So, the race report...
I can't comment on the expo, as I had a friend get my packet for me since I couldn't be in Philly Friday or Saturday. She didn't mention issues, so I assume all was good. My lovely wife did get me an upgraded tee when she registered me, and that's awesome because a) it is blue, not school bus yellow like the cotton ones and b) it is super silky soft and I sort of love it. I got a L (I wear a medium in most tees, but tech tees run small), and its big in the body but fits well in the arms and shoulders and I liked it a ton wearing it yesterday afternoon!
Onto the race...I got up at 4:30 am. Ughhh. I was not pleased when my alarm went off. Anyway, I got up so early since its a 40 minute or so drive to the parking area, and the race packet sufficiently scared me into arriving early. I also took the subway from Center City (rather than the finish) to the start in 2007, and it took me like 20 minutes to get on and I barely got my bag checked in time that year...and the race has DOUBLED in size since then, so I was concerned. All that worry for naught though. I was in the third row of the parking lot. I was on a half full subway. I got to the race start at 6:30 am. For an 8:30 am race. Yawn. And thank goodness for smartphones to amuse me! So I bummed around, ate breakfast, etc until 7:30, when I used the potra-potty again (minimal lines) and checked my bag. I admit I was worried about bag check as well, since the race literature said to put your address in it just in case there was an issue returning it (as a result, I opted to carry my phone & keys in my belt, something I normally don't do for races, but I didn't want to be stranded).
MOST ORGANIZED BAG CHECK EVER. After my shade bag check experience at More, I was more than pleased with this. There were volunteers on the buses - same guy both ways - tagging the bags with a wristband with the bus number & your bag's number. You got a wristband to wear AND a sticker for your bib (they were heavy plastic too, not the weird paper ones that get all sweaty and gross). The only downside was bag check closed at 8 am, so I had a while to chill, literally.
|around where I eventually lined up, mid-commoner land, at 6:30 am. See that white thing in the distance?? that is the start.|
So bagless, I wandered over to the start. Since I'm not as fast as I think I am, I decided to set up at the front of my corral even though I planned to finish around the end of its "time" (1:30-1:40). I didn't want to move back a whole corral since people less self aware (teehee) than me tend to start out too far up and I don't like dodging walkers.
|corral map. No kidding around here (though they weren't patrolled). I|
As I alluded to earlier, I decided to take it easy - run a comfortable pace and just see how it went. Besides my questionable training (though I had a great ten miler last week), I played 40 minutes of rugby Saturday and have been fighting a cold + allergies. I coughed at mile 1.5 or so and had to spit and spent the next mile trying to get a giant green loogie off my left thigh (there's a mental image you expected in a race report).
Anyway, this plan went well. I walked the water stops - and there were water stops. probably every mile. It was a water-stop walker's dream! - and kept my steady but not exactly HARD pace.
Here's my oh-so-exciting splits:
1 - 9:54
2 - 9.26
3 - 9.37
4 - 9:40
5 - 9:43
6- 10:00 (this is the only turn in the race, around City Hall, and its a little tight)
7 - 10:04 (tried to eat Gu. I don't like Gu. Should have bought Sport Beans)
8 - 9:56
9 - 9:43 (burning butt, burning butt, where is the finish line?)
10 - 9:37
I feel good about these. Fairly even, and sort of negative. 1:37:43 was my official time. Some quick calculations from the race results show I finished at the 52nd percentile of finishers, and 42nd percentile of women, and 44th percentile of my age bracket, so that's kind of cool. Top half of female runners in a big race, woot (interesting side note, this race had 14k female finishes and 11k male finishers. That seems abnormally female to me, and is awesome!).
|most flattering self portrait ever. I should have asked sad-finisher-dude behind me to take a picture.|
The finish area was well set up too. Medal distribution (a nice surprise for a 10 miler!), water & food sacks were all easy to fine. The gear buses were only about 100 yards away, and the shuttles to the parking lot also were close by & zippy.
Overall, an A experience, and I'll give myself a B+, only because I could have pushed a little harder (a C+ if we include training!).