I woke up Sunday morning around 4:30. Got up and made some coffee…got my running clothes out of the washing machine and tossed them into the dryer and went about getting ready to go. The race was set to start at 6:30. Around 5:15 I was looking online at where I should park when I noticed, for the first time, that the lots close to the start line closed at 5:30. I scrambled to leave.
Of course there was a lot of traffic…I’d forgotten about that. But I actually found a pretty good parking spot and got down to the start around 6:05. By then it was raining pretty steadily. The crowd was huge and slow moving. I tried to make my way to my starting corral or pig pen but it was very slow going and my pig pen was the very last one.
We all stood there, in the pouring rain, waiting for the count down. Honestly, being so far back I couldn’t even hear the gun go off. I just started moving when everyone else did. Even though I wore a poncho, the rain trickled down my back and my shoes were soaked by the time I crossed the starting line. It was still fairly slow moving because the crowd was so dense, but I managed to weave through and pick up my pace.
At about a mile into it, I took off my poncho and tossed it aside. The rain was a drizzle at that point and I didn’t really care about it any longer. I was already in my zone…there was no doubt that I was going to go through with this. I wasn’t going to stop, I was just going to keep picking them up and putting them down until I reached the finish line.
There were, I think, 7 hills total on the course. Several were on the bridges we crossed during miles 1-5. But those miles went by fairly fast, for me. I like that part of the race. The crowd was up and cheering us on.
Miles 6-10…not good. The problem was, I didn’t have time to eat breakfast (I had half a cup of coffee!). I felt out of energy just as I hit the big elevation rise at mile 6…straight uphill until mile 10. I’d brought one GU packet and ate it at the bottom of the hill. Wish I’d brought 2 packets.
At mile 10, I poured it on to make up some time…but when I hit my last mile, I also hit my wall. I could not make myself go any faster and, in fact, I know I slowed down quite a bit. The spectators were plentiful on that last mile but weirdly quiet. There weren’t a lot of runners at that point so maybe they just thought that all the walkers were no big deal. It was kind of a let down when I could have really used some energy…but I turned up my iPod and focused on the finish line and tried to get there as soon as I could. I knew I was going to finish faster than I had predicted so that made me happy!
One thing this race gave me…the sense that I can do anything I set my mind to.
Number of Finishers: 1,261
Number of Females: 1,069
Number of Males: 192
Average Time: 3:31:49
bib number: 11996
location: Cincinnati, OH
overall place: 9596 out of 1261
division place: 566 out of 710
gender place: 5785 out of 6862