First of all it was cold! Like really really cold! I mean, I guess I knew that was coming. It was a night time race. In December. But I was not expecting it to feel as cold as it did. We got there and the line for packet pick up was long and growing. It took us well over a half hour to get the front of the line. It was close after 4:00 when we got our packets and the one mile was supposed to start at 4:30 with the 5k starting at 5:30. My plan was to run the mile with the little ones to get warmed up and then be ready to run the 5k. Well, the packet line was out to the street and there were still cars on the road that was part of the course. Luckily my friend's husband had a nice warm truck to sit in while we waited.
Close to 5, we saw a LOT of people moving toward the start line so we figured we'd go see what was going on. They decided to start the mile and the 5k at the same time…at 5:15. They cut off packet pick up and some people had to race without bibs, which meant racing without an official time. People were VERY unhappy and I can't say that I blame them!
The start of the race was a mess, with families with strollers and little kids mixed in with the 5k racers. So with numb toes, I started dodging and weaving around families who were casually looking at the lights. The race was more or less an out and back and the roads were DARK! If you weren't careful, you could easily go off the edge of the sidewalk (saw that happen once) or run in to a runner who was on their way back. Not to mention that they let people leave the parking lot before the race was over, resulting in cars driving on the race route. In the dark. Hello! Dangerous!
At this point, I was cold and just wanted to be done. So I ran what felt like a pretty fast page. The first mile was 9:22 thanks to all of the weaving in and out at the start and the first half mile. But after that I picked it up pretty good.
Mile 1 - 9:22
Mile 2 - 8:58
Mile 3 - 8:24
Official race time - 29:30 (I find it hard to believe that it took me 3 minutes to run the last 0.1 although my watch and several others said the final distance was 3.3)
My 5k time on my watch - 27:41
5th overall in my age group
81st out of 437
So I was not impressed with my official time, but I was impressed with my results. And I like to think that my watch was a LOT more accurate than the actual timing. Oh well. It's a race I won't be signing up for again. It was poorly organized for a race that has been run in the same place several years in a row. Oh well!
And the lights? Not spectacular. At least I got a cute shirt?!?