Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hot Chocolate 15K - Race Report

Packet Pick-Up and Expo
No real complaints, took about 5 minutes to get my bib, test the B-tag, and receive my "running jacket" or should I say hooded sweatshirt. The expo was small but not really all that surprising since this wasn't the marathon. Stopped by 2XU to learn about compression calf guards didn't purchase them at the expo, but did order them online that night (saved about $15).

Race Day
Arrived downtown about 6:45 before the 5K and hung out at the Hilton like I usually do on cold race mornings, not sure what the temperature but it was below freezing. Weather Channel said we should hit 32 by 8:15, right around race time. Once it drew near to the start of the 5K I started heading over to gear check. Turned out to be an absolute disaster. Tables were assigned for every 1000 numbers of course all the 15K runners had numbers from 1-15000 so it was jammed. After standing around for 20 minutes trying to check gear someone said we could check our gear at any table so I headed down to 25000ish and everything thing went smoothly. This happened about 8:00 so I rushed to get to corral B for the start.

Poor corral management, about 3 minutes before the race started the open corral started invading the B corral. Sorry but with a chip timed race there is no need to have the corrals out of place. Once I realized the open corral was in the B corral I moved to the edge of the A corral. Eventually the race started and I tried to jostle my way through the pack to my correct location. When I registered I said I could run 7:39/mi and today I wanted to run 7:12/mi. Somehow to my surprise about 400 meters into the race I hit a 3 wide group of walkers, I have no idea what the walkers were doing in the A corral! The rest of the first mile involved me dodging and weaving. Once I made it through the first mile things started to thin out for me and I was able to lock in to my pace although it was a bit faster than I intended. After we got off the roads and through the McCormick place tunnel we were on the running path headed south. I was thankful to be toward the front I can only imagine how crowded it was in behind me. After the turn around we ran a section on gravel, not the crushed limestone trail gravel but gravel with rocks. Didn't really have to much of an impact on me but I would have hated running in Five Fingers at this point. Maybe this information should have been communicated along with how many pounds of chocolate there wasw going to be at the finish, not really sure which is more important in a race. :-) The rest of the race was pretty typical keep moving one foot in front of the other and eventually you'll find the finish. About 50 yards from the finish my hat flew off and I almost turned back for it but with the finish in sight I couldn't do it. The announcer said good choice you can go back for the hat once you finish. Which I did, don't want to loose the Timex hat I got at Ironman.

Eventually made my way through the post-race grabbed some Gatorade and chocolate. Unless I missed the plain chocolate everything had almonds. Which surprised me in today's hyper-paranoid world of nut allergies. I don't suffer from this condition so I had a couple of pieces. Would have been nice if there were bananas or oranges at the end but I survived. Made my way back to gear check which was much quicker this time and then headed down toward the hot chocolate to find Boy Scout Troop 1441 which was volunteering at the event as part of an Eagle Service project. I changed clothes and then grabbed a cup of hot chocolate. Eventually I made my way to the fondue which was excellent and then sat around and listened to Maggie Speaks. I've heard about them from a few friends but this was my first opportunity to see them, if you haven't seen them they are a great cover band to check out.

Would I recommend others to run this race? Not unless you are fast enough to get ahead of the crowds (where I was running) or are happy with a leisurely early morning run (I don't speak about this from experience only from what I have read and comments made post race). I might recommend this race if they changed the cap or even implemented a wave start to eliminate congestion.

Race Weather:
Temperature: 32 Degrees F
Wind: 5.8 WNW
Cloud Cover: Scattered

Race clothing:
Hat, Headband Ear Warmer (took them off around mile 2-3), Sunglasses, Long sleeve Dri-Fit shirt, T-Shirt (Might have been too much), Gloves (took them off around mile 3-4) Tri-Shorts, Dri-Fit Running Pants, WrightSocks, and Saucony Hurricane 12.

Hot Chocolate 15K Results
Pace: 6:53/mi
Overall: 174/12356
Age Group: 28/825
Sex: 154/4218

Mile 1 - 6:36
Mile 2 - 6:45
Mile 3 - 6:56
Mile 4 - 6:49
Mile 5 - 6:55
Mile 6 - 7:10
Mile 7 - 6:52
Mile 8 - 7:00
Mile 9 - 7:01
Mile 9.32 - 2:07

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