I've run this race every year since it started, 5 years ago. It started as a small half marathon, just a few hundred runners (it was so small the first year that towards the end I had no one in front of me and had to rely on spectators to know where to go on the course!) and has grown every year. I saw on their FB page that they were giving special medals to all 120 girls/women who have finished each of the past 5 years. So, I was going to run this race, even if it was just the 5k. PLUS, if I ran the 5k, I could run with my daughter, who also is a 5 year streaker!
Early Saturday morning, I wake up to thunder and lighting and heavy rain. Great. The race was doing a good job with keeping people informed on their FB page, that the race was on unless there was lighting in the area. So, Kylie and I leave on time and get downtown. It's not rainy but it's very humid. Kylie wanted to run on her own so as we were getting close to the starting time, she scooted towards the start line while I stayed a little further back.
|Both ready at the start!|
Race starts and Kylie is off like a lighting bolt! Honest to God, this girl was running with the starting pack. I know she can't keep that pace up but man, it was really cool to see her as she went around corners ahead of me. She has a very graceful, natural stride. No wonder she's won her age group at this race every year but one.
I settle in, faster than I should be running but figure what the heck, it's only 3.1, how bad can that be? LOL!! There's a reason I don't run 5k's any more, you go out fast and just have to get faster!! They are painful!
About 2 miles into the race, the clouds are really dark and it's not looking good, weather wise. I see Kylie get passed by two girls around her age and know this will crush her spirit. She starts to walk a few yards later and I catch up to her. She's crying, complaining about her shoulders and back hurting her. I know she's very disappointed, thinking that she won't win her AG. Lots of women are saying words of encouragement to her as we walk. It starts to rain, pretty hard at this point. We decide to run the rest together and get moving. We hit the 5k split and turn a corner and I see lighting, right in front of us. I try to stay calm for Kylie but I encourage her to keep moving as we really needed to get finished now. The rain is pouring now, hard, heavy rain, more lighting and thunder as well. We're running in a lane parallel to but against the other runners who hadn't hit the split yet. It made it a little confusing, especially with the rain and I could hear the police talking on their CB's about black flagging the race. We did have to cross in front of the back of the pack runners to turn on the road to the finish which wasn't great planning for the RD. I guess they figured the bulk of the runners would be past that point before the faster 5k runners needed to cross over. Again, I'm glad I'm with Kylie as she could easily have gotten confused in this area and ended up who knows where. We needed a few walk breaks for Kylie but once she saw the finish line, she didn't want to run with me any longer and she took off! I ran it easy in behind her, just enjoying the fact that we had been able to run some of it together. And as a mom, I was so thankful that the timing of the storm and her walking lined up. I think we both would have been freaked out if we hadn't been together when the sky opened up!
We were so happy to be given the special 5 year streaker medals, given to us by uniformed soldiers. Kylie heads immediately to the medical tent as she was convinced that her lungs were bursting. The medical lady was actually concerned about how cold Kylie was (she has like zero body fat and the rain really was cold). So Kylie got bundled up under some blankets while I headed for the results tent, hoping that she would have still placed in her AG. I find out that the race had been black flagged. The finishing chute that we had just breezed through minutes before was a congested mess of runners. Basically the RD told the police to have the runners "shelter in place" until they could safely come back to the finish area, that the race was over, there would be no official results. Very disappointing for everyone, it's never a call that a RD wants to make but you just can't take any chances with that kind of weather. But, in a weird way, it worked out for us because Kylie didn't lose her AG award either!
I get Kylie from the medical tent, she's feeling much better, and I give her my dry long sleeved shirt that I had in my gear check bag. We also dig out all the medals that we had earned at the other 4 races and posed for some really cool pictures!
All in all, everything lined up so well for us that neither of us were disappointed. We did get an email a week or so later, offering a discount on our next years race as well as letting you know that you could get your medal mailed to you if you hadn't gone to the finish line. Again, I think everything was handled as well as it could have been and we will be back for year 6 next September!!