On Friday I went to the "expo" and picked up my race info and hoodie. (I use the quotes as it wasn't really an expo. Just packet pickup where you could buy more Team Ortho stuff if you wanted.) The hoodie is nice and long and I wore it most of the day on Saturday (and again right now).
My friend Amanda tipped me off about this awesome $2 parking lot so I drove downtown nice and early the morning of the race. I got to the starting line and was surprised how small the group seemed to be. I soon met up with Nicole Fritz who took some nice pre race photos.
Of course I wore my green sparkle skirt and some obnoxious green and orange socks from Target. I had gone back and forth on about 3 different shirt options because I couldn't figure out the weather. At mile 7, I regretted my decision to not go with something lighter.
|Photo Source: Nicole Fritz|
Soon after seeing Nicole, I saw Gingerfoxxx and her bf Matt.
GFoxxx and I had similar race goals (to finish) so we ran the race together. I got excited while I was talking and started off a bit too fast. I think the first few miles were under 9 minutes.
|Too early in the race for us to not be smiling! (Source)|
The farther we went, the hotter it became. The course was along the lakefront so there wasn't an inch of shade. At mile 2 we were looking for the first water stop that wasn't there. They weren't marked on the course map so I wasn't quite sure where they would be. Standard is every 2 miles, but apparently not according to Team Ortho. The first water stop was at mile 3.5 (not joking). Thankfully I had brought a small water bottle that we were able to use in between. When we finally saw the first water station, I was looking forward to my mid-race favorite beverage--lemon lime Gatorade. Only it wasn't there. "Powerade! Powerade here and water right after!" is what the volunteers were announcing. Um, wtf? Blue Powerade? What kind of race is this? I didn't take any because I wasn't sure how my stomach would handle it. I kept it to water just in case.
The course was the traditional out and back along the lakefront path and the volunteers did a really great job directing traffic. They kept us from veering off the course and were encouraging along the way. I think considering the heat, they prob could have had more medical personnel.
The second half of the race was even tougher than the first with that sun beating down on us. Gingerfoxxx had a great idea and that was to list cold (non-dairy) items that we were longing for. Margaritas, mojitos, popsicles, ice cubes, carnival lemonade shakeups, Italian ice, the first jump into a lake when it isn't quite warm enough and it gives you goosebumps all over. This helped a little bit, but only for a few minutes. I ate a Gu at mile 8 and my stomach didn't like me very much after that. Gingerfoxxx was having larger stomach issues than me, but I didn't mind when she stopped to walk. (I know all about stomach issues...) We were finally rounding the bend for our last 1/2 mile when she spotted her bf Matt who snapped this gem. :)
I think my face in this photo is priceless. "Yes I'm running, but I'm not enjoying it." We were almost done! Thank god. The cheering at this point went above and beyond what was expected. The deafening roar from the volunteers and finishers helped motivate us to finish strong! Right as we turned the corner, we could see the finish line. I spotted Nicole with her camera so I made sure to pose for the pic.
|Source: Nicole Fritz|
There weren't a ton of people running this race and they were announcing names as people crossed the finish line. As we crossed the finish line at the exact same time, both our names were called together. Kind of cool actually. Our finish time: 2:12:57 (10:08). I was really happy that I didn't have a specific goal time for this half marathon, considering the horrible weather conditions, etc. I was happy to keep Gingerfoxxx company and finish/suffer through it together.
|Sara and I|
|Nicole and I|
Overall it was a fun race, but my opinion on Team Ortho is still out there. I was really disappointed with the lack of extra water/support during the heat. Then again, this was their first time putting on THIS race (but they've put on the Polar Dash and Monster Dash in Chicago as well). I know it is hard to tell in some of these photos as my skin blends in with my white tank top. I really should have put on sunblock because now I have a wicked hillbilly sunburn. No worries, I'll spare you all the photo. :)
Next up: Shamrock Shuffle! Hopefully 1) we'll have cooler weather or 2) my body will be more used to the heat. Fingers crossed!