I running behind on my race recaps. I thought I better get this Little Rock recap up before it’s too late. Once again it was pretty cold in Little Rock! I did the 5K on Saturday and it was 20 degrees outside. All the fountains were frozen over and there were some slick spots on the street. I didn’t get any pictures because it was too cold for that. I’m a wimp.
I ran the 5K in 28:41 and got 3rd in my age group. Too bad they didn’t give out age group awards because I definitely would have had one. But still, I’m excited because I came in 3rd.
After that we headed to the expo! We were super excited because last year the expo was great. This year, it didn’t seem so great. I don’t know if it was the theme or what, but the excitement just wasn’t there. We didn’t spend much time there because we had to go back later for the early start meeting. Willie needed the early start and I told him I would run with him.
If you early started, you had 8 hours to finish the marathon but you really couldn’t finish before 6 hours. Willie was on the time bubble so I told him he should really just early start and I’m glad that he did. We woke up and it was raining. The weather forecast didn’t really call for that but we were prepared. Willie had trash bags and I was armed with a raincoat and my super duper gloves and hand warmers. I learned my lesson from last year.
There was one thing we knew coming into the race: we weren’t going to get our BIG medals because the medals were tied up in the port dispute. That was a little disappointing but what could we do?
I ran with Willie and my friend Kiran for about 8 miles. Kiran ended up leaving us to get back on target with the 6 hour pacer. Willie and I got our holy water and played around on the course for a few miles but the rain started to pick up and it got cold. Willie demanded that I leave him. I really didn’t want to because we were supposed to be running together, but he most of known something I didn’t know. He told me to go and I did. I didn’t want to argue with him.
I continued on but it was cold and raining. I couldn’t feel my hands. I couldn’t open my GU. It was just like last year. It was starting to get miserable and not fun. I eventually caught up with the 6 hour pace group again before the elite athletes came through. The main race started at 8am. We were told after the elites rolled through we could leave the pacer. But they never told us we were free to go so I hung with the group for awhile. Eventually around mile 17 someone asked if we could go and they said we could.
At this point, I was in a bad place. It was cold, windy and rainy and I committed to be out in this mess for this amount of time. At the point, I was really wishing I would have just started the regular race so I could just run normal pace. There was no point in crying over spilled milk. I saw Willie when he was at mile 17 and I was at 22. He wasn’t very happy but he was still going. He told me he would get in around 6:40. He told me to keep going so I did. And then that’s when it happened. The mile 23 aid station saved my life. I wish I could feel my hands so I could have taken picture but it was like a convenience store. There were moon pies, oatmeal cream pies, cookies, candy…and KING CAKE. I couldn’t get my GU open so I thought king cake would do. And man it was amazing. I walked half a mile enjoying that king cake. It was smeared across my gloves and face but I enjoyed every minute of it. It really got them through the end of the race.
I ended up finishing the race in 5:50:12. Whoops! I would have finished sooner than that but I took the king cake break. Still, this was a horrible experience. It’s enough for me not to want to run this race next year. Last year I thought was a fluke, but the weather was just as bad this year. I know race directors can’t control the weather so it’s not their fault. Other than that, the race was amazing. Nice people, nice course, fun times…but it was greatly overshadowed by the weather.
Willie finished in 7:01 and was ready to go after that. This may have turned him off of marathoning. I just think he needs to find another race.
I did like how they had lowfat chocolate milk on tap when you finished. Yes there were cartons, but they also had it for you in cups. That’s what I needed for recovery! I just don’t think I had enough because that race was rough.