward for all of 30 seconds, effectively wiping myself out by mile 2. Another bad idea.
It was so humid out, and I was drenched by the time I finished. The finish line was congested. I found Shane at our predetermined meeting spot, and we wandered around for a little bit before heading toward the burger joint.My shirt was covered in water and sweat, and I didn't bring one to change into. I stopped at a McDonald's and tried to dry it off with the hand dryer. It worked pretty well, although I was definitely still wishing I had a shower.
At Hugh Jass Burgers (ha ha ha), we met up with my coworkers after the race. I swapped the Redd's Apple Ale I originally ordered (too sweet) for Shane's West Sixth amber ale. We split an order of sweet potato fries with marshmallow dipping sauce (!) and a burger with a fried egg on top. Delicious.
I don't think I would run this particular race again, but it was fun to do once. I wouldn't mind going to Hugh Jass again though!