This was my second year participating in the Geist 5K run. What I love most about running a race the following year is that you already know the course. You know what to expect. You know every turn, hill, water station, and landmark. This advantage allows you to know when to hold back, when to stay constant, and when to pick up the pace.
Although this race was on May 18th this year, the weather was particular chilly in the morning and overcast. There was a chance for rain, but I was crossing my fingers that it would hold off. My husband ran this race with me as he did last year, except this time he was running to see how fast he could do it (which means he wasn’t really running with me after all).
This year TONS of schools participated in the Geist 5K from all around the Indy area. I could tell because they all had on their respective school t-shirts. Now, I am all for kids being active and getting healthy. But let’s be honest – I don’t think the middle schooler wearing cut off jean shorts, tied-up t-shirt, hoop earrings, make-up, and keds is going to run a 5K in 17 minutes or under. Which leads me to my first major disappointment with this year’s race.
I was a bit disappointed with the self-corraling this year. After the last race, we all know people don’t always line up in their correct corral in the first place, so what makes anyone think that when you get to choose where you stand, the slow people will stand in the correct spot? Anyway – like I mentioned, this year was self-corraling my estimated time. The choices were: under 17 minutes, under 20 minutes, under 25 minutes, and 25 minutes and over. Clearly, I need to be somewhere in between under 25 minutes and over 25 minutes because I’m on the cusp of the two. But as I looked around me, I noticed all of these school groups gathered in the front, chaperones, and kids who were excited to be there. That’s cool and all, but as a chaperone – you should really have your kids line up somewhere more realistic, especially because people are actually trying to run this race for PRs and to win. There is nothing worse than tripping over someone who pushed their way to the front only to walk the entire thing.
Needless to say the first quarter mile was a bit congested and I did my fair share of weaving in and out of school children, but not before my husband zoomed past me as soon as we crossed the start line. That was the last time I saw him until I crossed the finish line.
After about half a mile, I was in my groove – like I said, I knew this course and I knew where it went. I took it easy for the first big hill. Once I saw mile marker 1, I had to pick up the pace a bit. I didn’t stop for any water breaks even though I could have really used a drink. I haven’t quite mastered the drink while you are running without spilling water all over you AND I feel really bad about throwing empty cups on the ground. So I bypassed the drink stations keeping a good pace and ran through the neighborhood.
The best part of this race is knowing that as soon as you run down that last hill, round the corner, you are in the home stretch. This is where I picked up the pace. I slowly chose people to pass, one by one, until I round the corner into the marina. That’s where I picked up into my finish line sprint. I could hear my husband cheering for me from the sidelines.
As I walked to the results tent, I noticed some dark clouds moving in. I checked the radar – nothing. I checked the results tent for both my husband and myself and we BOTH came in 3rd place in our age division. (He finished in 21:58) That meant, there was NO WAY I was leaving until the awards ceremony was completed. I earned that 3rd place prize and I was going to wait for it! As we chatted with friends that were also there, it began to sprinkle but I was determined to wait it out. Besides, we were taking the shuttle bus back to the parking lot last year (unlike last year where I accidentally miscalculated the mileage back to the car and we walked). Finally, we were called to the podium to received our $15 gift certificate to Blue Mile and 3rd place dog tags. By now the rain had picked up but nothing was going to damper my mood.
My husband and I walked over to find the shuttle bus line, it was backed up until the entrance to Bella Vita. My husband did not want to stand in that line, so we went to find plastic bags to hold our things so they wouldn’t get wet and pondered what to do next. The rain picked up even more. Finally (after 20 minutes of deciding what to do), my husband finally agreed to get in the shuttle bus line but by now the line had reached back past Bella Vita, into the marina, and was continuing to get longer by the second (as people were finishing the race they were just getting into the line). We would literally be standing in line for at least 45 minutes getting rained on to get into a steamy, smelly, wet shuttle bus.
I’m sure you can guess what happened next… it was my husband’s idea this year to run back to the car. The thought of just standing in the rain for 45 minutes getting wet was not a productive use of time. If we were going to get wet, we might as well be getting back to the car. So, I sucked it up and ran/walked the 4.5 miles back to the car in the rain. We were pretty wet and cold by the time we got back to the car as you can imagine, but I was still happy. It’s amazing what a medal, a $15 gift card, and winning 3rd place can do for mood!
We’ll be back next year.