Sunday, June 5, 2011

An Epic Day: Sunburst South Bend IN race recap

I am super busy packing up our lives into cardboard boxes so that we can make our move in 2 measly weeks, but I have to write a quick update on the race I ran yesterday. Sunburst South Bend IN marathon.

I left work at noon on Friday and made what was supposed to be a 4 hour drive with my friends, married couple RH & KH. RH was running the full and KH was running the half. The trip to the race must have been an omen as it took us 5.5 hours and we sat in standstill traffic twice. Once b/c Obama was in Toldeo and they closed the high way and the second time b/c people were gawking at a horrendous wreck on the opposite side of the highway. We got to South Bend at like 5:30 and headed to expo. The expo was very small, about 5 booths, but it was super easy to find out race number and get our packet. I also really liked the shirts b/c they had women specific tech shirts with a nice clean design on white. I am sick of stupid shirts that are made to fit a man, so I was pleased to get a shirt that I will like to wear. From there we rushed to our hotel, had about 20 mins of downtime and then made the 20 min walk to where we were meeting our other 3 friends who came to town for dinner. The town of South Bend is super cute and I wish I had more time to explore. Dinner was okay, we ate at an upscale Italian place called Ciao's. I am not a big Italian fan anyway and there wasn't much on the menu that looked safe for my belly. So, I had a piece of tuna steak that was really good and some rice and veggies that was way too butter soaked for my taste. My crew walked back to the hotel and we got there around 9:30. I laid all my stuff out and was in bed by 10 for my 4:45 wake up call!

On Saturday the race started at 6am! That's a little early for my taste, but thank goodness it did. This was the first marathon I traveled too that I didn't get to stay in a house, so I learned a few important tips about mary traveling. I wasn't prepared properly for breakfast. I brought oatmeal packets, but had no where to get hot water and no spoon! So, I ate my oatmeal using nasty hotel room coffee machine water and used the end of my toothbrush to shovel it into my mouth! Our sub par hotel had no continental breakfast, but they did sit out fruit and water.

We walked up the street at 5:40 and met our 3 friends who stayed at another hotel. J and B were running the full too, the other friend was just watching her boyfriend. At this race the mary and half start at different times and run different courses, so it was a relative ghost town since only about 1000 people were running the full. We got in line at the start w/o issue and used the portapotties without a line. It was very nice. The race start at 6 was an anti climatic cap gun and we were off. I was in no way shape or form in top marathon shape. So, my plan going in was to run an easy race, stay around a 10 min pace and just have fun. Our friend B was running his first marathon even and hoping for a 4:30 and honestly I just would have been happy with that. RH and I stayed together at the beginning as the course wound through nice, quaint neighborhoods and a park along the water. The first half went perfectly fine. I felt good, I could have gone a little faster, but we were trotting along and talking to everyone along way. We crossed the half at 2:12.

At the start the temperature was 69 degrees. As we ran I felt a little more humid and sweaty than I would have liked, I started to worry. I was sweating very salty. We had such a cold and wet spring that I had only really ran in the heat once or twice. At 13 my shoulders started to cramp. I ate my GUs, I walked through the water stops at 13 and 14. By the time we got to 17 I knew things were not going to get better. I started to take walk breaks. Finally I convinced RH to go on without me. I met up with a nice gal at 18 and we walked together for awhile. We started helping each other along. Talking each other into running a few mins and then taking a walk break. We ran/walked our way back to mile 20. At this the race clock had been running for about 4:10. We started to do the math and decided that we might as well just power walk the rest. Every time I started to run I would get really nauseous and light headed. when I was running it was about an 11 min pace. We were able to walk at about a 14 min pace. Everyone was walking and I mean everyone. From mile 17-20 it's an out and back in a very nice park along the river. A lot of us ran into the park, but were walking on our way out. Once you leave the park at mile 20, you go back into town and run on the asphalt. There were sporadic little groups of people walking. At the mile 20 water stop the volunteer told me they had "red flagged" the race b/c of the heat and that we could take a shuttle back. My new friend and I decided to finish it out, I wanted an official time for the 50 state club! We picked up another women as we walked in and caught up with my friends J & B who were also now walking for the most part. The next 6 miles were a blur, but my little group of ladies busied ourselves talking and pushing each other on, we all would have love to quit.

At mile 25 a guy with a walky talky told me the race was closed, the race director had black flagged it. He said that we could go on at our own discretion. The Notre Dame campus was in eye shot at this point, so of course we had come that far we were going to finish! You finish on the Notre Dame football field and get to run through the tunnel the players do and onto the field. I started running again once i hit mile 26 and ran onto the field. Only to be met by everyone packing it up. It was 5:15 at this point, I wasn't directed to the finish, but over to get water. But they did call my name as I ran onto the field. I did end up backtracking and going through the finish, but the clock was off. Turns out they turned it off at 5:08 and rolled up the mat! I don't disagree with the director's choice to close the race, it was 95 degrees out and way hotter on the asphalt, but I am very peeved that they didn't let those of us within a few minutes get a chance to officially finish. It was quite a day. There were so many sad people, one women was crying b/c she had just done her 3rd marathon in 90 days and was trying to get into the marathon maniacs club. W/o official results, she might not be able to. It was not the end to my race that I was hoping for. But I know it's not the end of the world. Another state done, another marathon and this one will hopefully be the worse race I ever run.

3 comments:

Heather said...

Wow, what a day. I agree that they should have left the finish line up - it wouldn't have hurt anything. Good for you for finishing!

sheri said...

Great story on the race. I also ran the full that day and was one of the run/walkers for most of the second half due to the heat. I was able to finish in 4:48 which was great as it was my first marathon. As we pulled out of the parking lot we heard the announcement of the Black Flag. Too Bad as there were still quite a few people still out there.

Anonymous said...

Hello this is the gal you picked up around mile 18. I found your blog. Hope you are well recovered by now. Not the race that either of us hoped for but I still like the camaraderie races provide. Best wishes for kinder race conditions in the fall!

About Me

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Mnowac
distance runner attempting to run a marathon in every state, vegetarian foodie, mediocre triathlete, sucky swimmer, mommy to Harper, tea lover, coffee drinker, animal saver, hubby snuggler, race addict, full time working 31 year old living in cleveland
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Marathons so far

  • Sept 2012 - Corning, NY - TBD
  • April 2012 - Louisville, KY - TBD
  • Sept 2011 - Erie PA - 4:25
  • June 2011 - South Bend IN - 5 hrs+ (it was 98 degrees!)
  • Dec 2010 - Rehoboth Beach DE - 4:26:06
  • Nov 2010 - Huntington WV - 4:11:44
  • Oct 2009 - Towpath - Cleveland area OH - 4:30:35

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