I lined up at one of the two port-o-potties and joked with Tim that I had to lower my expectations to the $35 level. And that's what I did.
As I warmed up at the start line, which was a duct tape line on the pavement, Dan caught me and said, "So 1:50, huh?" I was so psyched to see him!
We were off and Dan chugged along with me for 10 miles. We chatted and swapped stories. It was a welcome distraction and quite pleasant. I had a few tough moments, but generally kept pace and avoided stomach issues.
I ate some homemade fuel around 6 and 11. There were port-o-potties on the course, thankfully, but I didn't need them this time. Homemade fuel for the win!
There were only two water stations, so I was glad I brought a handheld water bottle.
I couldn't quite hold on for the final 5k and didn't quite make it to the 1:50 I had hoped. My knee was killing me in the last mile and I just couldn't push, and I swear the finish line kept moving further and further. Still, at 1:151:07, it's a five-minute PR!
I collected my medal, then waited with Dan and Tim for an hour for the awards ceremony because the instant timing said that I was third in my age group. Looking at the Web site now, it's ambiguous as to how many deep the awards went:
Let's compare what was promised versus what went down:
Tech shirts: Well, let's take a look. They're cute, but cotton.
Post-race party: It was a dude with a boom box, bottles of water, unwashed apples and 90-calorie generic chewie bars. I'm not hating, but I was hungry. Also, the signage had Miller Lite on it. There was no beer. There was also no on-course food or fuel.
Finisher's Medal: I got one, but not everyone did. I also hear that for the late finishers, they ran out of food, which wouldn't be hard. By the time I rolled in, the food was already scarce.
I think I got what I paid for, but this was little more than a semi-supported training run. It wasn't that well-marked and the aid stations were scarce. Nothing to write home about, other than my shiny new PR, thanks to Dan's superb support.
|Bowie pulled a Napoleon|
Cost: $35 through Groupon
Pros: Super cheap, free and accessible parking, bathrooms, small race and extremely beautiful course
Cons: Cheap medals, not enough bathrooms at the start, underwhelming/confusing award ceremony, lackluster post-race food, no start timing mat, the race ran out of food and medals for later finishers, no on-course fuel, very little support, no real post-race party, no medics anywhere
Would I race this again? No. It sucks to finish a race with an awesome new PR and feel less than stellar about the whole situation. I wanted to celebrate a bit, but there was nothing there.