Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sabates Eye Care Trolley Run - Race Report

What: Sabates Eye Care Trolley Run
Distance: 4 miles
Where: Kansas City, MO
When: April 17, 2011
Goals: Main - Sub-30; Stretch - Sub-28
Finish Time: 27:35
AG: 60/524
OA: 377/8418
SEXPL: 339/3511

Race Week:

To say that my week leading up to the race was hectic is a huge understatement. I travelled to TX for work and put in 70 hours walking the railroad wearing my steel-toe boots. Needless to say, it was an exhausting week. I didn't get in anywhere near the running miles I was hoping for, but I did at least find some time to run.

I flew back to KC on Thursday and was supposed to arrive around 8:30; due to a plane swap in Dallas, I didn't make it back to KC until about midnight and didn't get home until 12:30ish. I managed to get about 4 hours of sleep before heading into the office on Friday. As you can imagine, I was exhausted. To top the week off, all day Friday and Saturday I had to deal with a migraine. I guess you could say that I didn't really have the best week leading up to the race.

I wake up about 2.5 hours before I have to leave to catch a shuttle to the starting area. I am still feeling tired, but at least the migraine has diminished to a dull throbbing at the base of my skull. I'm starting to think I might be able to have a decent race.

I check out the temp and see that it's about 45F so I decide to go with a pair of shorts and a sleeveless shirt.  It turned out to be the perfect choice.

I walked over to the shuttles at about 6:30 and made it to the starting area at around 7:00. At about 7:30 I head over to go line up in my corral. When you registered for the race, you were able to choose a wave based on your estimated finishing time. Since my 4 mile PR was sub-30 minutes, I was able to register for the red (first) wave. It felt weird being that close to the starting line in a race with a reported 11,000+ registrants.

Looking back from where I was lined up.

The Race:

After the National Anthem was sung it was time for the wheel chair participant to start. At that time I turned on my Garmin to see the "low battery" message. I was hoping it would at least last the first mile.

At about 7:45, the Red Wave started. I decided right then that I was going to go out and try for my stretch goal. I quickly realized that I started too far back when a 1/4 mile into it my pace was about 7:30. I start weaving in and out of people trying to find a clearing and eventually get the first mile done in 7:01.

Shortly after the race start

At about the 1/4 mile point

Roughly at the 1/2 mile point.

My Garmin is still going and since I was close to the needed pace, I decided to push a little more for Mile 2. Somehow I managed to get into a groove and finished mile 2 at a 6:44 pace.

about a 1/4 mile into Mile 2

About 3/4 through Mile 2.

I'm starting to feel the pace now and have my doubts that I can hold it until the finish. I decided to stay with the pace and see what happens. At about the 2.7 mile point, my Garmin dies. According to the data, I maintained a 6:44 pace up until this point. My mouth was getting very dry so I decided to grab some water at the upcoming aid station. I grabbed the water and walked about 5 steps to make sure I would be able to drink some of it. I get to the 3 mile marker and I'm starting to really struggle.

End of Mile 3/ start of Mile 4

Doubt starts to creep into my mind and I start thinking I can't hold the pace. The proverbial devil on the shoulder appears and convinces me to walk. After about 5 seconds I start to come to my senses, give that darn devil the finger and start running again. My breathing is really starting to struggle, I figure dealing with bad allergies all week didn't help matters any.

Instead of giving in to walking again, I pick up the pace. I resort back to my previous race strategy and pick out a "rabbit" to keep pace. With about a 1/3 mile to go, my rabbit notices that I'm there and picks up the pace. The race to the finish was ON! He was about 10' ahead of me so I dug deep and gave it all I had. The finish line comes into view and I see the first number is still a 27, this gives me even more motivation to hold my kick pace. The rabbit starts to slow and with about 50' to go I pass him. I run through the finish line as the clock reads about 27:40 and am completely exhausted. I walk slowly until I reach the last volunteer cutting off the chips. Thankfully I didn't have to put my foot on a small bucket, otherwise I probably would have fallen over.

Post Race:
After I caught my breath, I tried to find my rabbit to thank him, but he was already gone. I walked through the food area and grabbed a 1/2 banana, sm. chocolate milk, and some McDonalds Apple Dippers.

I decided to wait around for the award ceremony to see how fast the winners were and to see if I won the car (I didn't).

Walking to the food area

About midway through the crowd.

Looking back at the sea of people.

The top 3 women are on the right side. The lady in red was first female with a time of 20:16.

The top male finishers. All of the top 10 finished with a sub 5:00 pace. The guy in the blue jacket was the winner and finished with a 17:xx. I think they said he was just shy of a 4:30 pace.

I thank all of you who read to the finish and hope you enjoyed the RR and pics.