March 12: 9 am. 5 miles in downtown St. Louis. Approximately 12,000 runners expected.
Goal: to run the whole race under 1 hour
My friend Jen told me she was running it, so I signed up right away! I had been thinking about it, but didn’t want to run a busy downtown race all by myself.
My trainer Mike was considering it too, and I thought we might see him downtown, but he wasn’t able to find us…oh well. He probably ran too fast anyway!
The race was run a little differently than others I’ve done. They mailed you your bib and then you took your bib to a local store and picked up your t shirt. I guess that made organization easier for them, and it was easy for me as well.
I went to Big River Running for my t-shirt, which ended up being a WOMEN’S FIT TECH SHIRT(tech shirt means the shirt is made of sweat wicking material and thus better to wear for working out). How fantastic is that!?!
(What is the real color? Who knows! I am NOT taking my shirt outside to photograph in the sun.)
Evidently the race is sponsored by Michelob Ultra…yuck! Supposedly you could get a free one after the race as well…again, yuck.
Jen and I got matching headbands and wristbands in honor of the occasion, plus t shirts from Target. Unfortunately the Target selection was slim so we weren’t able to match. I purchased the last pair of shamrock themed knee socks in the store. Fact about knee socks: some go up to my knee, others barely make it around my calves. I don’t know if that is because I have awesome muscular calves, because I am tall, or because these are simply inferior, cheap knee socks. Perhaps a bit of all three.
We got there about an hour early because we were worried about the crowds and parking…it was super easy at that hour, but quickly the area became VERY crowded.
I stood up on the wall for awhile to look around.
This was my “I’m king of the world” pose. I get silly when I’m around Jen, a camera, up early, whatever. Basically I get very silly when I can. Unfortunately it was a bit too sunny for this picture to turn out. I was also looking for Mike while I was standing up there—he had sent a text saying he should be easy to find as he was wearing green.
We met up with a friend of Jen’s named Kristin as well. Jen said Kristin was a super fast runner (for us 8 minute miles is super fast…) though Kristin denied this.
Soon it was time to line up, and start racing!
The gun went off (well, somebody over the loudspeaker counted down) and then we waited 10 to 15 minutes to get going. And then we were off!
It was a beautiful sunny day, and quickly I was too warm for my jacket. We had a tough time running together for the first mile or two as there were tons of people around. Some were walking, some jogging, some “yogging” as Will Ferrell would say, and some pushing a wagon with a keg of beer in it and blasting music from Top Gun (true, we really saw this). The race never really thinned out as it was too short and there were too many people, but eventually we got into a good rhythm. Kristin really kept Jen and I going—we were running 10 to 11 minute miles even UPHILL for a lot of the race—things to remember for the Go! Half marathon is that downtown St. Louis is full of hills—and she kept talking to us. We probably held her back but she didn’t seem to mind.
The first 2 miles went by pretty easily but then it was getting quite hot and I hadn’t brought water with me…around 2 1/2 miles there was a water stop which was a bit of a mess. We actually got split up and I thought I had lost my friends for the rest of the race but then I saw them ahead of me. I was glad as I didn’t really want to run 2 1/2 miles by myself without my ipod.
The rest of the race was tough, but we persevered and kept running. When we got close to the end Kristin ran on ahead and Jen and I ran as fast as we could…and finished in official time of 53:58! I was super pleased, as my goal had been to run in under 1 hour and we more than did that. We also only walked when we had to stop to get water (and yes, you did have to stop, that is why next time I need to carry my own.)
Can you believe it? Average speed of 6 mph for the last mile? Go me!! And weird that occasionally I maxed out at 12.8 mph…perhaps that’s my sprinting speed when I would try to get through crowds without getting cut off.
And there we are at the end—not quite as photogenic (evidently sweat makes my zits really POP). We totally lost Kristin because the crowds were ridiculous. There was a huge line (by line I mean mass of people) to get to where the water (and michelob ultra?) was, so we just headed to the car as it seemed that was closer, and there was water there.
I would definitely run this race again, and go even crazier with my costume. It was fun to run with so many people, plus the price was good and the tech shirt was a great bonus.
And, yes, it’s a PR (personal record) as this was my first 5 mile race! All in all, a great day.