The expo was definitely a sight to be seen. There were team cycling challenges (done on indoor trainers), transition races (saw a woman stripping off a wetsuit in the ladies room), and vendors as far as the eye could see. One of the vendors was offering running clothes at up to 50% off the regular retail price, so of course I went shopping!
New acquisitions include:
|Saucony Arctic LX Tights (thermal lined)|
|Saucony Omni LX Tights|
|Not pictured: Shoes, Garmin, iPod & Clif Bar|
After a torturous drive to the race site (about 25 minutes away) due to snow-covered roads, I made my way inside to wait for the 10k race to start. While I was standing around, I ended chatting with a couple of other runners. We talked about races we've done (and I now have first person reviews of several I'm interested in), what a pain it is to run in winter, and how we thought we'd fare today. One of the guys was looking to win his age group (Men 65-69) and thought he had about a 50/50 shot at it. Before long, we were ushered outside and began the long walk to the starting line. The wind was brutal! Fortunately, we didn't have to stand around and shiver for long. As soon as the gun went off, I turned on my iPod, hit the start button on my Garmin, and tried to pretend that I wasn't getting blasted in the face by freezing cold 20mph winds!
The course was an out and back, and the first 5k was not fun. There were a few hills and a couple of snow-covered bridges (although the majority of the course was shoveled), but the most prominent feature was that icy wind. I kept getting blasted in the face with blowing snow! There was no doubt in my mind that any hope of a PR was out the window due to the conditions. The wind was so strong it was literally pushing me backwards and I couldn't even come close to getting up to a reasonable speed. The runners came up one more hill, hit the turnaround point, and headed back. And then something awesome happened: The wind calmed down and the sun came out! The second half of the race was far more pleasant than the first. In fact, it got so warm that I was able to push my hood off and had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't out for a little stroll - this was a race! Finally the last downhill came into view and I picked up the pace a little, looking to finish strong - and I did. I crossed the finish line in 1:03:40. Not the best pace in the world (10:15), but all things considered, I'll take it since it's a new PR!
I wandered back inside to see if I could find the man I'd been talking to earlier and see if he'd won his age group. I couldn't find him, but I later learned that he'd taken second in his age group with a time of 53:30 (8:37 pace). While I was wandering through the expo and catching my breath I decided to reward myself for my new PR with a shirt, so I picked this up to go with my new tights.
|Saucony Primo WXT Long Sleeve|
After that, I made one more purchase before heading home - but that's a subject for a different post!