Kelly the Culinarian: Fort2Base Race Report

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fort2Base Race Report

After preparing for this race for months, I can't believe it's over with! While Fort2Base paid for my race entry as part of my ambassador relationship, the opinions are 100 percent mine.

The race was Sunday, Sept. 11, starting at Fort Sheridan and ending at Naval Station Great Lakes. The start was at 7 a.m. with packet pick up at the base until 6:30 a.m. The race offered a shuttle from the base with the last one leaving at 6:15 a.m. There was both at 10 nautical mile (11.5 land miles) and a 3 nautical mile (3.45 land miles). My friends ran the 3NM distance and we carb loaded the night before.

I slept really poorly and was up at 4:15 a.m. I had my standard toast with peanut butter, flax and banana, along with water. We rolled out at 5 a.m., which turned out wasn't early enough.

Traffic was really, really bad, backed up leading up to the base for a mile. I actually got out of the car and walked on base, then walked to packet pick up. Well, I didn't walk. I ran to the packet pick up, then ran to the buses. I would have been on the last bus that made it to the start line on time, if the race started on time. Had I known, I would have made the hour drive the day before for packet pick up.

I got to Fort Sheridan around 6:50 a.m. and did gear check, then waited in line for the port-o-potties. There weren't nearly enough. They announced they would start 15 minutes late given the traffic. I was fourth in line for the bathroom when they said they were starting in 1 minute. I debated what I needed more: the port-o-pottie or the pacers. I decided pacers, so lined up next to the 9-minute sign.

The race started off and off we went. I felt awesome the first four miles, then had to concentrate on breathing deep. The course was beautiful, through a nice trail that was shaded. We crossed through the Highland Park train station and back onto the path, then back onto the Navy base. There were tons of volunteers and water stations, along with kids with signs and flags.

For me, everything fell apart somewhere between the eight and 10 mile marks. I was weak, out of breath and in direct sunlight. And I still had to pee. I needed food, and didn't have any. I left the pacers and took a breather until some nice runner told me to buck up and keep going. And I did. Except there was a ridiculous hill at the 10ish that I had to walk up while begging some sailor to carry me to the finish line. Instead, he told me "Ma'am, there are no more hills after this. Keep moving!"

When I finally, finally saw the finish line, I had no idea my time. There weren't any clocks on the course (side note to any family reading this: a Garmin would be nice). I crossed the finish line in 1:45:27, which was just two minutes short of my goal. While the posted time says my pace was 8:57, the math just doesn't work out and I think it was 9:10.

I got a super sweet medal, along with a long-sleeve quarter-zip version of the tech shirt I've been rocking all summer. The only food left when I finished was bananas, which wasn't cutting it. There were sponsors with Cabot Cheese, FRS, Organic Valley Cheese and Kefir. Best Buy was also handing out half bagels. There was one massage/stretch station, but they looked a little feely for my taste.

Alas, after having to pee for two hours, I only saw a single port-o-pottie, so I headed to my mom's house. While she didn't make it to the finish line, my mom was on base for the festivities (how sweet of her!) and made me breakfast after my ice bath soak in my childhood bathroom. Thanks, mom!

Cost: I think $55 for early registration?

Time: 11.5 miles in 1:45:27

Pros: Awesome, mostly shaded course through a place that wouldn't otherwise be accessible (the base), nice post-race party, really impressive finishers medal, nice tech shirt

Cons: Not enough port-o-potties, not enough post-event food, bad traffic flow leading into the base

Would I race it again: Yes


Maggie W said...

Great post! I also couldn't believe there was only one port-a-potty after the race, and I assume it was part of the last water stop. However, I was in no position to be picky at that point, nor did I want to take the time to find more ...

I finished around 2:03 clock time (1:58 Garmin time - I stayed in the port-a-potty line at the 10NM start while the race started), and there was also string cheese and pop chips when we finished (in the first tent). I loooove cheese post-race so that was exciting for me. But by the time we realized where to get the finishers medals (we missed it at first), they were out of chains, so it was kind of disappointing not to be able to wear our medals. I thought about stopping at the NEX to see if we could buy chains (since they looked like the ones used for dog tags) but we were sweaty and hungry so we just went back to our hotel.

So ... when is your next race?

Kim said...

Awesome job! You were speedy! Do you think you will bring something to eat next time to prevent feeling so blah in the later miles?

I didn't realize the last bus was supposed to be at 6:15! I read the instructions a few times but forgot - I was thinking 6:30! I would have been more worried if I thought it was 6:15. Also, I didn't realize there was supposed to be more food at the finish.

Did you get a chain and a 3-miler dog tag? I just got the medal. They wouldn't give me a chain.