After I successfully finished my second 5K race, I kept thinking that I should step up my workouts and try to run longer than 3 mi, but it hasn’t been easy. For some reason, I run slower on the treadmill than outdoors, which means that by the time I get to 3 mi, I am already very bored and all I want is to just end the run! I would run between 3 and 3.75 mi a few times a week, but I soon realized that if I wanted to run longer I needed to do two things: 1) sign-up for a 10K race and 2) run outside! The first task was easy: one my lab mates had a good time running the Chi-town 10K last year and we decided to sign up for it.
Running outside turned out not to be so bad after all. In the fall, I would check the weather and only run outside if the weather was in the high 40s, but after winter set in, I slowly went from running only in high 30s no wind weather to bellow freezing and wind when I had to do a final long run before my race. Thanks Santa again for the nice running gloves and hat, they definitely helped keep me warm on my long runs :-)
Come race day, I was all ready to run my 10K on a day that turned out to be quite cold, but I managed to finish before the snowflakes made into the city. Luckily, we had a good support team and we were able to keep our winter jackets on until a few minutes before the start time, not a second earlier :-) The race started on time, and we were soon on our way going north on the lake path watching the cute golden retrievers overwhelmed by the amount of people on their morning run. Maybe half a mile in, we were cheered on to separate from the half-marathoners and head south on the lake path. I remember thinking to myself how this race is so well organized with the turning points clearly marked and staffed appropriately, unlike the Polar Dash. However, as we kept running south, things got weirder: no mile marker after 1 mile, ambulance in the middle of the running path and then some crazy guy in jeans running to set a record, or so it seemed. It turns out, the guy was the race director and he freaked out when he realized we were turned at the wrong time and have been running in the wrong direction for about a mile, for a total of ~1.5 mi. He suggested we all restart the race. My friend and I got some water, walked back to the start line and did it all over again!!! I have to admit, it got pretty rough around mile 5, which I guess it was be expected as I only trained for a 10K with my longest run only being 6 mi. I slowed down for a little bit, removed by gloves to cool down a bit and managed to keep the pace along my friend for the remainder of the race. I will definitely over train for my next race :-)
Upon finishing, the race director made an announcement apologizing for their mistake and told us we could ask for a full refund. It seems there was some miscommunication with the volunteers at the turning point. They were told to stand in the right place, but in the excitement of the moment, they crossed to the other side and turned us around at the beginning of the race, instead of towards the end of the race. I have great appreciation for the volunteers and do my best to thank them as they’re handing out water/snacks at the races, but obviously some of them can’t be left alone on the race course!!! I really hope those girls won’t be allowed to volunteer ever again!
Despite the misstep, I think All Community Events are pretty good at organizing races. Picking up the packet on the race day was a breeze, the race started on time and at the end there was a nice array of snacks waiting for us. The race director was mortified at the volunteers’ mistake and I believe he will learn from his mistakes, but I guess only time will tell ;-)