I signed up for The Race That's Good For Life just a few weeks ago when I saw that it was pretty easily accessible from the city using public transit. At the time I only had 2 5Ks on my schedule so I decided I wanted to add another in as a tune up run. In a prior running life (high school) I was a sprinter and still have that thirst for speed every once in awhile. Running 5Ks gives me a chance to let loose and fly, not that I'm very fast, but it is a change up from the long slow runs. With the increased mileage I've added this year I was curious to see how much I'd improve. The only downside is I was recently back from vacation and still trying to get back into a running groove for this race.
The packet pick up for the race was either at Competitive Foot in downtown Oak Park or at the race on race day. I opted to pick up the packet from the store on Friday since I had the day off and didn't want to spend it all on the couch. I took a bus down to the loop where I transferred to the green line and road that to the very last stop. I never thought that the green line would be the 2nd EL train that I've ridden to its terminus after the blue line. Anyways the store was near the stop and pick up was a breeze. After that I was on my way home and even picked up groceries on the way.
Getting to race day was a little bit more of a challenge. I had forgotten about the Wells St bridge construction. I had to take a shuttle to the Clinton stop and catch the green line from there. I got to the race just as the women were off and running. Yes, this race featured different start times for women and men. I hit the restroom and checked out the school before heading over to the finish line to catch the top women finishers. After watching for about 10 minutes or so I went for a quick little jog and then over to the start line for the mens' start. There were a lot of families running this nice little community event. There was one boy who was upset that he had to run with his dad and he could only run about a 25 minute race because his dad couldn't find a faster friend for him to run with.
Before we knew what was going on the starting gun was going off. There was no announcement, at least nothing on loud speaker, so those of us in the middle of the pack gave each other a look and were like I guess that means start. I started off a little fast and had to fight a bit through the crowd. After the first turn I was settled into my spot and ran fairly consistently. I slowed slightly the 2nd mile before picking it up again in the 3rd mile. After the last turn there is just over a half mile stretch that seemed just ever so slightly downhill. I started to pick up steam and was starting to fly by the end of the race. After crossing the finish line I checked my watch and realized I had set a new PR by 15 seconds. Not bad considering I wasn't targeting this race for a PR. I was just trying to shake out some cobwebs and get a tune up in before Race to Wrigley in a couple weeks.
So after I cross the finish line and go grab some water something bizarre happened. One of the volunteers passing out water pulled the cup away as I was reaching for it because she knew the runner behind me and gave it to him. I've never encountered this before and it seems like bad volunteer etiquette considering she had 2 hands and water in each hand... she could of easily handed water to both of us. Oh well, there were other volunteers to get water from. The post race spread also featured little bottles of Gatorade, bananas, dinner rolls, pretzels with hummus, and Chewy granola bars.
After I made it through the finish line goodies I ran into some fellow bloggers. They didn't know me so I introduced myself. I had previously seen Erin at the Road Runner Sports meet up but never formally introduced myself. The other bloggers I met where Katie, Kelsey, and Lindsay. After chatting for a bit I went with Katie, Kelsey, and Lindsay to figure out the Green Line situation once more. I got home, made a sandwich for lunch, took a nap, then went for another run to complete my mileage for today. All in all it was a good weekend. Next weekend I get a break before completing 6 races in 6 weekends.
Anyone else running Race to Wrigley?