I left work a bit early on that night to beat the traffic and give myself plenty of time to get there and find a place to park. I had never been to Flint, but heard lots about it (mostly not great things, to be honest). But when I arrived downtown, I was pleasantly surprised! The starting line was on Saginaw St. which is paved with old bricks. Located right by the University of Michigan campus.
I found parking right around the corner from the expo, It cost me $5, but the location was perfect, so I didn’t mind. I went straight toward the expo to get my bibs and shirts.
The Expo was held in a banquet center, right at the starting line. It was very crowded and hard to navigate around. Also, it was surprisingly dim in there. It was hard to really see everything. The check in and registration tables were in the very back of the expo. When I finally made my way to the back, I found tables set up for each race. Get your bib and some pins, go to a different table for shirts. The rest of the expo was pretty standard. Though there were some pretty decent deals on clothes and shoes. I ended up leaving with a 10 mi car magnet, 3 bondi bands, and some Body Glide. I had an argument with myself over a blue mizuno Track jacket that was 50% off…but didn’t end up getting it. There were lots of samples and other races with display tables set up, also, some girls jumping around on some bouncy shoes. It looked really fun! I wish I had gotten some pictures, but in my head they would all be too dark anyway!
After the expo, I went outside to watch what was going on. The Special Olympics were doing races and everyone lined the streets to cheer them on! It was great to see so many people out in support of them, even if they did run less than a block! There was a marching band at the finish line and everyone was in a great mood!
I went back to my car to change out my things and stretch. I returned to the start
to see the professionals run. First up was the guys. Some of these guys could run a SUB 4 MINUTE MILE. That’s pretty much a sprint. Crazy. Unfortunately the finish was around the corner, so we couldn’t see the results, but just watching them take off gave an idea
as to how fast they were! Up next were the Ladies. No 4 minute miles here, but still really fast! It’s interesting to see people do the things you do as a hobby for a living. These people all ate, drank, and breathed running. I don’t think I could even imagine!
After they sent those races off, they had a high school group run the mile first. Everyone else lined up behind them to run. This is where things got a bit complicated. Since it was only a mile, a lot of families with small children were running and there was no organization to how people lined up at the start. They had to announce that the kids were there and to be careful of them so no trampling took place. It would have just made sense to have them line up near the back. When they started us, there was a lot of weaving around kids, and walkers. I think it’s great when people join races to walk it…but I REALLY dislike those people when they walk in a line across the course blocking the path for people who are trying to hit a certain time. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Please, for the love of god…if you walk a race, move to the side and don’t take up the whole road. It’s really very aggravating to the people running. *END ANNOUNCEMENT*
The course itself was simple and went around the U of M campus and ended right around the corner from the start. Besides the dodging people at the start, it worked out alright. I just had to remind myself not to go too crazy because I had a bigger, more important race in the morning. I managed to finish this in 10:05. Which seemed kinda slow at the time, but was actually pretty decent for me, in retrospect!
When we crossed the finish line, there were volunteers handing out the big, fancy medals for the finishers. The finish line wasn’t too crowded because people immediately hit the food area for some free Little Cesar’s and some Beer/Soda/Gatorade/Water. There was also a live band playing.
Though I didn’t originally plan on running this race (the medal was very convincing), I was very happy that I did. It was a nice warm up and it was fun to see a bit of the area before the big race!
I grabbed some pizza and Gatorade before I began the journey home. I would have stayed but I needed to get some sleep for the 10 Mile run the next morning!
Have you ever run a short race like this? Do you like them better than the longer distances?