"The Boilermaker course boasts panoramic views, challenging hills, the MOST water stops, the best entertainment, and the greatest overall FUN of any race event." -- race organizers
I've run a lot of races -- probably close to 30 -- but never one as FUN as the Boilermaker. It was a great race!
Nevermind that I had to wake up at 4 a.m. to pick up Bridget at 4:45 so we could get on the road and drive for about an hour and a half to Utica, NY. And I'll skip right over the part where I where I slammed into my husband's car as I backed out of the garage (yes, it was awful. yes, the cars need to be fixed. yes, I should have been paying more attention. but, it was 4 freaking 45 in the morning! and I had hardly had any coffee...)
I'll get right to the good stuff.
Bridget and I made our way to Utica with no problems at all. Parking was stress-free. Finding the start area and hooking up with our friend Elisa, who had our race bibs, was smooth. Using the porta-potties before the race was gross, sure, but easy enough. Everything was smooth, but we got a little nervous anyway.
|Bridget, showing how her nerves were making her feel like she had to puke!|
Fortunately, neither of us puked.
We did drink a little last-minute water and then wish each other well before splitting to line up in our corrals. I was in the yellow corral, so I was basically in the middle of the pack but it only took about two minutes for me to get to the start line.
Running such a packed race was interesting. I did a bit of bobbing and weaving in the first two miles so it took me a while to get into a rhythm. But once I did, I fell in love with the race. The first 4 miles are all uphill, but it isn't really as bad as you would think (says the runner who runs on hills pretty much all the time). There was music throughout the race (they said there were 27 music stops) and the crowd support was incredible. Cheering people lined both sides of the road for more or less the entire course. I have never been in a race with such support! And there were 20 water and ice stops, which made it so I was never battling thirst.
Once I got into the groove, I thought to myself, "I love this!" and that thought NEVER went away. I felt great the whole race and was just having fun. I even managed to chat a little with some other runners, which is something I never do. I'm usually so focused on a goal that I wouldn't dare to waste energy on talking. But in the Boilermaker, I did. I gave high-fives to the cheerers. Thanked every volunteer who handed me water or ice, and laughed with my fellow runners.
I also ran faster than I thought I would. And that my friends is probably the best part of the race!
Yup, my A goal was a PR, or 1:15:18 or better and I totally beat that with a time of 1:13:59. Wildest Boilermaker dream . . . achieved!
After the race was over, I downed two red popsicles and set out to meet up with Bridget and Elisa. It took a while (there were over 11,000 people in the race) but we eventually found each other. Bridget and Elisa both ran great races, too -- for Bridget, it was her first 15K, so an automatic PR!
And then it was time to head home. The drive was tough because my right leg started to tighten up but after rolling it out and using the tennis ball on my hip last night, I feel absolutely fine today. And, I'm still happy about my PR!
|Elisa, Bridget and me before the start of the 2011 Boilermaker!|
Official time: 1:13:59
Overall pace: 7:57/mile
Overall place: 1826 out of 11,055
Female place: 316 out of 5,073
Age-group place (40-44): 28 out of 590
Mile 1: 8:13
Mile 2: 7:57
Mile 3: 7:56
Mile 4: 8:31
Mile 5: 7:07
Mile 6: 7:35
Mile 7: 8:10
Mile 8: 7:46
Mile 9: 7:52
Last .3: (7:03 pace)
Now, I'm already thinking about next year. I will run the Boilermaker again in 2012! Who's with me????
Have a great week, everyone!