This past Sunday, I ran the Brooksie Way 10k in Rochester Hills, Michigan. This was the 6th running of the Brooksie Way which is primarily a Half Marathon. This year they introduced the 10k. I thought it would be a great way to ramp up to the half marathon later this month.
I attended the expo after work on Friday. I work right by Oakland University, so it was awesome that I could just swing over before my weekend began! The expo was held in the Rec center in the gymnasium area. There was hardly anyone there when I went in, so it was really easy to move around. It seemed like I had just seen a lot of the same vendors at the Crim Festival Expo in August, but that was alright. If I had been in a shopping mood, I would have been quite happy that I had the space to look, instead of feeling crowded like I had been at The Crim. The packet pickup was very simple and very well organized. I had gotten my bib number e-mailed to me a few days prior so I just had to pull it up on my phone. Though if I hadn’t, I could have found it posted there. I got my bib and my green long sleeved cotton shirt. It was a quick trip, and I was glad it was so simple!
That morning started with a beautiful sky! Made me actually enjoy being up early on a Sunday! We got to the race site and had to sit in a bit of traffic to get in, but managed to park in a field off Adams Rd. and get to the start just as the Half Marathon was about to start! Enjoyed the National Anthem while waiting in line at the porta potties (the Ameri-CANs!) and then got myself together for the start.
The start was just packed full of 5k and 10k runners and walkers. I had to fight my way through towards the front a bit because I kept ending up by all the people with BIG strollers. I eventually gave up and was still towards the back. People seem to have a real issue with someone squeezing by them to get toward the front. *sigh* Soon after, we started moving. There was a bit of cheering, but other than that, there wasn’t much of a signal to start.
The first mile I spent weaving around people that were walking. As I’ve said in race review posts before, this is a pet peeve of mine that walkers start at the front, or that they walk in lines that block the path. I get kind of irate when this is the case. Please Please Please, Race gods…Make it a thing that walkers have to line up to start behind the runners! I’m getting a bit heated just writing about it. ANYWAY! Once I managed to get around them, it was a lot easier. Unfortunately I had expended most of my energy just getting to that point!
The basic idea of this course was two loops. The first one was 3.1 miles, so the 5k would finish where we all started and the 10k would do another loop with a few differences.
The first lap was in blue, the second was in red. The part I liked most about this course was that we ran by Meadowbrook Hall…which is just beautiful and I had never seen it before. I just wanted to laps around the courtyard for the rest of the day, just so I could stare at it! But shortly after that, reality set in and I realized that this course hated me. Hills. Allll Hills. There was hardly anything flat about this course. There was a killer hill that was right after the 2 mile marker…and oh wait…it was also right after the 4 mile marker. It was long, it was steep. Awesome.
At the halfway point, I was pretty much ready to call it good. They put the participants into two lanes. If you were doing the 5k, you headed toward the finish line, and the rest of us continued on to our 2nd lap. There were some differences in this one, but nothing really beneficial. Still big hills and no pretty mansion on this lap. Also, they played a mean trick and made you think you were almost done, but you instead had to go on this huge detour to a parking lot on the OU campus and back before you could proceed to the end. Oh and it was another long hill.
I appreciated the fact that they had entertainment along the route. A bagpiper, a drumline, a radio station, Some dudes with guitars, and a rock band. As a musician I really liked that they came out to play for us. That was a nice feature.
Approaching the finish line was probably the best part of this whole race…just because it meant that it was over…even though the lead up to the finish was…you guessed it! A hill.
I managed to finish the race and though my Nike App told me all hope was lost, beat my previous time…by less than a minute. No PR on this one. I finished in 1:07:08.
I really hate complaining, but honestly, this was my least favorite run that I’ve done all year. Maybe it was just that I wasn’t feeling the whole running thing this Sunday. Maybe my legs have had enough after the 10 miler. Maybe I just didn’t expect all the hills. But it just wasn’t as fun or rewarding as the others that I’ve run. And the actual reward of a medal that I was to get when I finished was disappointing. It was a thin ribbon with a chincy piece of metal on the other end that felt as if I could have gotten it out of a 50 cent machine. I was hoping they’d just be smaller versions of the really nice half marathon medals. Maybe the Crim spoiled me with a heavy duty fancy medal for running a mile…
They did have a nice selection of food and drinks for the runners after they finished and there was a tent with some food vendors in it…and if you were over 21 (and like beer…not me) you got a free beer. I would have been happy with a piece of pizza or some non-alcoholic beverage… but made do with a Rice Krispy Treat and a bottle of water.
I will give them that this event was very well organized and the process of registering and getting to the starting line was very simple. I’m probably more frustrated with the course (they should have had an elevation map on the website for the 10k at least!), The walkers & the organization thereof, and the finisher medal. I really don’t think I would do this race again…even if it is the closest one to home that I’ve done.