As I mentioned earlier I had to work on New Year’s Eve. We were allowed to leave early but as the race didn’t start until 6pm I opted to stay until 4ish. Being as there was no one around I had worn my running outfit to the office – casual day…lol. I brought a small tote bag with a few things I might need and whatever I didn’t use was gonna stay behind.
At 4ish I checked the weather report online and it didn’t seem like it was gonna be to bad so I opted to stick with 3 light layers on top – long sleeve tech, nylon/spandex jacket and my running jacket. On the bottom I had my knee high warm socks and regular running pants as well as my gators. Since it had warmed up some I was expecting slushy areas. Ready to go I turned on the tunes and headed over to Eau Claire. I arrived early, just after 4:30pm but there were already several runners hanging out. I relaxed in an easy chair and played some solitaire on my new Ipod while I waited for my friends to arrive.
Shortly after 5 the gang from the North started to show up. We milled about chatting about our race plans and keeping warm until race start time. The place got pretty crowded. I can’t remember how many registered but it was sold out in early December. Some were wearing the jackets we got – no shirts for this race this year it was a black/red trim jacket with sleeves that zip of so it becomes a vest. Not a bad deal for $45 (depending on when you registered). Mine is hanging up at home. I ordered a large as I’m hoping to be smaller soon…lol.
Anyhow about 10 minutes before the start I headed out to aclimatize myself to the weather and get my garmin locked in. Others followed and before ya know it there was a good size crowd by the start/finish area. I spotted one guy in capris (bare calves…brrrrr) and decided he was either nuts or a fast runner.
More likely both…lol. I also spotted a couple of cool t-shirts – Father/Daughter team running together or maybe not…lol.
Then we were off and running. The first part of the race maybe 500m was on the city streets then we, well some of us headed north back to the bike path. Oops the cop on patrol there forgot to tell the lead runners to head north so they took a slightly altered route. See there are sometimes benefits to being in the middle of the pack. Yes at that point I was still somewhere in the middle. But not for much longer.
On the bike path we headed west towards the 14th Street bridge. I had barely passed the 1k marker when the lead speedy runners were already heading back towards us. Wow! I know I’m slow but that’s amazing. Onward and running. I did sets of run/walk but not consistant. Mostly I ran for as long as I felt like it and added in a 1 minute walk break when needed. I got passed lots but did manage to pass the odd walker here and there.
We crossed the 14th Street bridge to the North side of the river and then headed East back towards the 10th Street bridge. As I rounded the last corner and headed down the bridge ramp I spotted three Bike Cops. I heard them say “Heh it’s Pink Lady”. I smiled and said “Yup it’s me”.
They rode past shortly after and headed back to the finish of the race where I’m told they let Jackie (the race director) know that the race was almost over as “Pink Lady was headed this way”…lol.
Under the bridge and headed on the home strip I tried to pick up the pace a bit but not too much gotta save some for the finish…lol. I had let some walkers pass me earlier and could see them ahead. They had gotten a tad bit far away. Silly me stopping to take too many photos. Oh well my only goal was to finish under an hour. I checked my watch, still on track, but only if I kept up my current pace or even faster. No more stopping for photos. It took some doing but just before the last corner I finally caught and passed the walkers. They made a comment “what took you so long”. I laughed, rounded the corner and cruised into the finish area to cheers and claps from the Bike Cops who were all waiting for me to finish. Nice to have your own fan club…lol.
I chatted with them briefly about the Police Half Marathon (that’s how they know me, honest) before heading inside to warm up and join my friends. Richard who took my 5k clinic earlier was there. He was my ride home. As well he & a few friends were coming over for munchies & drinks after. We waited to see who won draw prizes then headed home.
The gathering at my place after was small. Heck even hubby didn’t show til 11pm. He’d won free tickets to the hockey game so I’d said he could go long as he was home before midnight. All in all it was a good race and a great evening. Oh yeah, I did beat my 1 hour goal with minutes to spare. My time according to Mr V was 57:58.
No Official race results but more photos over at Flickr.
I can’t think of a better way to end the year. So how did you celebrate the end of 2009???