At arrival at the Matteson community center about a 1/2 hour before the race, the staff was very helpful at directing us where we needed to go. We received the swag bag complete with race bib and shirt. The shirt is black, long sleeved, and dry fit. I haven't tried it on yet, but I already like it. I have so many long sleeved t-shirts, it is nice to have an actual long sleeved dry fit shirt.
Once in the gym/waiting area, a DJ was playing some tunes to get us pumped up. I really liked this aspect as there is nothing like a little LMFAO to get you going! I knew a few of my other blogger friends were running this race and I ran into them beforehand to say hi! I also met another new running friend as well! I did a quick warmup with Kate's TNT friends and continued to stay warm in the gym.
|Kate, Kate, and I with our virtual 5k bibs|
The start line was right outside and this was definitely a perk to this race. I took a quick glance at the race map ahead of time (as it wasn't posted on the website or anything) to get a feel for the course. I was going to attempt to run "tangents" as I haven't yet tried that method. There wasn't a timing chip so I tried to get close to the front before the gun went off. I was going to try for a 7:30 pace to start and learn from my mistake of going out too fast.
The gun went off and I started with Maggie and Amanda in front of me. There was an unanticipated hill about 1/2 mile in so I tried to keep a steady pace up the hill. Mile 1: 7:37. My garmin was SPOT ON with the 1st mile marker. I have faith in technology whenever that happens. We went around for a bit and completed a loop in the neighborhood. At about mile 1.5, I passed Amanda and saw Maggie still ahead. Competing with a friend always make races more fun for me, I don't know about you guys! I knew that big hill was going to have to be conquered again, but not yet. Mile 2: 7:36. Soon after this mile marker, I knew the hill was coming. I kept telling myself "what hill?" as many times as I could. By the time it was over, I was ready for the decline. After the hill, the end was in our site. HOWEVER, there was one more loop to go before the end. It definitely was a little tricky, mentally. Maggie and I had been neck-and-neck during the last mile switching spots with one another. When I turned the corner, mile 3 was complete (7:48) with only 0.1 left to go. The wheels were turning and I saw the clock. The 23's were starting so I knew I wouldn't get that PR. I kept pushing to that finish line and ended it in 23:40. I was pretty happy with the time overall. I can't PR every race! Maggie finished strong in 23:41, just 1 second behind me. She PRed and I am happy for her!
After the race was done, we hung around and cheered on some friends finishing up soon behind us before heading into the gym. The post race food was amazing with clementines, bananas, little water bottles, and little Gatorades (various flavors). Considering this was an inaugural race, I was quite impressed. The big thing missing was water on the course. Even though it was a winter race and dehydration isn't a huge issue, it is still nice to rice out your mouth or grab a quick sip.
After munching on 6 clementines, it was time for the awards. The awards were given for 1st overall, and then to 1st and 2nd place in each age group (of 10... mine was 20-29). I placed 2nd in my age group!
|Close up of this photo to come (once I can find it)|
Amanda also won for her age group so we took a photo together for our running club, the FN Runers. Overall, it was a great day and a race I would love to do again next year!
|Amanda (TTF) and I, wearing our medals. Kate photobombing in back.|
Happy New Years fellow bloggers and readers! Cheers to another year in the books and high hopes for the new year to come!!