Thursday, September 4, 2008

Blueberry Stomp 15K Race Report

When we left, Mom on the Run was finishing the Mile Fun Run just before the Blueberry Stomp 15K.

The girls and I finished the Fun Run, found Steve, and I looked at my watch. Ten minutes to the start of the race. I took a look at the port-a-john lines at the closest set and decided to make a run for the set just a little farther away. It was a good choice. I got in and out quickly and made it to the starting line with five minutes to spare.

I looked around little for anyone I knew. Didn't see anyone so I headed toward the back two-thirds of the pack. The race has a combined start for the 5K and 15K and there were about 960 runners overall so there was a good crowd.

The cannon went off and we headed down Michigan Street which was now lined with hundreds of people waiting for the start of the parade in a half hour. The street was crowded with runners but not so bad that you couldn't maneuver through the pack. I tried to start easy, knowing what was to come and keeping in mind that most of the people taking off fast were doing the 5k.

The course is a self-proclaimed challenging one. In discussing it with others who have run it, we decided that there are no flat sections. You are either going up or you are going down so it is a little difficult to find your stride. Just before mile 2, the 5k runners turn right and head back to the finish line and the 15k pack spreads out. At this point, you are kind of out in the country and the hills really start.

I felt like I was keeping a decent pace and really didn't look at the Garmin. I was probably passing more people that were passing me with the exception of on gentleman. He was probably in his 60s and we kept passing each other. He would pass me on the downhills and I would pass him going up.

After the 4 mile water station, the shade disappears and you are in the sun for the next mile and a half. I did the loop from 4 to 6 miles and came back around to the 4/now 6 mile water stop which happens to be in a friend's front yard. Her husband was out with his coffee and I so wanted some. I settled for some water and ended up walking, just as several runners in front of me did. I was getting tired, my nose was stuffed up from my cold/allergies, and I just didn't feel that great.

I got running again, wondering where all the downhills were. They disappeared because I felt like I was only going uphill. Just before I turned onto Michigan and the last mile and a half, I started walking again. All you could see was a long uphill.

I got it back together and started running, turned the corner and headed back into town.

The last mile is run down a half of a lane of traffic against the Blueberry Festival Parade. In a way it is kind of nice because there are things to look at and plenty of parade watchers cheering you on. It gave me a huge boost and I started catching up and passing people who had been way ahead of me.

The downside is, sometimes you have parade participants shaking hands and crossing through the lane. Most of them pay attention because they know the runners are coming through. Some don't so you have to be on your toes and be on the watch out.

I have to confess that I did take a little joy at trying to run over a certain political candidate that is running against a friend of my husband's. He was shaking some hands and I sped up just a little. He turned around just in time to see me coming and I think I scared him just a bit because he jumped and got out of the way quickly.

I paid for it at then end when I couldn't breath about 100 yards from the finish and had to walk until I calmed myself down. I sprinted in to the finish and completed the 15k in 1:26 - over a minute slower than last year. I was a little bummed but at the same time, last year I wasn't fighting whatever cold/allergies last year.

While I didn't do as well as I wanted to, my friend and butt-kicker running partner, M, was the third female finisher! She's amazing!!

So there you have it, my Blueberry Stomp race report. Sorry it took so long. Things have been busy. I'll try to catch up later. Now, I have to color with Emily :-)


Kelly H. said...

Sounds like a good run to me! I love running in races where there are some spectators. Don't you just think "I'm out here doing this, let's see them try it". Makes you proud. Very nice run/race report. Thanks

Rick said...

Well done, Karen. Well, at least until you tried to run over that candidate, little miss nasty pants! Just teasin' ya. ;)

Although, the race DOES have the word STOMP in the title.