Kelly the Culinarian: 2012 Fort2Base Race Report

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2012 Fort2Base Race Report

Staying warm pre-race
What a difference a year makes. Last year, I trained for the 10 Nautical Mile Fort2Base Race for 12 weeks and it was the longest distance I had ever run. I learned a lot at this race, including how to fuel properly and a little bit of mental toughness.

This year, I'm a week out from my first marathon and confident in my ability to complete and compete in a variety of distances. I was in no condition to compete in this race this race this year, but I wanted to participate as part of my role as the director of ambassador outreach.

Lucky for me, my dad started getting active about a year ago. He started with walking, working his way up to walking a 5K about once a week at a forest preserve, moving indoors for the winter. I bought him a Garmin to track his heart rate and progress, and he added a run/walk combo in the past few months and agreed to complete the Fort2Base 3 Nautical Mile Race with me.

So I got up at 4 a.m. this morning to make the drive to the base.  Tim and I were at a wedding last night, hence the early wake up call and long drive.

It. Was. Cold. I arrived at Rosalind Franklin around 6 a.m. and took a short shuttle ride over the the base, where I met my mom and dad. Thankfully, the base opened up a gym facility next to the start line because of the cold. We hung out there until about 7 a.m., then moved outside for some short speeches, the presentation of the flag and the national anthem.

Right about 7:15 a.m., my dad and I were off. It was a beautiful course and a perfect day, weather wise. After the first half mile, we warmed up and were cruising along. We probably took the first mile too fast, clocking in at 10:18. My dad wears a heart rate monitor, so we took a little walk break whenever it got too high.  We also walked through the water stations and tried to enjoy the waterfront and morning as much as possible.

We rested right before the massive hill on the course (Hero Hill), then tried to power through it to the top. We made it about 75 percent of the way there.

When we hit the 5K mark, my dad noticed he just hit a PR, but we still had to make it to the finish line. We booked it for the last quarter mile, despite my dad's heart rate reaching 110 percent of max. He may never run with me again ...
Victorious post-run shot
We clocked in at 38:39, an 11:13 overall pace. My dad's Garmin info showed that we were fast the first mile, slowed in the second and speeded up at the very end. It was great running with my dad and was an experience I really enjoyed.  I love racing because it pushes me to a new level with my running and lets me meet a multitude of like-minded people, which is why I'm excited to share it with people. Plus, I love that my dad has taken up a healthy and badass hobby. It's hard to try something new, but my dad has conquered a cool milestone and I was there to do it with him. I hope we'll get a chance to do this again.

After we finished, we got out medals and loaded up on bars, snacks and drinks.  I've never seen so many snacks! I tried a huge assortment of bars and snacks and found a new favorites.

I had to stick around for a while to take photos with the Chicago Running Bloggers as well as the staff and ambassadors, but the shuttle back was slow going.
Lauren, Me, Sara and Maggie looking sexy!
In the interest of full disclosure, I did receive a free race entry as part of my ambassador duties. As always, the opinions are all mine.

Price: For me, free

Pros: Unique setting, awesome post-race party, personalized bibs, medals for all finishers, unique crowd support from sailors, so much awesome food, plenty of toilets and water stations, lovely long-sleeve tech shirts in cool colors

Cons: Slow shuttle service, no on-site parking, not great for spectators

Would I do it again: Yes, every year! And I hope my dad will want to do it with me again, too.


Losing Lindy said...

how awesome! Way to go Kelly's Dad!

Unknown said...

It's so wonderful that your dad runs with you! Getting my parents to run with me (or run in general) is my dream. Congrats to both of you!


Michelle @ said...

way to go, this looked like so much fun!