Thursday, July 9, 2015

LLBean Fourth of July 10K Recap

LLBean hosts a Fourth of July 10K road race every year, and it is pretty huge!  The race is capped at 1,600 runners and that's a pretty big race for Maine.  I have never done it, mostly because it's always hotter than the surface of the sun on July 4th and also because I have feared the traffic getting home.  I have to drive through Wiscasset to get back to Boothbay Harbor and in the summer, traffic is backed up MILES, all because of one stupid little food shack.

see that shack to the left?  and see the traffic coming from the north?  it's that bad coming from the south as well

So basically, I'm scared to death of being stuck in traffic in Wiscasset.  Unless you leave at 6 am and want to return at 8 pm, you are likely to be sitting in that mess.  Not exactly my idea of fun on 4th of July.

Anyway, I decided at the last minute to run this race when Danielle basically told me to.  You know, Danielle, that helps me make really excellent life choices, like running a marathon.  And running up and down a mountain for 6, 9 and 12 miles for a hoodie.  Yeah.  That Danielle. Everyone needs a friend like Danielle. :)

I did nothing to prepare for this race.  I knew nothing about this race other than it's so damn hot as you finish and all the fast Mainers run it.  Way to be prepared, right?

I left my house at 6, arrived in Freeport around 6:50.  Parked very easily at CVS, which is right at the start and finish.  #win!  Walked right to bib/shirt pick up and then found Danielle and her husband, who she also dragged to this race.  Selfie of course. #duh

Of course, I totally wore all the red, white and blue for the 4th.  

It was cool to start but a bit humid.  Kinda, almost perfect.  It would have been the ideal temperature if there was a little less humidity.  But alas, we can't have everything, can we?

Danielle and Tyler were talking about his training for this race (or lack thereof) and there was some mention of the route.  Me: Oh, is it flat?  Danielle: Um, no.  Shows me the elevation plot which looks like a bunch of downhill for 3 miles and a bunch of uphill for 3 miles.  Fab.

Turns out I don't mind hills when I haven't already run 20 miles.

The race starts right on time and off we go.  No watch.  No nothing.  Just running with 1,200 of my friends.

Mile 1:  downhill, cool and fast for me for sure.  clock said 8:07 and that was gun time, not chip time.  eek
Mile 2:  feels similar pace to me but really no idea.  Just running.
Mile 3:  another clock says 24:xx.  wow.  super duper fast for me.  just thinking I'm going to crash and burn once the uphills start.
Mile 4:  hills aren't so horrible.  I mean, there's a hill and all but really nothing worse than what I regularly run in Boothbay Harbor.
Mile 5:  some flat some hill.  again, whatever.  just running still.  I come up behind my local tri hero--Angela Bancroft.  She's running with her son.  I start feeling pretty badass that I'm even anywhere near her pace-wise, but then also realize her son is probably 11 and she's probably running a bit slower than her usual pace.  Whatever.  Still feeling badass.  I talk to her for a bit (SHE'S SO NICE! gush gush), feel a bit stalker-ish but she didn't seem to care, and then moved on.

clearly I win at race photos  #sophotogenic

so patriotic though. at least my outfit is on point

Mile 6:  Angela and her son pass me (dammit!) and we are on the long stretch of Main Street to the finish line.  This is where the sun is usually brutal and everyone complains of how hot it is, but today there is a bit of cloud cover and it's really not so bad.  Still just running with everyone around me.  A few pass me, and I pass a few.

Finish:  Clock says 50:47.  I'm feeling pretty damn proud of myself since that's about a 2 minute PR on what people consider a 'difficult' course.  BAM.

Final chip time ended up being 50:25 at an 8:07 pace.

Say what??  8:07 pace??  Since when do I run that fast?

yet another fabulous finish photo for me.  I do look a smidge better than the guy in pain in the front. only because you can't see my face very well

381/1242 overall
15/101 in my age group

Went directly from the finish line to my car and headed home.  I was back in my driveway by 9:20 a.m.  Not too shabby.  Missed Wiscasset traffic and the parade.  I'd call that a win!

Overall, I really enjoyed this race.  It was well organized, easy to get to and park, a decent route, the weather was nice and I had a great finish time.  I will definitely do this race again next year now that I know I can get home without being stuck in traffic hell.  The registration was really inexpensive--$25 which includes the nice shirt you see on the dude in pain in the last picture above.  It's a tech shirt and had a nice cut for the women.  I believe if you signed up early enough, there was a lottery for sneakers or socks.

Well done, LLBean!  Thanks for a fun race!