The info email that went out a few days before, let us know that there would be a shuttle running back and forth from a big lot outside the downtown area. I figured that would be our best bet so we don’t have to drive around looking for parking that may or may not be inside the race route when we went to leave. We pulled into the large lot and jumped in the already long line. We eventually learned that there was only 1 shuttle bus running people back and forth. we stood there for about a half hour before we could squeeze onto a bus. Luckily for the people waiting behind us (The line had gotten MUCH longer), there seemed to be another bus that had started to run as well. We got dropped off about 20 minutes before the race was to start. A little too close to call for my liking…
I got my stuff ready, took a few pictures and very nervously realized that I should get to my corral. I was letter D, and there seemed to be one entrance to get into my corral that everyone was trying to fit through…and by everyone, I mean everyone. Not just the people assigned to D. There were walkers pushing their way in and every other person that didn’t pay any attention to whole corral system. It was a little frustrating. But I eventually got in and moved to the other side so as not to block the entrance and to have some more space to myself!
::Cue national anthem::
And thus began the wave starts.
The waves seemed to work well…until my wave started going and no one said it was the start of wave 4…oh well, had to go with it. It wasn’t all that crowded. MUCH easier than the night before. Most of the walkers were toward the back. I just went with the crowd. There was a bit of a lap of the area before the meat of the race started, so I got to run by the Boyfriend a few times before I hit 3 miles.
I’ve been doing a mostly run/walk when I need to pace on the regular, so that’s what I figured I’d stick with. Skipped my walking on the first mile…just because I really was not tired. Started the pattern around the 2 mile marker. Along with my walk, I would drink water regularly. As much or as little as I felt I needed. But I would drink some.
There were some roads with medians that made them a little hard to navigate with so many people, but it worked out and lots of people either hit the sidewalk or went on the other side of the median. The course itself was interesting. It varied from the not so great area of town to running by mansions and a golf course. There was lots of shade at one point and lots of sun at another. Even the Bradley Hills were not all that bad (though I do like running on hills). They had me timed at 9:36 from the start of the hills to the finish!
It was really great to see how many people were out supporting the runners. Even the sketchy areas we went through (they weren’t THAT bad..) there were lots of people out cheering everyone on. It’s probably what kept me distracted from the task at hand, so it made it an enjoyable experience, instead of a painful one. There were bands along the way doing covers, people randomly playing music (there was a guy playing his drum kit on his porch at one point), Kids banging on buckets, tooting vuvuzelas, & ringing cowbells, There was a guy singing Karaoke at the top of his lungs and at one point, there was even a gospel choir. I had to take my headphones off for that. It sounded amazing. Gave me chills!
People were also busy handing out cups of water (including a very encouraging frat house), and hosing the runners down who wanted it. My personal favorite was the “Champagne Corner” a guy was handing out flutes of champagne to the runners! Hilarious!
I was very happy to see at one point after about the 8 mile mark, that there was Gatorade being passed out. I really needed something other than water at that point! I didn’t even care that it was orange!
Somehow I managed to keep under an 11 minute pace (ignore what the map says. I think it’s accounting for the end when I forgot to stop it right away.) Which I totally did not expect to do! My legs felt good and it wasn’t until about Mile 8 that they were feeling a bit hard to move. Just ached at the hip joint area. I was grateful that my usual aches and pains were almost non-existent! Not what I expected at all! I think I just focused on just running and not focused on my form so much (bad I know)…but I just let my body do what it wanted to and trusted that it wasn’t going to lead to anything bad. It worked! Also I made sure that I just took it one mile at a time and didn’t dread what was ahead of me. I knew eventually I’d get there, but it was going to take some time.
That morning, on the way there, Brett asked me when I thought I’d be done. For an 8am start, I figured probably somewhere between 10-10:30 leaning more towards the latter. I managed to finish at 1:48:50! I was pretty impressed with myself when I saw that!
Running up to the finish line, I took out my headphones and just listened to the crowd as I crossed. I was never so happy to cross a finish line. Not because it was a terrible experience, but because I did something I wasn’t sure that I could do! I’m feeling quite ready to run the half marathon (it’s only just over 3 more miles than this) in October! …Maybe even a bit excited!
After the race, volunteers were handing out cold towels (which felt amazing!), medals, bottles of water, bananas, popcicles, and granola bars. At the food area, the live band was back, and there were timbits, coffee, McD’s drink samples, and more pizza & drinks! We would have stayed longer…but we had to find the shuttle bus back to the parking lot. We assumed that it would pick us up in the same spot as the drop off, but no one was waiting around, so we had to ask a few people. Someone knew where it was, but not how to get there, someone else told us what direction to walk in… It would have been nice for them to tell us where to go after the race was over. I’m sure there were a lot of lost people that day. We finally found it an jumped right on! We were back on the road within 20 minutes.
My Final standings were 4801/7948 overall and 1941/4051 among the Women. I would do this race again and again. It was intimidating, but a lot of fun! My legs still hurt a bit, but I honestly don’t mind!
Have you ever run the Crim? How was it? Are you going to next year?