It wasn’t as cold as in the past two years but it was very windy and poured! It sucked.
The number of participants was a lot smaller this year. I’m not sure if more had registered but didn’t show up because of the rain. I have a feeling that is the reason. Since we are veterans of this race we knew better than to show up super early. There was no reason to. There is plenty of parking and it is not a big race. We go there with 10 minutes to spare. New this year they had opened one of the buildings for us to hang out in beforehand to stay warm and dry. That would have been nice previous years when it was so bitterly cold!
The course was exactly like last years. We started downhill, half way around the loop out of the park and up a hill. Considering I was coming off a half marathon just 4 days before I knew my time wouldn’t be the best. I was still kind of stiff from the half and the 6 hour car ride on Wednesday to Omaha didn’t help that. I walked a lot more of the first mile that I would have liked. But my legs didn’t really like that first uphill. My first mile was 12:04. Not bad considering it had 111 foot climb.
Just after mile one is a downhill that is nice but immediately is followed by another uphill. I kept pacing with an older guy wearing a turkey hat. I really wish I could get into dressing up but I don’t. Mile two was way slower than I would have liked but I walked a bit and I was struggling to take my cheap rain poncho off. Right before the end of mile two was a water stop. I really didn’t need any but I have it engrained in to my head to always grab water. I also dumped my rain poncho off. Mile two came in at 12:37. Ugh!
Mile three and the finish were pretty good. I like the last mile of this race because you get to make up for all those up hills in mile one and two. After the water stop there is a short, steep 137 foot downhill. It is awesome. I passed a ton of people. I love running down hills and this hill has been one of my favorites of all the races I have done…Mankato’s 10K hill is my favorite. I walked a bit up the hill before another downhill into the park. The cruel thing is the finish is up the hill we ran down in the beginning of the race. I didn’t sprint up this like last year but I still managed to run it even with wonky legs. Mile three was my fastest in a long time at 11:12. My overall time was 36:39. Not my fastest, obviously, but considering I ran a half marathon four days before and didn’t get a run in in between, I think I did pretty good.
I didn’t talk much about the rain but it was there the whole race and sometimes it was coming down pretty hard. I’m glad I wore my new “Tulsa Runner” hat. It made a huge difference. Eric and I headed to Starbucks for some warm refreshments and a couple donuts from Hy-Vee. It was so nice to get back to Bonnie’s house and take a long hot shower.