Saturday 7/28 ~ Inaugural BTN B1G 10k
Time: 1:10:39 ~ 10k 11:23/mile pace.
This post might get a little awkward… me and the BTN B1G 10k might need to get a room… This run was SO well done.
When I heard about this race back in the spring, I was GIDDY. I am the kind of girl whose Saturdays are devoted to college football. I wake up, turn on Game Day, double check my Pick Ems, and spend the day just reveling in football. I grew up in Columbus and graduated from THE Ohio State University, so the Big Ten is in my blood.
I made a commitment to myself to run a race a month, starting in July 2011 with my first 5k. Here we are, with this 10k being race #15, and it was the first one I was literally EXCITED about. My other races were either for fun, for charity, or just because I said I would do a race this month. But the B1G 10k was one that I was genuinely excited for. All of this anticipation, of course, made it hard for me to get to sleep the night before, and with a 7:40 start time all the way down at Soldier Field, I had to be out the door at 6:00.
Had everything prepped and ready to go the night before. Woke up around 5:15 and started drinking water right away. Had some toast, peanut butter and a banana, then headed out. Got to the train at 6:30 and started to get worried that I was going to be late. I HATE stressing out before a race, but leaving the house before 6:15 is also nearly impossible for me…
Rode the train with a few others all dressed in their school gear, including two Buckeyes on my car. 🙂 That is part of the fun of wearing your school’s shirt, a nod to a fellow fan! I made it to the race site with just enough time to check my bag, use the porta-potty and get in to the start corral. The corral was really crowded, and there wasn’t a lot of room between pace signs, but I managed to eek up a little so I wasn’t starting totally last.
One thing I have learned at the crowded races is that I do better when I don’t rush it at the start. This has been the best piece of advice anyone has given me, and the hardest to take in to account on race day. The biggest point where this is a struggle is the VERY start. There is so much adrenaline, people are so excited and ready to go, that they start running even from the back of the pack. Well, as was the case today, you’re adding a lot of extra time on to your run before you’ve even officially started. I managed to walk up until the official chip timed starting line, gave Brutus a high five and took off!
It was a great burst of energy to get going, and I needed it going in to the first part of the race. We were running south from Soldier Field, and the first mile of the race led us past McCormick Place. This is a GIANT convention center in the city, and the “course” was under a parking tunnel/structure. Let’s just call it at least .25mi of a sweatbox. My eyesight is terrible, but it’s especially unreliable in the dark. I spent that entire time just praying I didn’t fall down!
Once the race got going, I really got in to a great pace. There were more mascots along the way, and I was just in a good, happy zone. The course was all new, there was a lot to look at, the weather was warm but there was a breeze, and there were AMPLE water and Gatorade stops. Oh… and did I mention the Slip and Slide? Cause there was a half way marker Slip and Slide. I decided to opt out of that one, there was a line… but come on, how cool is that??
I still felt really good turning that corner and heading back north towards the finish line. For the most part I was towards the back of the pack, but again, I am not in this to win any prizes, or compete with anyone, I just want to do it for myself. And I was happy that I felt good, I was hydrated and I was having a great time. And also… this:
I don’t run south, ever, so this view was truly a reward. So many runners were stopping to photograph this moment, it was just great to see so many people ENJOYING themselves. At one point, a woman stopped me to say “hello” and said she wondered where I was because she had been pacing with me the whole time. I stopped to walk and take that picture, and she said she was worried something happened to me. I mean… come on. When does that happen? I love this race!
Just before the finish line, there was a volunteer with a hose spraying people down, and letting us know we were almost there… And she was not lying. 🙂 It was just a few feet more, and there were lots of smiling faces and people cheering on perfect strangers from their alma matter. I started about 3:10 after the first runner, so I knew I was going to get in under my goal of 1:12. I did a typical OSU Block O pose as I crossed the finish line, and was immediately greeted by an ice cold towel, a COLD bottle of water, gatorade, a banana and a granola bar. Have I mentioned how much I love this race?
After a cool down walk and some stretching, I made my way to the post race party. This run delivered on all the things it promised, including mascots, cheerleaders, players, football ‘celebs’, and a full on tailgate party at the end of the day. There was a field goal kicking competition, there were targets for throwing passes, there was school themed bean bag toss games (ok, I’m from Ohio, we call it cornhole), there were school finisher banners, and I got to get a photo with Brutus.
I could go on and on about how much I loved the post-party, and how great the tailgate was, and how ready I am for football season to begin, but that would get away from this as a race recap, so I’ll restrain myself. Some people complained about the path being too narrow, but I think that’s to be expected during marathon training season. The only thing that would have made it even better would be if Lee Corso, Herby and Desmond Howard were at the finish line with a “5 weeks till kick off” countdown. Guess I’ll have to wait for the ESPN race to get that… THANK YOU, BTN!!!