Held at the Lawrence Town beach on the Atlantic View Trails, it is a beautiful spot where you get to run on wooden boardwalks beside the beach, crushed gravel trails that wind through salt marshes and forest land. I didn't really get to enjoy much of the view since I kept my head down trying to keep the driving rain out of my eyes.
What it should have looked like.
What it actually looked like from inside the car.
My biggest dilemma was what to wear. I know that I run hot, but it was only 11°C, raining and windy. I was already pretty much soaked through just from emptying post-race hot dog supplies out of my car and waiting in line for the port-a-potty. I finally decided on wearing just my running shirt and shorts. You could have rung out my jacket, so I didn't think it was even worth taking with me. In the long run it was the right decision.
The first 4k were not so bad. The rain had let up some, and regardless of being soaked through, I was able to enjoy the run. There was a turn around point at the end of 4k with volunteers manning a water station. One of the great things with this race is that since it is put on by Liam's school, I knew everyone and they knew me. That meant a lot of personalized cheering, with the occasional "Way to go Andy and Andy's friend!" since they didn't know Donzella.
Donzella deserves a huge shout out. I'm pretty sure I would have quit and not finished the race if it wasn't for her. She stuck with me, walking when I needed to walk and encouraging me up the hill (and it was an awful hill!) and made sure I didn't quit. Thank you Donzella!
The worst part of the race was kms 6-9. These were run mainly on the side of the road. The shoulder was loose gravel and had full running rivulets of water that were deeper then my shoes. Running on the edge of the road was too close to the cars for my comfort and it had a bit of an angle to it that threw my balance off. So I ran through the water. I really couldn't get more wet at that point. The rain and the wind really picked up around here too and we were running straight into it. There were points that I simply could not see because the rain was so intense. I had chosen to run without my glasses because of the rain, so my best point of focus was only a few feet in front of me, but with the rain I couldn't really see that anyway. I mainly concentrated on Donzella in front of me and tried to put one foot in front of the other. The very big hill was also during this section, just to add insult to injury. We did manage to run up it about half way before I called Uncle! and walked the rest.
I did find that the course was not very well marked on the road. We knew that at some point we would turn and loop back to the start/finish line, but we had no idea where it was. The road has a lot of bends in it, which meant that not only could you not see cars coming towards you, you could not see where the road went. We finally found the 9k marker and some soaking wet volunteers who cheered us through the final turn towards the finish line.
Once we made that turn we were no longer running into the rain and wind, and we were off the road and back on the trail. Despite it being the last kilometer, it felt so much easier. And finally we could see the finish line! Even though we were last, the crowd was still waiting for us, cheering us on! (That had been my biggest fear when I was deciding to do the 10k - I would be last and everyone would have packed up and left). What a feeling it was to run through the crowd knowing that I had did it! I had run 10k!
Some lessons learned:
- If it's raining bring a towel. Trying to dry off with paper towel from the bathroom doesn't really work.
- Taking off wet spandex running shorts is hard then getting off a wet bathing suit.
- There is no point in bringing dry socks if you don't bring dry shoes.
- You really can do anything you set your mind too!