Race Report: Chicago Women Rock Half Marathon
Kate and I decided that we’d try to write reviews of the races we run- to help people pick races to run, to keep a journal of the ones we’ve done, to help people prepare, etc- but for some reason, we were both left kind of exhausted after Saturday’s half marathon so it’s taken me awhile to get around to this. No idea why a half marathon would also affect my typing fingers, but there you have it.
So, you should definitely check out Kate’s previous post on “Lady Races” for a rundown on her feelings (which I totally share) about these RunPinkLadyGirlShopRaceTiques that are getting to be a cultural phenomenon. I’ll set that aside, though, and just focus on the race itself.
First, I must start with my major complaint about the race: The bananas. What the hell, Chicago Women Rock? Where did you get those bananas? Did they literally fall off a truck? These were the mushiest bananas I’ve ever seen. They looked kind of normal but were completely smushed to the point of inedibility. For a paleo racer (bagels and Gatorade are off limits), this is a sin of the highest order. I was forced to replace my electrolytes using champagne (I’m paleo, not perfect). There were discarded mushy banana carcasses all over the place.
The race did have an amazing atmosphere, though. Friendly, happy, cheering. The people watching was insane. I love it that the practice of getting all dressed up for a race- like knee-high socks, tutu, matching t-shirts, crazy hair colors, etc- has begun to catch on for races that aren’t necessarily themed. It makes for some great people-watching at the start line, and is very motivating (“awwww hell no- that girl in a tutu is NOT passing me!”).
According to Kate, there were some major problems with signage at the turnaround. That’s what you get for being an elite runner, though, so don’t feel too bad for her. By the time I plodded up there, the turnaround was clearly marked. The other annoyance for me were that the trail was way too narrow- especially at the beginning, in the parts where we collided with the CARA runners doing their 20 milers, and at all the parts where we were funneled in with 5 and 10k runners. One of my running group friends (check out how cute we are below, huddling together for warmth pre-race) has this adorable Texas accent and very friendly face but apparently she had to let loose on a couple of inconsiderate walkers along the way.
I would also like to add that I PR’ed my previous time by 13 minutes, which is AWESOME! Of course, I was about 15 pounds heavier then (thanks, paleo!) and hadn’t discovered CrossFit yet, so the PR wasn’t really a surprise. Still felt good.
24 Sep, 2013