Saturday, June 4, 2011
13.1 Chicago = Black Flag
hmmm... not one of my favorites and considering it wasn't even official, not sure if i even can chalk it up as another 13.1.
participated in Chicago 13.1 this weekend. heard mixed reviews but got sucked in b/c i got a deal and only paid $30 for registration. some friends ended up signing up too and were excited for their first 13.1 while i was looking forward to a nice training race prior to my half iron in a few weeks.
THE NEGATIVES (as josh is demonstrating in his facial expression)
*THE HEAT: the race went black flag therefore only 130ish official finishers. race started under yellow flag (i.e. proceed with caution). by mile 6-7 ish, it was already red flag and the timing was turned off. at that point i had no intention of pushing myself and started walking. it was close to 90 degrees plus humidity and there was no need to get heat stroke!
in theory, it was completely understandable to black flag the race, however, i saw NO buses to get you to finish and your only option was to walk/run back. as it was so hot, most of us just kept chugging along at our current slow pace as we really didn't have a choice and just wanted to be done. i also think because running is becoming so trendy, there are a lot of newbies that don't know when to say when... i think it would have been smarter to not just tell people to stop but to force people to not proceed at water stations as they were still manning them. unfortunately, one young man died and 11 hospitalized from the heat.... which i would have liked to think could have been avoided if they just called it when it went to red flag.
*THE COURSE: what started as a small race, is now too big for its course. although they tried to alleviate the crowd with wave starts it is time for the race to move off the bike path or they need to kick off the stroller families.
THE POSITIVES (as josh demonstrates here)
*i love seeing people i have run alongside with in other races. there are a handful of racers i always ended up 'running' into within the last few miles of the race. (i.e. the big black guy that always wears the same compression gear, a girl from the south side whose fast husband always runs back to finish with her, sisters that are super funny (one of whom was pregnant this time) and the old man in these nasty old red (now pink) shorts. i have never actually talked to the old man but he is hard to miss between his shorts, suspenders and maniac shirt!
*seeing people just enjoying life, being healthy and not stressing about time. running is a therapeutic process for me and seeing other people just enjoying being out there was awesome!
*after they called the race, i went back maybe 200-300 Meters and found my friend who i knew had to be close behind and gave him a little pep talk and we proceeded
*finding another person in my group literally 20 Meters from the finish. i hadn't seen her since the gun. fun to cross the finish together with her!
in the end, it was a long training run...