|Scenic view at the first rest stop in Missouri on I-35 heading south.|
|Mural inside rest stop|
|The (fairly) new interstate bridge in Kansas City, MO.|
S and I missed the packet pickup on Friday night, so we headed out to Bonefish Grill and had a great late meal. They have a lovely gluten free menu as well and the waiter was well aware of what I could/could not have on the menu. Saturday morning we got up bright and early for the 7:30am start of the half marathon. . . in order to drive out to the rural church, find parking, and ride a bus up to the church /start line area. We probably got there earlier than we really needed to; however, with the rain that had come that week and the night before, the organizers had to scramble for alternative parking--which came in the form of having us detour off and around gravel roads and park on varying roads. We got to ride a school bus to the church/start and S's son loved this!
We got our race packets and, one of the ladies handing out shirts said, "a men's?" and I said, "Yes, because I have curves and women's shirts aren't always a good fit". Does anyone else have this problem? Often times the women's shirts are cut for an Olympic women's figure and not for regular people, with chest, belly and hip curves ;-)
|The Moo Moo car|
Since the parking and organization of the race ensures everyone is there early, they provide some food ahead of time, bananas and the like. There was the person dressed as a Holstein, a person dressed as a Cat/Raccoon, he looked like a cross, and I could only surmise that he must have been a school or sports team mascot. We spent time walking around and exploring. I'm not sure why they started this race, but across the street was a farm that looked like it had been a dairy farm at one time, with the white washed building with windows, a few silos and some other structures that just reminded me of the dairy farm.
|Start corral and Smart Pacer signs.|
I wasn't sure what to make of this race for my goal. My goal was really to come in under 2:45 since I have not been running much this spring and had only been back on the plan since the beginning of April. I ran with the Smart Pacers at the 2:35 time frame and figured I'd play it by ear, but that I'd start out with the pace team so I wouldn't go out "turbo" out there and wind up bonking. I had not seen an elevation for the race, but from photos of the 2012 race I knew there to be some rolling hills. For your information: the race is entirely rolling hills. We started out the driveway and then turned onto the street. People kept jackrabbiting up from behind, dodging people and some near misses as they tried to get up with their fast pace groups within the first block of the race. First, I think this is pointless at this stage of the race and second, it's just dangerous. One of the Smart Pacers was trying to yell at the folks behind to be safe with passing and she went down in a blaze of glory. . .hitting something on the course (okay, a bright orange cone), but she was fine and came up ready to go. I've often wondered about pacers, who they are, what their normal pace is, etc. The pacers had answered questions and provided some background before the race. . . one of them was a Boston Qualifier which means basically that they are use to running about half again, if not twice as fast, as this group was going to run--no wonder they can offer words of encouragement and run at the same time!
|Pavement markings in various colors for the finish line area.|
Alas, I noticed NO Holsteins in the fields--none! Actually, I noticed very few bovines around at all. There were some off in the distance that were black or dark red, huddled under the shade and windbreak of a some trees. The area might be rural, but being 30 minutes from SW Lenexa, it really is a boom town area for commuters who want the simpler life (a/k/a urban sprawl which is everywhere).
|Cute turn around signs for the 5K and half course.|
Coming back on those hills in this area felt good. . since the wind was at out backs and we were able to keep moving. Up near the next turn there were the paramedics, but the regular people/visitors/cheerleaders had moved on. This was probably a good thing, as the wind changed from being a north wind to being a northwest wind and one of the giant "road closed" signs blew over. Back on the east/west path the rollers were back and being brutal to our bodies. More aid stations though (plenty on this course!) and the man with an accent who was doing a 1 minute run / 1 minute walk was passing me this go round. I know people like watches that do the whole beeping thing, but when you hear someone else's watch do it, it's a bit freaky, especially when you're next to the person!
|Plenty of protection at each intersection. |
This is the 5K turn around and water station area with the
flag flying high on the ladder truck.
More run/walk for me and then coming into the final stretch with the white washed former dairy buildings across the road from the finish line, it was coming into completion and the energy was building within again. I saw S and her son near the turn area and was pumped into moving into the finish area. My final time was faster than my expected goal and slower than the pace team I started with. . .but I was happy for with it being a training run, rolling hills and a wicked wind. Surely, Hospital Hill Run 6/1/13 should be a breeze compared to this, right? ha ha ha ha. That course is wicked and mean but so amazing to complete.
|Finish photo with apron and, |
yes, my face is always bright red when I finish running!
(my head said 26.2 but it was only 13.1 this day)
S said the 5k was good, there were plenty of walkers as well as runners. She was hoping for a better time, but with having a small child who wanted out, then in, then out, then in, of the stroller, we think she had a very good time!
I thought this was a great event, though I did expect to see some calves or a petting zoo. . . not sure why I thought this, but with the name I thought it'd be some fun to throw in on the race!
We headed back to the city, did some shopping in that city, then had lunch at PF Chang's.
|A visit to the dad on the way home and seeing some real live Holsteins.|
|PF Chang's only gluten free and soy free option and it is delicious!|
Philip's Better Lemon Chicken
Next race: Hospital Hill Run, Saturday June 1, the 40th running of the event and my third time doing this course! Looking for the final piece of the puzzle: