Saturday, July 5, 2014

36th Annual Melon Run Race Report

On Thursday, I decided to take a long lunch and do packet pickup early, at the Gainesville Running and Walking store over on Archer Rd.  They just moved to their new location and I wanted to check it out.  It was a good looking store, and I was impressed with their collection of goos and chews. Good to know they have what I need!

Race Tee was a soft cottony material
After packet pickup, I ended up going to TGI Fridays for lunch – I have one of their reward cards, so lunch is usually cheap when you use the rewards.I didn’t know that rewards members get free chips and salsa, so that was a nice surprise. I only ate a few though, and took the rest home for later.I also ended up doing their 2 for $10 kind of deal – I got an order of cheese sticks and my entrée was chicken fingers and fries (I know, so fancy). I pigged out and didn’t care how long it was taking me! I had my book, my iPod and 10 pounds of food!

Once lunch was over, I realized that I was going to be about ½ hour late back to work. Nope, still didn’t care. I work hard, and I never abuse time off or call in sick when I’m not sick, stuff like that that other employees here do ALL the time…

Friday dawned hot and humid. No really – 73º and 100% humidity. At 6:30am. Welcome to Gainesville!

Summer is brutal, but winter makes up for it!
I ate breakfast (Frosted Mini Wheats), got dressed, pinned on my bib and headed to Westside Park.

Ruby's Lube is by FAR the best anti-chafe I've ever used!
Holy crap, it’s busy this year!  I think because the race is on a Friday, rather than the middle of the week, it drew in a lot more runners. I ended up having to park across the street at a local elementary school. 

The park is across the street, past those white vehicles; the race starts in the BACK of the park
I had only a few minutes to spare before it was time to line up. I ran in to a Facebook ‘friend’, April and we chatted for a minute or two. She is very socially shy (she talks about it on her blog), and I am shy as well, so there wasn’t a LOT of chatting!

Okay, it’s 8 – we should be going now!  Nope, still waiting.

The View from the Back
And waiting.

This is how I can hold on to a partially-frozen water bottle without getting frostbite!
And waiting.

Soon, I hope?
We in the back of the pack have no idea what’s going on, but we’ve been standing here for about 10 minutes, packed like sardines, and it’s hot as hell. Can we GO?!

We finally started at about 8:09, 10 minutes late. April took off (she’s much faster than I am), and I was reminded quickly that there is a huge hill at the start line.  I was able to trot most of it, but I think I started walking as soon as I crested it.

Once we passed the school, there were two people who were walking, blocking the whole sidewalk. Grr. I passed them during one of my intervals.

I turned onto 8th, and I seriously got passed by what looked to be a wine-drinking baby-boomer in tailored shorts. Really?  Come on, I’m not THAT slow!
After this, she's going to Starbucks and Target...
While doing intervals, I would pass (and be passed by) a guy wearing a Captain America tee walking with his toddler daughter. They were quite cute and she seemed to be having a lot of fun.

We passed Mile 1 and started heading for the boardwalk. As usual, it was slippery, so I walked it.  I got passed by Tailored Shorts, and made it to the water stop on the other side.

Mile 1 and Captain America's kiddo
Once I drank, I started my intervals again, and made past Mile 2. 

A deceptively long, slow hill in this neighborhood awaits...
We turned on to 16th, and soon it was time for the Hill of Doom. I can’t run this monster (yet), but I do know that if I put my head down, get a good song on the iPod and keep that beat, I can make it to the top of the hill without slowing down.  And that’s what I did!
Why is it so hard to get a hill photo correct? No perspective here...
Once at the top, it’s a pretty quick bit to the end, complete with a downhill to the finish line. April was and the end and she gave me a wave.  I crossed and finished strong – sweaty, but strong.

Can we just admire those legs for a moment? Sweet Jesus, they are some good looking legs!
No PR for me this year, but it wasn’t my worst time for this race either.  My official time was 49:00 (Garmin time was 48:56). I ended up beating 9 people (last year, I only beat 8, so PR!?)

Unofficial Official Results from the Timing Tent
I wandered to the post-race area, looking for food and beverages. Gatorade, cookies and watermelon were all gone (seriously, I saw people feeding watermelon to their dogs…. Thanks for thinking of the slow folks.)

I stuck around to watch the Kid’s run, as well as the race awards – an ex-coworker of mine came in 2nd for his age group, so yay for him!

Way to go, Ex-Coworker! You were never an asshole to me!
I waddled my way back to the car and headed for home. I was hot, sweaty and tired!  And I can’t wait to do it next year – I think has become a tradition for me!
Look, see the hot pink head down here in the corner? That's me!!!!                              Photo Courtesy of The Gainesville Sun