So you might be thinking, why did this girl sign up for a race when she has been in physical therapy?
Reasoning: My last day of physical therapy was Thursday. I wanted to semi run a race so I can see if there was any pain/discomfort because I see the doctor this upcoming Friday. My plan was to just take it as a training run otherwise because up until the race the longest I ran was about 2.5 miles.
I must say this race was organized the best I have ever seen. I picked up my packet about 40 minutes before the race and I was able to walk right up.
This race was located in Forest Park in St Louis MO
The bathrooms inside the Living World were spotless, which is comforting, and did not smell.
At the starting line they had music sponsored by Mason and Remy from 93.7 The Bull and they had volunteers standing with pace signs in order to get everyone in the right section.
There was chip timing and it was disposable and on your bib, so your time didn’t start until you hit the timing mats and finished when you crossed the mats at the finish line.
They had a water station set up about halfway through the race at about 1.5 miles in. I did not stop but many were getting water to pour on themselves because it was extremely hot out.
On your bib you had a pull off for a free breakfast. This was the best setup in my opinion. Everyone was able to walk through and were given a paper bag of a muffin, jam, cream cheese, banana and utensils. You then kept walking and were handed a yogurt, milk and orange juice. When you walked out of the hallway there were sample tables that had chocolate milk in the small cartons, cottage cheese, drinkable yogurt and free cherry ice pops.
The award ceremony and attendance prizes were held in the sea lion arena and everything just ran smoothly.
I would give this race an A++, seriously. But it also has been around for over 20 years!
My race itself:
I love Forest Park, so much! Honestly, if I could stay and live in St.Louis, I would love to live close to the park. I did a mile warm-up on the trails close to the start line and finished in 8:00 for the mile.
Mile 1: 7:00/mile
I didn’t plan to actually race this and was in my training shoes not racing flats for this reason. I started out and at about .40 I looked down at my watch and I had been going 6:40 pace. I immediately thought, oh my goodness, this is my usual race pace. So of course I just tried to keep the pace. Keep in mind I have only ran about 4 days and the most I ran was 2.5 miles. I end up getting stomach pains from being out of shape and slow down a bit to start working on my form to try and help it.
Mile 2: 7:52/mile
I’ve slowed down a lot. The hills have hit and of course it’s the typical route they use in Forest Park so of course it has to include the huge hill behind the Muny. I felt I wasn’t even moving but at that point I said, let’s just have fun and try to finish this.
Mile 3: 7:30/mile
The course flattens out and I get to moving a bit faster and am just thinking about finishing. I’m completely out of shape but am realizing my IT band area is still tight, sore and noticeable. But my back isn’t hurting.
Official Finish Time: 23:20 = 7:31/mile
I was really sad when I saw the awards and the fact they were stuffed animals each year with a medal wrapped around the neck. This year they were tigers and the sizes differed depending on 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place.
The results gave me hope for when I do this race next year that I can possibly get an age group award. Based on what I can run a 5k in when I am healthy, I would have placed 2nd. So we’ll cross our fingers to be healthy and fast next year!