Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wicked Halloween 10K Recap

A month and a half after this race, I've finally gotten off my lazy butt come to terms with it enough to write about it. I guess you could say this race report is wicked late.
Red and White are Canadian colors. Text is made to look like the flag.
The Wicked Halloween 10K was the last in a three part series. (I ran the ShamRock n Roll 10K and Kona 10K before I started blogging.) I learned about it when I ran the Wicked Halloween 10K in 2012. That was only my second 10K, and I thought the distance was pretty fun. Then I found out you could just run longer and slower instead. Running three 10Ks spaced throughout the year seemed like a fun way to test my fitness. The special medal for completing the series didn't hurt either. Only, there were two major problems:

1. The series uses two different courses: the ShamRock n Roll and Wicked Halloween races share a course in downtown Plymouth that is mostly flat but uses approximately 500 turns, while the Kona race is extremely hilly (for southeastern Michigan). Therefore, times from all three can't easily be compared.

2. I had run two marathons in the weeks preceding the Wicked Halloween 10K.

The result of my final 10K "fitness test": my legs were tired.
Carrying people during races sounds like a good business opportunity to me.
Michael ran this with me, and we hid in the car until the last minute. We were extremely tired, and it was extremely cold outside. I was sad we missed the dance company that puts on a Thriller routine before the race start, but I had seen it last year, and I hate being cold with a passion. So mad props to those kids dancing in just their leotards.

This was my third time on the course, so it was frankly pretty boring. It has a small downtown section, but most of it is through the neighboring subdivisions. This is really too bad, downtown Plymouth is very nice and relatively large. It would be nice if they could expand this section. (The place I worked in high school put on a race in downtown Plymouth, and the permits were insanely expensive, so I assume this would be too cost prohibitive.)

The one thing I really don't like is all the turns. There's way too many to remember, and the course is crowded enough that it can be really hard to run the tangents, not that I'm particularly good at that anyways. The ending is also strange and was awkward my first time on the course: runners don't come out of the subdivisions until .2 from the finish, so it can be hard to pace the final mile. I was more prepared this time, but it's hard to start a finishing kick (read: try not to slow down even more) when the finish line isn't in sight.
I don't understand it, but it seems relevant.
I do enjoy the holiday theme of the race. True fact, I'm a sucker for holiday-themed races. Besides the dance we missed, they had kids in costumes at a few cheering stations in costume. They were older (maybe young high schoolers) and really into it. 

I felt awful for this mom in the first half-mile of the race. She was running with her daughter (maybe mid-20's) and suddenly pulled up lame. She was grabbing her leg and slowed to a hobble. Once she got her daughter's attention, all her daughter did was tell her to suck it up and keep running. I'm no doctor, but this didn't seem like a medically safe decision.
Mom, just...why do you have to suck so much?
It was also at this time eating a Luna bar 15 minutes before I started turned into a bad idea. My stomach was not a happy camper at all. After some initial panic, I remembered there were port-a-potties a little before the halfway point. I always scoffed at needing them. Who has to stop during a 10K? Suriously. However, when I got there:

There were no port-a-potties.

I almost cried. There's probably an important lesson in there about judging people less.

As I have IBS (overshare whoo!), I managed to persevere for quite some time from habit, but sometime during mile five I finally had to slow down due to the awful discomfort. I spent the extra time formulating all the ways I could kill people if there was a line at the bathrooms at the finish.

At least I was able to distract myself by laughing at the beer aid station someone had set up. He seemed really disheartened no one was stopping, so I hope the slower runners and walkers paid him a visit.

Time: 56:41

I was very pleased with my time, considering my fatigued legs and GI issues. I was only 31 seconds slower than my PR, which bummed me out. I think if I hadn't had to slow near the end, I could've matched or slighted bested my PR.

If I had gotten the fairy wings memo, we would've be complete twinsies.

After I finally took care of my stomach, we got in line to get my Triple Crown Medal. This line wrapped all the way around the park, although it did move reasonably quickly, and everyone seemed pretty patient. I really appreciated that the volunteers took the time to say congratulations and put the medals around our necks, instead of just giving them to us as quickly as possible.

Theoretically there is a photo with me and my medal, but the link just takes me to photographer's less than stellar website.
So here's one I stole. I really like the icon from each individual race at the top.
Unless I become an elite runner and get comped entries (2014 is going to be my year!), I don't think I'll do any of these races again. They're pretty pricey, and the courses aren't anything special. The organization does a really good job, I certainly don't want to make them sound awful, I just didn't always feel I was getting my $45's worth. puke

Better go plan which marathons I want to spend $100 on this year instead.

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