Run with Fire they said... It will be fun they said... I have never been so happy to see a finish line in my whole racing career! Wednesday's race was a scorcher and I am so proud of everyone that was out there running! It stormed throughout the day, with clouds parting just a few hours prior to start. The conditions weren't ideal, there was a lot of humidity, but the city was alight with runners and spectators alike.
5:45 pm: Jason and I depart our townhome in hopes of avoiding traffic.
6:45 pm: We arrive in the parking ramp and start our mile hike to packet pickup.
7:00 pm: On location. Automotive traffic wasn't terrible, but the packet pick-up lines rivaled those of a Walt Disney World weekend.
7:10 pm: We receive the necessary swag and sprint back to the car.
7:20 pm: Drop our stuff off and jog another mile back to the start. Sometimes the best warm-ups are achieved when pressed for time!
7:28 pm: We squeeze our way into the packed corrals, listen to the national anthem, and await the twin torches. The pillars will burst aflame, heralding our start!
Mile 1 (9:21): Given our warm-up had some time restraints, and ever-present heat, thinking
strategically, I ease into the race - don't want to “burn-out” too soon.
Mile 2 (10:20): Past the halfway point, though I'm feeling light headed and nauseous. I trudge along, in the back of my mind the sensation of passing-out is forming. I decide to walk. Thoughts of dropping-out torment me with every step. I'm not handling the heat well. I'm humbled as a battle develops from within; my body driving me to quit, my mind challenging me to press on.
Mile 3 (10:37): With the finish ahead, I push forward, happy to be done and ready to go home. I find Jason, who had finished in (19:02). We grab some snacks, snap a few photos, and walk a few miles back to the parking ramp.
Overall, I enjoy the challenge of this race. Going into it, you know it is going to be hot, crowded, and draining. You just have to go out and give it your all. Before the race, Amanda Ghent gave me some encouragement to just have fun, run with joy!
I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform well and get close to my 5k PR - well, I was 6 minutes away and that PR was set in the dead of winter, my best running season. For this course though I set a 3 minute PR (31:38) from 2015 (34:59) and am very proud of that. It's a great race, one I plan to continue on a biennial basis. There is a hassle commuting between the parking ramp, the start, and the finish, but I am very happy I got out and competed on Wednesday evening!
P.S. we got to the ramp just in time; it began down-pouring and storming the second we hit the highway! Talk about perfect timing!!!
Editor: Jason Quarford