It’s flat. It’s fun. It’s fast. So there. 🙂
I got up super early, got my usual breakfast (half an English muffin, toasted, with peanut butter), stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a cuppa joe, and headed toward St. Charles. There’s always a ton of traffic on I-70 dropping into St. Chuck for this race, but I’ve learned some back ways to scoot in, so I had little traffic to deal with. Part of that is that I also elect to park at Ameristar, and walk a mile to the race site. It’s a great warm up before the race, and cool down afterward.
This year, the weather was amazing, right at 60° at the start of the race. The last three years, it’s been much cooler, prompting longer sleeves and legs. This year, it was shorts and a running shirt, which is ideal for me!
Like previous years, the event kicked off with “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, and 5000 of us clanging our cowbells in rhythm (more or less!). It’s a sight not to be missed!
The marathoners kicked off at 7:30am, and while I knew a couple of folks in the throng — one of whom ran his first-ever marathon this weekend! — I didn’t see any one I recognized. I cheered ’em on, and waited for our 5K to start at 8:00am.
It came quick enough, and I got on course at my running pace. The first hill (and really, the only hill of any significance) came about half a kilometer in, and I chugged right up it, slowing to a walk to catch my breath a bit at the top. I remember thinking how quickly we’d gotten to the hill. And that was the theme throughout the whole race. I don’t know if it’s my comfort with this distance or this race, but either way, the race seemed to fly by.
I got out on the street, headed toward the turnaround, and saw a co-worker on the way back in from the turnaround. A quick high-five, and I was left to my race again. After making the turnaround, we headed for the Katy Trail, paralleling the river. I enjoy this part of the race, as it’s crushed limestone, so a little easier on the knees, but it’s also beautiful, with loads of trees around.
Soon enough, I could see the finish line, and like I’ve done lately, I’ve tried to be photogenic, and kick in some hustle for the finish line photographers. While I didn’t have a “flying” shot this race, I came pretty close.
And I did pretty well in the race. Last year, I was a skosh over 45min (a PR for me at the time), and this year, I was a skosh under 50min. That’s kinda my bar for a “good race” anymore, and I was pleased to just be under it. Yeah, there were places I coulda run more, and added a little speed, but it was wonderful to just go out, and enjoy the surroundings, the nice weather, and commune with so many other runners!
This race benefitted the Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Charles County.