The race also attracts elites to the area and makes it hard not to pass on the opportunity to say you have run with the likes of Joan Samuelson, Uta Pippig, Tegla Laroupe, Bill Rodgers, Joseph Kimani, etc. Even though they are most of the way done before I even get started, just following in their footsteps is enough of an amazement. The race doesn't disappoint there, as you the entire race is filled with spectators to cheer you on. It's usually a toasty morning so the residents are out there with their sprinkler showers in full force to help and a few of the aid stations also have ice in addition to the water and Gatorade available.
Even though the race has gotten bigger, they still manage to keep things running pretty smooth. Major problem with this though is when you have to drive up separate and attempt to meet up with runner peeps. Not making plans ahead of time of where to meet was stupid, I was bummed not to be able to catch up with Kim, Rachel and Kathy pre-race so I was hoping I may get to see them afterwards. They have corrals and officials strictly watch your bib color before entry. You may enter a later corral but not an earlier one, lesson learned this year to guess faster since you can always drop back. I got in early so I could at least be at the front of corral 4 out of 8, 7 is all walkers and 8 is strollers so I realized I was too far back. Good thing I registered with Fleet Feet's team so we had easy packet pickup at the store Friday and did not have to drive to GB or hassle with it on race morning.
|Back of cotton shirt and race number ready to go!|
Not being able to meetup with my running peeps. Failure #2! Standing around waiting to get started in a corral like herded cattle for 45 minutes in the heat blew and I was getting warm just standing there.
My legs felt like bricks, as if I'd just run 10 hard miles before we even started. Dead legs to start the race, ugh! Failure #3!
I dragged my legs through the long, slow uphill straightaway for the first two miles, rounded the corner to the rolling hills section and great crowd support. I passed the banjo guy singing "..and run, and run, and run the Bellin Run!". This guy stands on a ladder in the same spot each year and truly is a landmark for this race! I crossed the 5K mat before I had to walk the first time, as evidenced in my split times. I allow myself only very short walk breaks as I want to PR this sucker!! The next glorious aid station had ice and I felt in heaven for the next few minutes, only to feel like I was dying in the humidity again. This run/short walk thing plays out through the next few miles until I finally get a half mile out and will myself to run the last bit as hard as I can with my legs. When I crossed I was happy to get in under an hour, but was slightly disappointed that I did not meet Goal A of sub 55.