Kelly the Culinarian: Race Report: Fitness for America 10K in Hoffman Estates

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Race Report: Fitness for America 10K in Hoffman Estates

First off, this race report might be more generous and glowing than my other reports, because I achieved a personal record at this race - I ran a 10K in 55:12, which is an 8:54 pace. I was also third in my age group, which means I have a medal coming!

Anyhow, Tim and I signed up for the Fitness for America 10K a few weeks ago. This is in nearby Hoffman Estates at the AT&T complex. This race cost us around $79 for the both of us and we went to pick up our race packets the evening before. The packet pick up was quick and easy with a few vendors hanging around, but nothing I was really interested in. The packet included a bright green technical T-shirt that again I feel was too big despite being the smallest size, a water bottle and a few racing-related coupons. My pet peeve with water bottles are screw tops, because it means they're absolutely useless when engaging in physical activity, so this water bottle will be something I use at work or in the car.

This morning, we headed to the AT&T complex and arrived around 7 for a 7:30 a.m. start time. There was plenty of parking, but the start wasn't well marked. We hit the port-o-potties and there was a line, but it moved quickly. There was a significant storm the night before, which left the course wet and gravely. It was raining for the entire race and half an hour previous, so everyone was waiting in a tunnel until minutes before the gun.

We all lined up and looked for the Dick Pond pacers, which were a lifesaver. As soon as I located the 1:55 pacers (which was the time for the half marathon), I made it my goal to chase that guy to the bitter end. When the gun went off, I was super focused and stayed with the pacers. Around mile 3.5, I lapped the pacers when they stopped at the second of three water stations. They caught up to me in the next half mile, which was when I started to hit a wall. At the five mile, the 10K and half courses split, so I had to pace myself for the remaining 1.2 miles. It was tough and I dreamed of ice cream as I pushed myself to finish strong.

I finally crossed the finish and was so proud that I made the time I had targeted. My shoes were squishy and I was soaked and dirty from the rain. Tim and I wondered where the water was post finish as there weren't any volunteers at the finish line. We wandered to where we thought the post-race party was and stopped to get stretched out by a group of chiropractic interns. The woman that worked on my shin split immediately identified some areas for improvement and suggested a few stretches, as well as icing my shin, but no ice was available on site. We stopped and got a few samples of sports drinks, but there really wasn't any swag to be had. And the food/water was in a separate area than the vendors, so we had to ask another runner where she got her food. Also, it was set up weird in that we had to cross the 5K course to get to the food. There were bananas, cookies of different kinds, grapes, pretzels and crackers with peanut butter.

I would have liked more water, specifically, bottles of water, and the food and vendors in the same place. Also, more freebies would have been nice considering the cost of the entry. There weren't any clocks anywhere on the course, which would have been helpful. I can't say enough great things about the pacers, which helped me reach and awesome goal this morning.

Price: $40

Time: 55:25

Swag: Water bottle, technical T-shirt

Pros: Easy course, awesome pacers, plenty of parking

Cons: Strange post-race set up, not enough water, no on-course timing, not enough signage, no ice available post-race for icing sore spots

Would I race again: Maybe, if the layout after the race was changed

No comments: