Packet pickup was a fiasco, but I should have guessed it may have been and waited for a couple of hours, to give it a chance to settle down. We drifted downtown, found a parking space easily and drifted down to the Bayside to wait for the start, in retrospect we were a little too early, but better to be safe than sorry, right? There were a couple of photographers milling around, taking pics, hence the shots. The place was mobbed, apparently this is the largest charity race in Michigan, and it felt like it, bloody people everywhere.
The time came to start heading to start and it was kinda disorganized, but that was nothing compared to how messy the start of the race would be. I really wish races would start telling walkers, people with dogs and strollers that they have to start at the back of the pack as the first 3/4 mile was bedlam, trying to zig zag through groups of people milling about. There was also a couple of groups of people running beside each other in one across the road, a real pain in the ar$e. Once it settled down, I started enjoying it, although I've run the lake many times (albeit mostly counter clock wise), every time I see something new. The day was kind of strange due to the mist hanging over the lake.
I downloaded a metronome app from the Android marketplace during the week for my cell phone so I could try and maintain the near mystical 180 steps per minute cadence. One of the hints the instructor gave was to use the metronome to monitor the cadence of my arm swing and to use that to control my step, I suspect this was to discourage slamming the feet down on the beep, but I'm not 100% sure. I was also, consciously running lower down, thus forcing me to keep my knees bent, & to try and stop myself from heel striking quite so much. It felt a little strange and I did feel a little tighness in my calfs while running, but it kept me going at a fairly respectable pace.
The field really thinned out after the 5k'ers looped back to the start, the course was uneventful, with a couple of aid stations and some people handing out bottles of water along the way. I still prefer to run it anti-clockwise, but, on the whole, a good day out.
On finishing I got a chance to watch everyone finish their races which was very cool, as I generally don't know anyone or it is too busy to enjoy it.
9/22 in my age group; 77/229 overall; PRed the lake
|Gordon, Liam, Johnny & Thomas|
|Iona, myself, Thomas & Liam|
|Thomas finishing strong|
|Me looking beat|
|Iona after cadging a lift to the finish|
|Liam overtaking on the final turn|
|Me, on the home stretch|
|Gordon, heading to the finish|