Sunday, July 5, 2015

Strap Those Melons Down! Melon Run 2015 Race Report


As has become a tradition for me, I ran the Melon Run today.  Yes, a race in July in this heat in Florida.  Yes, I am crazy.  

Anyway, this time around, I wasn't really feelin' it, because they had to change the course.  Generally, the course is a large loop around a local park. But due to some pretty extensive roadwork on part of the course, they had to modify the course. Now we would be doing a much smaller 2-loop course.  I've run this course before, and it's a nice course, but not the Melon Run course that I wanted to PR.
  
"Chute," not "Shoot"
But, I got up early and headed over to the park anyway.  My camera didn't charge overnight (I hate this stoopid camera...), so all I had was my cell phone, so, congratulations, you get very few, but very sucky photos.  

I did luck out and get a pretty good parking spot, right along the race route, shortly past the start line. At least that's a bonus. 

The start line was moved forward a bit, so a lot of people were stuck hovering around a large traffic circle before the race began. 

I can see the hill from here
There was a lady walking through the crowd near me asking people if they were going to walk, because she wanted to be near a group about her speed. I told her that I planned to walk most of it, so she stuck near me at the start line.  Another lady mentioned that she did intervals as well, so we became a group. Turns out, she had come down from New Jersey (I think it was NJ) to visit her dad in the hospital and wanted to go out for a run that morning, and just happened to hear about the race and signed up that morning. 

Jersey Girl in the house
After the National Anthem (not me this year!), we took off, to the worst part of the course (no matter the year): the uphill behind the school. I don't run back here a lot (especially due to that aforementioned roadwork), so I always forget about that damn hill! And becuase of the course layout, I was going to have to do that hill TWICE!  Grrr. 

I got passed by the front runners I think before I even made it through Mile 1.  (There's no mile markers on that map up there but this is the front of the park, called Westside Tennis Courts).

Go Speed Racer!
I took a bunch of photos in the "neighborhood" part of the course, but none of them came out. I like the neighborhood because of the eclectic mix of fancy houses, but I wouldn't want to live back there. Probably really expensive, due to the neighborhood's proximity to the city's most popular park. 

Fast people on the left; turtles on the right
Coming out of the neighborhood, we started our second loop, heading BACK up that damn hill behind the school.  I passed Mile 2 at some point. 

The signage was small and hard to spot this time
Finally, though (really - I was so over this!), I made it out of the neighborhood again, and finished strong!  My official time was 50:06, which was pathetic as hell, even for me!!!  Yeah, it was hot. Yeah, it was a different course. Yeah, it was a pathetic time. I can own it.  I beat 20 people though, coming in 153rd out of 173 women, 291st out of 333 total finishers.  And I wasn't last in my age group, either - I was 13th out of 16.  Small beans, but any time I'm NOT LAST is a win for me. 

Afterwards, I stuck around for a bit, but the awards were taking forever, so I just took a quick selfie and got out of there. It is way hot and I'd like to go home and enjoy my day off.

Maybe next year I'll check out the Celebration Run in Jacksonville. Results from that race show that I could have beat over 100 other runners with this Melon Run time, plus I would have gotten a MEDAL! Same cost ($20) too! I guess it depends on whether not Hubby has to work that day...

Yep, still red in the face
A LOT of watermelons are given away as Age Group Awards
Mani shot! Red with blue/silver sparkles
Location: Gainesville, FL
Host: (Who put on the race) Florida Track Club
Race Fee: $25
Packet Pickup: Day of Race; picked up and was able to return to my car
Parking: Good for me (I got there early); can get hard closer to race time
Support: (on-course) Meh. Not a lot of spectators. Water only.
After Party: Awards, free watermelons