I did this race in 2010 as well, so I sort of knew what to expect. The race takes place at the Greater Rochester International Airport (hence the name, durrr). You actually get to run on one of the side runways...pretty cool, I know. The course itself is fast and flat but it does have 2 hairpin turns, which are not my favorite. But the out &backs on the course give you lots of people to look at and cheer, one of the best parts in my opinion.
This year the race featured a special guest, perfect timing considering she JUST broke the all time scoring soccer record a few days prior.....Abby Wambach. Abby is our "hometown hero" or "local legend" if you will, originally from Rochester but has been vital to the Olympic and US Soccer team. Abby didn't run the race, but she did lead the start and hung around with everyone before/after the race as well as handing out awards.
|After breaking the all time scoring record....(NPR) I mean this woman beat Mia Hamm's record, and well....I spent most of the 90's and early 00's wanting to be Mia Hamm...so this is BIG.
As for the race itself, I really wasn't sure how it was going to go. For the 5k the previous weekend I had pretty fresh legs and that was definitely not the case this time. I had over 75 miles in for running/swimming/cycling for the week before this race even began. I did about a mile warm-up and stretched as best I could. It was already super hot, and the runway doesn't offer any sort of shade (obviously). There was some stellar competition there though, so I knew that would make me go faster during the race.
The moment the race started, you could really feel the runway headwind we had. Drafting was huge in the first stretch. I saw even top runners doing it, find someone and let them break it for you. I set myself behind a taller guy (perk of being short) and it definitely helped but I wasn't so close that I was imposing on him. I did have a girl come up next to me and draft so close that she kept stepping on my feet. She was literally right on top of me, we kept bumping. I'd move trying to shake her and she'd follow, at this point I seriously considered "accidentally" letting my elbow fall backwards but decided against it. Finally I got so annoyed with her leeching off of me so I picked up the pace for a few seconds and ran to the other side of the runway, thankfully she didn't follow.
First mile was 6:16, I saw that and was actually happy that I went out more conservatively than the week prior; although I didn't know if I was going to hold it. This was actually the only time I looked at my watch during the race.
Miles 2 & 3 were kind of a blur, the sun was blazing and the wind wasn't letting up. I just told myself to keep going and wait a little bit to push to the finish. With about 1/4 mile to go I started picking it up, and before I knew it there was a girl right next to me(NOT the same girl who was drafting earlier). Let me tell you, I DO NOT LIKE GETTING OUT-KICKED. I'm pretty sure I said "Oh, HELL-NO" but I am not sure if I said it out loud or in my head (I have a feeling I said it out loud because after the finish I went to high five her and say nice finish and she walked away, whoops.)
I'm really proud of this picture, my short legs served me well.
FYI those shorts are amazing. +Saucony Run Lux II shorts, super lightweight & perfect for hot weather, probably my new favorite shorts.
When I got close enough to see the clock it was just hitting 19:00, I still had a little ways to go but was shocked to see I crossed in 19:17. I figured I would be under 20 but didn't expect faster than 19:30 considering my first mile. That girl and I duked it out the last little bit, but I was lucky enough to be able to beat her by a nose.
I ended up in 8th place, and 3rd in my AG. When I say there was some AWESOME competition there, I meant it. The top 4 girls ranged from 17:02-17:40, the Rochester running scene is just damn fast and I love it.
The post race was great, they had arranged for a bunch of different food trucks to come and also had other companies donate things as well. Tim Hortons was even giving out free Iced Cappuccinos, this made me uber happy: caffeine and something to cool me off! And of course there were lots of carbs, YUM!
Overall I was really pleased with this race, its a fun course and my time was definitely not what I expected coming off a 19:24 the week before. I also got to spend some time chatting with my friend Joe at the race, as well as doing a cool down run with John's brothers girlfriend (mouthful, I know) Katie. I'm bad about cooling down unless I have someone to do it with me, although I hardly call it a cool down when we were in the blazing sun still.
Have you ever gotten the chance to run on a runway?
How do you feel about drafting? Is there a different between drafting, and TOO close?
Are you good about cooling-down after a race?
What is your favorite post-race snack?