Sunday, November 27, 2016

Turkey Leg Trifecta

Turkey Leg Trifecta Race Report

So I had won a coupon for a race with after winning my AG in a July 4th race this past summer.  I checked out their website and decided to give the Turkey Leg Trifecta a chance.  The website said it was a 3 part trail race, (a 4k, 5k and 6k each an hour apart), on the west-side of Eagle Creek Park, a large park in Indianapolis.  The west-side of the park though, is considered a Nature Preserve so there are no bridges over the creeks, steps down or up the ravines and it was all single track with very little room to pass.  I’ve run 2 fulls and 1 half marathon plus a few shorter races on these trails and have loved it so I knew I had to sign up. 
Saturday, November 26th, Race Day. 
So, the first race started at 10:00.  We left our house about 8:45 and at the last second, my 13 yo daughter, Kylie, suggested that we bring our dog, Guinness.  Guinness isn’t the best in a crowd, she gets really nervous around men and had never run a race before.  But, she runs at least 2 miles a day with me, 5 or 6 days a week so I figured I’d take her on the first race and go from there.   We arrived at the park at 9:00 and I got my race packet.  There wasn’t a map to look over but I felt really confident, after all, I’ve run 5 races over here (we won’t talk about the time I ran the trails by myself and got miserably lost!!)  The atmosphere seemed really relaxed as you’ll have at trail runs.  My kids were happy even in the cool weather (40*) because there was a Pokestop right there. Plus, I could park just yards from the start/finish so they stayed in the car to stay warm between races. 

10:00 and the first race, a 4k, is ready to start.  We are told by the Race Director that the trail would be marked with white flags on our right.  Simple enough.  I wear a leash around my waist for running with my dog.  I like to have my hands free and she has more freedom that way as well.  Guinness is nervous as we lined up in the crowd.  She did not like the start, she got confused when the crowd started running forward but she figured it out quickly.  We ran down the parking area and through some fields.  Guinness was loving it.  She was full out sprinting as I was working hard to keep up with her!  We stayed off to the side so it was easier to maneuver.  After about a mile, we entered the trails.  And they were trails that I hadn’t been on, which I was so surprised about.  Single track, covered completely in fallen leaves.  Guinness was sure-footed and leading me along.  We were in a line of people, up and down the hills, over the roots and around the trees.  There were a few times that she went one way and the course went the other but for the most part, she did very well.  Things did get tricky at a steep ravine.  The runners came to a stop as people were going one by one down the ravine, over the little creek and back up an equally steep slope.  I knew it wouldn’t be safe to keep Guinness on the leash so as we got closer, I undid her leash and encouraged her to find a way down.  She was pretty surefooted and got across without much difficultly.  I told her to stay as I climbed down and up myself.  But as I looked up as I was climbing hand over hand up the slope, she was gone!  I got really nervous and started calling her name, over and over again as I ran on the trail.  Soon I glimpsed her, running along the trail, with other runners.  As I called her name and whistled, I could see her pause and wait to see me and then start running with the next runner.  Another runner managed to slow Guinness down and soon I caught up to her and got her back on the leash. 
We continue on the trail and soon cross a grassy area that I know is near the finish area.  My Garmin was showing just short of 2 miles so I knew we had a little more to go so I followed the runners in front of me into the woods again on another trail.  I’m not right behind anyone but I’m within 20 feet of them.  I notice that the flags that I’m seeing are orange and old looking and on the left instead of the right.  But I’m following a group so I’m not lost, right?  Yeah, about .4 miles into the trail, I see a big backup of about 15 runners just stopped.  I thought it was another ravine slowing people down.  Then I hear one runner yelling to the group that we’re lost, that it wasn’t the right trail.  The group decides to cut through the woods to try and find the right trail.  That lasts about 100 yards and a few of us decide to go back to the trail and double back to where we entered the woods.  The rest of the group decides to continue on the trail.  I’m the last in the group and Guinness and I are pushing along.  She’s getting a tired and drops behind me as I continue on.  Soon we were out of the woods and I see white flags marking a trail that was off the right of the trail I had been on.  Sigh.  There were volunteers here now and I asked where I should go, my Garmin was showing 2.6 miles so I knew I had reached 4k.  They told me to just run to the finish line so I do that.  Kylie and Matthew were there, cheering Guinness and I on as we crossed together!  2.8 miles, 35:29.  Kylie said the first runner finished in 14 minutes, then another about 16:00 and 18:00.  But then none for a long time so the volunteers headed out on bikes to find where people had gotten lost at.  About 10 minutes later, I saw members of the group that went the other way on the trail finish up so I was very happy that I had just turned around on the trail.  I grabbed some Gatorade and got a cup of water for Guinness.  I told Kylie that Guinness would not be coming with me for the next races, it was just too scary to have to her running without the leash. 
11:00 was the start of the 5k.   I paid much better attention to the RD when he explained that we would be looking for the “dirty orange flags on our right.”  The man next to me, who was the one who noticed that we were lost, yelled “I’ve already run those trails!” and everyone laughed.  We start running and I kept my eyes open for those dirty orange flags!  I was running at a good pace but once I was on the trails, I had to run at the person in front’s pace, which I didn’t mind at first.  But after some time, I was getting anxious to move faster.  The trails we were on were more familiar, although run backwards from what I was used to.   I would get around people when the course gave me room.  Then out of frustration, I decided that I had as much right to ask someone to move aside as anyone else did. So, I did that and was soon passing numerous people and running hard.  There were several ravines to climb down and up that slowed me down.  But soon, I was in sight of the finish line and Kylie, with Guinness, yelled for me to sprint (she’s getting back at me after I yelled at her all XC season!)  I finished in 32:56 and my Garmin read 2.84.  I didn’t know how I could have missed a turn and others said their Garmins where short as well so I felt ok about it.  On a whim, I went to the results table and was surprised to see that I was 1st in my AG for the 5k.  I asked if there was an award but they are only given to the winners for all 3 races.  I explained that I had gotten lost in the 4k and they didn’t have those results but that many had gotten lost so I might still be ok.    
The last race started at 12:20, a little late because they wanted to give all the finishers from the 5k a chance to finish.  I decided that I needed to start closer to the front in order to avoid getting caught behind slower runners.  So I made my way towards the front and ran hard from the very beginning.  We were following red flags this time and it was a true out and back.  The start was good and I was feeling very comfortable.  The trail was the same start of the marathon that I had run in August and I knew it wasn’t difficult, no huge hills or ravines to climb.  So I kept the pace fast, passing as I needed to but for the most part, the runners in front of me were my pace.  As I was running, I was thinking that maybe they figured the awards by cumulative time so the faster I could finish this race, the better chance I had of erasing the deficit I had in the 4k.  The trails again were all covered with leaves but I didn’t have problems with the roots or rocks.   Soon the front runners had reached the turn around and were passing me on their way back.  I kept an eye out for women and counted only 4 before I hit the turn around.  I know I can pick up the pace so I keep pushing hard.  There were about .8 miles of paved road or trail so I try to pass and speed up here.  I only walked up one hill and that was only for about 10 feet.  I pass one female on a steep hill and I keep pushing to get distance between us.  Soon, I was on the grassy road that led to the finish area.  I really kick to the finish and actually yelled to Kylie as I passed the car, I was way ahead of pace so she wasn’t ready for me!  I had to loop around a few trees before finishing so she got to the finish to cheer me on.  I hit my stop button on my Garmin and was stunned to see 34:38, yes, that’s right, both my 5k and 6k were faster then my 4k!  And my 6k was only 1:18 slower than my 5k.  The course was easier but I was also really running my hardest, a 10 on effort, no letting up.  I finished 22/217 overall, 4/132 women and 1/50 for my AG. 
The final results are interesting.  My cumulative time was 1:43:05, which put me at 23rd overall and 5th female.  Looks like they award the top 3 finishers for male and female only so I won’t get a AG award.  But that’s ok, I know that if I hadn’t gotten lost, I would have taken probably 9 minutes off my time, which would have put me in the top 12 finishers. 

So, to recap, I’ll be back next year.  And Kylie wants to run it as well.  It’s well organized, the medal is the size of a dinner plate and it’s inexpensive for 3 races.  I would highly recommend!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Indy Women's Half Marathon

"It can't possibly rain again, this year, can it?"  This is the thought that I'm having as I watch the weather report the day before the Indy Women's Half Marathon.  Last year, the 5th anniversary of this women's only race, thunderstorms rolled in and canceled the race only 25 minutes into the race.  I figured the odds of that happening again weren't very high, right?  Well, tell that to Mother Nature.

Race starts at 7:30 AM so Kylie, Matthew and I head downtown and arrive at the starting area, Monumental Circle by 7:00.  My in laws were waiting for us, they were keeping an eye on Matthew while Kylie and I were running (Brett was out of town).  It's too dark to see any clouds but the air felt thick and I knew we'd be getting wet.  Kylie was confident in her ability to run the 5k fast as she's in the middle of her first cross country season and has been really fast with that.  I talked to her about what to look and listen for if she saw lighting (flags and police officers) and told her to keep with a group of women and get to the finish line.  I was a little nervous for her but she wasn't a bit worried.  She actually was interviewed by a local new station at the start line.  We were ready to run and feeling good in our InkNBurn clothes, she was borrowing my classic Flutter tech shirt and I was wearing Monarch tech with the new Bee skirt, following the Indy Women's Half butterfly theme.  

So the race starts on time and Kylie's off like a rocket.  I lose sight of her so fast!  That's ok, I'm looking forward to a fun time myself, it's good for her to have her own experience.  I do catch a glimpse of her as she turns a corner and she's hanging with the front group of women.  Nice.

I notice a lady wearing a InkNBurn tie die Run or Die tank so I make my way over to her to say introduce myself.  I run up next to her and say hi and she says "Hi Mary!"  Well, it's my FB friend Jeanette, who I met for the first time totally randomly at a race last Thanksgiving.  She's running a good pace so we fall in step with each other.  First few miles go by quickly and easily.  About mile 2, we're at the part of the course where the 5k runners are coming at us from their turn around, heading to the finish line.  I see the lead lady and mention to J that it would be really cool to see Kylie but that I doubt I would as we were just a 100 yards from our turn away from downtown.  Then suddenly, I see a glimpse of a white shirt come around a corner, onto the straightway towards us.  It's Kylie and she's rolling just effortlessly!  I pull my phone out and grab a quick picture of her while yelling "You're in 3rd place overall, keep going!!!"  I catch back up to J and am just so excited, thinking that Kylie is only about 1/2 a mile from a possible podium finish!  I did consider turning around to see her but I knew that I couldn't see her finish and what could I do? Nothing. So I kept running. She did text me a few minutes later to say that she finished in 4th place, winning her AG and HUGE PR of 22:26!!!  I was so, so proud of her.
Anyways, so J and I continue on with the half.  Right as we hit mile 5, the sky opens and the rain comes.  Not a nice, "oh this is refreshing" rain, a hard "this hurts my face" kind of rain.  Like, I'm completely soaked in seconds rain.  But, no thunder or lighting.  So, we continue.  We're running well, keeping a good pace.  Here are the splits for the first half:
Mile 1: 8:29
Mile 2: 8:33
Mile 3: 8:49
Mile 4: 8:57
Mile 5: 9:02
Mile 6: 8:59

J and I are just having a blast, talking very easily about our lives, races, clothes, races, more clothes, mutual interests, our kids, the rain, pretty much just everything.  The rain doesn't let up, the road is completely flooded in parts.  At first we would try to find a way around the mini lakes but then we gave up, thinking we couldn't possibly get more wet.  Sweat is mixing with rain and running into my eyes, stinging them terribly.  Nothing to be done about it though.  We reach the turn around point, just at the very top of a hill that I've climbed several times in the Monumental Marathon.  I know the road coming up isn't very well maintained so the puddles/lakes continue to grow.  I noticed another runner taking a gel and realize that we're at mile 7 and neither of us have eaten anything.  I asked J if she had any gels and she did.  I take mine and within minutes, feel some energy return to my legs.  J seemed to be tiring so I say goodbye and go off on my own.  Well, that lasted about 1/2 a mile.  The energy was short lived and I grabbed a Gatorade and a quick walk break at the next aid station.  I hear J yell my name and I waited a second for her to catch up.  She had taken her gel as well and was feeling refreshed so we decided to stay together as it really was much nicer to run with a friend.
Mile 7: 8:49
Mile 8: 8:42
Mile 9: 8:34 (Nice!)
Mile 10: 8:56 (didn't last!)

We turn finally south so we can see downtown, where the finish line is.  The rain stops and things start to heat up, feeling pretty steamy.  Neither of us are talking much, I think we both just want to finish.  I'm not wearing a Garmin as I let Kylie wear it so J is keeping me posted on times.  She mentions that she's close to a PR but I don't have it in me to keep up with her.  I stop for water and a walk break at mile 12 as she continues on, looking strong.  I start running again and push hard to catch her.  I'm only maybe 10 feet from her when my stomach decided it didn't want to keep pushing and I paused, thinking I was going to get sick.  A few runners ask if I'm ok and I am.  I know that I get sick at and before finish lines a lot if I sprint too early.  So I take some breaths and continue on, a little slower.  I see J still in front of me but she's running strong and I'm not, LOL!  But I do run my best to cross the finish line and was shocked to hear Kylie screaming "Run, mom, run harder!"  I had thought she would have gone home with her grandparents, especially with the rain!  But she stayed with my mother in law, waiting to see me finish.
Mile 11: 8:42
Mile 12: 8:37
Mile 13: 9:08 (darn stomach)

I cross the finish line with a smile, receive my butterfly medal from a uniformed soldier along with a pretty rose.  J and I find each other and meet up with Kylie and my MIL.  Kylie was upset that they didn't have awards for the AG winners which I didn't understand, I thought was weird.  After questioning several people, J noticed someone that she knew who looked in charge.  That very nice lady found the box with the AG awards and gave Kylie hers, which turned her frustration into happiness.  We enjoy some beverages and conversation for a while before saying goodbye.

So this is the 6th time I've run this race, 3rd with the current owners (Carmel Road Runners).  It is different than it used to be in some ways but there are also many improvements.  I wish the medals were are nice as they were a few years ago, especially now that bigger, fancier medals are popular.  But really, that's my only complaint.  The race director keeps things very organized and does a lot for the running community in the Indianapolis area.  So, I'll be back for year 7!!!

Brew Ha Ha Halloween 5k

So I don't normally bother with 5k's very often.  I think they are hard to race because I run them hard and so often anymore, they are over priced as everyone expects a medal and shirt and entertainment.  I do miss the $20, just show up and race days.  But, I digress.

Anyways, this year, InkNBurn released an AMAZING Halloween kit that I knew I needed to buy.  I had to have it.  Medieval was the name and it looks like chain mail and armor, capris and a short sleeved shirt.  I loved it.  So, I bought it and searched for a Halloween race to show it off in.  Now, I had run a few races this year put on by 13.1 Events and was impressed by them so I looked and found their Brew Ha Ha 5k. The medal was very cool too, a Sugar Skull medal with blinking eyes!  Sounded perfect to me.

Saturday morning arrives and I drive up to Carmel for the race.  I don't know that area very well so I arrive early and find parking nearby easily.  I hit the packet pickup and drop the long sleeved hooded tee-shirt (very nice swag, especially because it's not covered by sponsor,s logos) in the car.  I get a few pictures taken in front of the selfie background and wait for my friend and fellow InB fan, Jeanette to arrive.  Her and her friend, A, arrive soon and we head out for a mile warm up run.  It was warm for late October, already nearly 70* and sunny.  I was wishing that I had a skirt on instead of my super awesome capris but I wasn't willing to sacrifice my outfit and even if I was hot, it's only 3 miles.

We arrive at the start with only a few minutes to spare and J and I get ourselves into the front part.  I didn't want to get stuck behind a bunch of walkers.  The race starts exactly on time and we're off.  J and I had run the Indy Women's Half together just a month earlier and found to be on the exact same pace and really enjoyed each other's company.  We started off together but her coach had told her not to race so I sped up after a minute or so.  I was running pretty good, under 7:50, for the first 1/2 mile but the fast pace and my warm clothes were not helping me keep that pace.  Soon, J was at my heels and we settled into a quick and sustainable pace together.  Mile 1: 8:13
Mile 2: 8:14 very flat course, as expected in central Indiana.  We talked about a few races we had done and ones we would like to do.  We discussed overnight relays and marathons.  We chatted about costumes and sinus drainage and InkNBurn clothing.  Soon this middle mile was over and we were turning onto the Monon, a running/biking trail that lead to the finish.
Mile 3: 7:58  The event didn't close the trail to the public so there were a few runners and bikers along the way but everyone stayed out of the racers way.  I can see the taller buildings that were near the finish line but they seemed really far away.  J and I weren't talking anymore, we were both pushing pretty hard.  She broke away from my in the last quarter mile, that woman has a terrific finishing kick!
Mile 0.14: 1:08  I push hard and cross the finish line.  Whew, that was a hot one and it wasn't pretty.  Finishing time was 25:28, 9th place in my AG.  J and I walk around to cool down, find a photographer (they do all free pictures here!) and hit the beer table (Thanks, Mendoza brewery!).  J's friend A finishes with a full minute PR, which I'm sure was because she was wearing InB for the first time but she thinks it was because she joined us for our warm up mile.  We take off for a 2 mile cool down, catching up on our races and lives in general.  It's so fun to run with great women, I wish I had the chance to do it more often.
Anyways, the race is pretty much finished by the time we get back.  I grab a donut and say goodbye as I need to run another 6 miles for my training plan.  I thought I would be too hot for those miles in my capris but clouds came out and once I wasn't racing, I stayed actually very comfortable.  And kept a 9:40 pace for those miles as well!
Next race?  Monumental Marathon on Saturday!!!!!
Four InB fans!  Jamie in Kimono, me, J in Bee skirt and May the 4th tank, A in Red Robot

Check out those medals!!

She Power Half Marathon

She Power Half 

I signed up for the She Power Half this spring.  It’s a new race at my local park, Eagle Creek in Indianapolis.  This was a different kind of race, you could “pick your path” either run on trails, road or both.  It also offered a quarter marathon and a virtual option (which seemed really popular based on the social media chatter.)
Now, I’ve been working out nearly weekly with some of my fellow Dance Moms.  They’ve been working so hard at losing weight and embracing an active lifestyle.  I shared the She Power Half info on our FB group on a whim and to my surprise, 4 signed up for the Quarter marathon!  And at least 2 signed up for the virtual option after the race sold out.  
So, race day arrives and it was so hot, 80* at the 7:30 start, reaching 85* two hours later. Which is really hot for a half in June in Indianapolis. 
I arrived early to pick up my packet and to get close parking.  I also wanted to meet up with several other INKnBURN ambassadors who were racing as well.  I pulled into the parking lot and BAM!  fellow ambassador, Angi, was pulling up next to me.  We walked to the packet pick up which was very organized and I got my bib on and put the box with my shirt in it into my car (I had wrongly assumed there would be a bag drop).  I found the dance mom’s in the parking lot too and we all walked back to the starting area as I explained why they shouldn’t pin their bibs on the back of their shirts and where to line up in the crowd.  Angi and I found and chatted with everyone we saw wearing INKnBURN, which was more than I normally see in Indy!  The event company, 13.1 Events, offered a backdrop and FREE professional pictures (shocking!!!!) so we got several group pictures in everyone’s InB.

 Soon, it was time to line up for the race.  They did need to start 10 mins late because of people backed up at the park entrance.  The race course starts with a pretty big uphill climb.  Background on this park, it’s hilly.  Very hilly for central Indiana.  But, I feel pretty good on hills so I wasn’t worried.  At the top of the hill, the trail runners went left and the road runners kept on.  There really weren’t many runners in front of me, I stayed towards the front.  The next few miles passed pretty easily as they were flat but the heat and humidity were already high, at least I thought so.  I decided about mile 2 to take a walk break every mile for 30 seconds just to catch my breath and lower my heart rate.  So I would be passed by a few runners but then pass them back when I ran again.  They probably found it annoying but I was able to run hard without slowing down between breaks.
Now I had looked over the course map the night before and had an idea how it was laid out.  One lap through the park for the quarter marathon and two for the half.  About mile 2.5, we come around a circle and I see a right hand turn but the small group of runners in front of me were continuing straight.  I also saw the course marshall on the phone, holding a printed out map.  Hmmmm, my gut says to turn right but I need to listen and follow the pack so I stay straight.  We end up on an out and back and see most of the slower runners heading into the circle area. That was cool because I shouted “Ink N Burn!” to several runners wearing various pieces and yell hi to my dance moms too.

 Soon my Garmin is beeping for mile 3 with no mile marker in sight.  Yup, I was right, we took a wrong turn.  But I continue on because there isn’t anything to do about it even though in my head I was mad.  A while later I see the mile 3 marker and my Garmin reads 3.87 miles. Great, I really don’t want to be running 15 miles this morning but who knows what will happen on the second loop, hopefully they figure it out and re-route us.  I push the frustration out of my head and continue on to the hilly second half of the loop.  And man, it was hilly.  I was doing my best to relax and lean forward on the downhills, flying down them and passing numerous other runners and I would shorten my stride and keep my head down on the uphills, refusing to give into the walk urges, unless it was a designated walk break for me.   It might have been hilly but it was also shaded so although I felt hot, it wasn’t terrible. 

We arrive back at the split for the quarter, which was mile 7 on my Garmin, and half marathon.  I continue straight while EVERY runner near me turned to the finish.  I was stunned, I didn’t expect that.  I asked the next set of volunteers if any half marathoners had passed them and they said very few.  Huh.  Maybe I’m doing ok at this race.  I start imagining Age Group awards and that gives me a burst of energy for another mile or so.  But I’m alone also.  I don’t see another runner for 2 miles and then only a glimpse of her long pony tail.  It’s very hard to pace yourself in a race without having anyone around you.  I ignored the pace on my Garmin and just focused on reaching the next mile.  Around mile 8ish, the volunteer had me take a turn which I knew allowed me to shorten the course.  Now, each mile marker was closer and closer to being accurate with my Garmin, which was such a mental relief.  Around mile 10, I see two runners in front of me slow down at a water stop to get fluids.  I’ve been carrying a hand-held water bottle so I just rushed past them while they shouted encouraging words to me.  Women can be so cool.

Around mile 11, I run down the biggest hill in the race and it feels like I’m flying.  Seriously, I’ve run down Mt Hood and this felt like that, at least it did a little bit in my heat exhausted, worn out mind.  The water station volunteers are cheering me and I’m feeling refreshed.  I check my watch for my overall time for the first time and see that I’m actually in reach of finishing around 2:00, which was my goal considering the hills and heat.  I push myself up the hills and through the now hot, hot sun.  My water bottle is now empty, my skin and clothing is soaked with sweat.  I want to be done.  The next miles pass quickly and I actually start to pass a few of the quarter marathon walkers, who I gave encouraging words to as I trudged on.  Then I see another runner in front of me but she has at least a ¼ mile lead and I can only see her occasionally as the road is very curvy.  I want to catch her bad so I keep pushing.  But, then the turn for the finish line is in front of me and I know that I just don’t have enough miles left to catch her but I wasn’t going to let that keep me from finishing strong.  I run down that hill to the finish as fast as I can, passing 3 of my dance mom friends along the way.  I see the finish line and run hard to reach it, with my hands in the air.  2:02:29 for 13.26 miles! 

I walk around the finishing chute, catching my breathe, getting the most gorgeous medal and rose handed to me on bended knee by a very handsome young man.  I turn around and cheer for my friends as they finish their very first road race.  The look of pride, joy, exhaustion and pain was in their faces and I was getting emotional for them but then I heard my name being called by the announcer who said “and in 3rd place for the road half marathon, Mary Nabb!”  WHAT?!?!  I screamed to my friends “This has never happened to me before!” as I hurried to the results tent.  The race director handed me a ceramic tile with the race logo on it and started to line me up for a picture when another runner approached, saying that she had finished but her name wasn’t called.  I had a sinking feeling that my overall podium finish was going to be a mistake so I waited while they figured it out (she was listed as a trail runner instead of a road runner so she did come in 2nd place, bumping me down to 4th).  So I handed the tile back and was given a smaller, coaster sized one for winning my Age Group, still a very amazing accomplishment.  Turns out, I was only about 30 seconds back from the 3rd place finisher, so close!  Oh well, nothing wrong with a AG award! 

I hung out with my dance moms and we got some pictures taken and enjoyed free sno-cones (great touch!)  They soon headed home while I waited for the InB ambassadors to finish.  Angi had a great race too and Tasha, who did the trail race, finished strong, even after wading through a foot of water.  I enjoyed hearing everyone’s race stories and cheering people across the finish.  I even got to see the last half marathon finisher walk towards the finish line as I was pulling out of the parking lot, surrounded by water station volunteers who were committed to getting her across the finish line. 
So, all in all, it was a terrific day.  There were some mistakes, like the route being long for the first lap (I think the quarter marathon runners actually went over 7 miles) and I would have liked to have seen a few more water stations considering how hot it was.  But, the rest of the race was exceptional.  I will do it again and would recommend to anyone. 

Next up, another race at Eagle Creek but this time a trail marathon!