Monday, July 4, 2016

Melon Run 3-Miler Race Report

Ooh, it's gonna be a hot one today!  Of course, what do you expect on Independence Day in North Central Florida?

While sitting in my car, I pulled up the weather on my iPod.  Yeah, it's nasty already.

Race started at 8am, I finished by 9am
The car's thermometer said it was even warmer, already 76ยบ.  With humidity at 95%, this was gonna be hard. With the humidity, the feels like temp will be up near 80 by 8am.

Temp courtesy of my car
I was able to score a pretty sweet parking spot this time around - just a few hundred feet from the finish line.  "No Parking" signs be damned!

I will park here, and you can suck it!

Packet pickup was easy, so I was able to grab my stuff and head back to my car and gear up over there (in the shade).  Once geared up and it was close to start time, I headed back to join the rest of the crowd.

Look at all the crazy runners
Sparkle Skirt for the win
Soon, we were led to the start line and sent on our way.

Start line is up there somewhere
The course was still detoured, like it was last year, due to never-ending roadwork on the route we normally run on. This time, though, there are two streets that are under construction!  So, instead of just going around twice, we had to physically enter the park and run on a jogging trail. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

As it normally does (no matter the year), we always start with a lovely uphill takeoff.  This really separates the good runners from the not-so-in-shape runners (waves hand). Once I'm over the hill though (lol), I'm good to go and I can do my intervals.

You can't see it, but there's a hill up there
My intervals were good this time around, since I was way near the back and no one was in my way. There were a few folks behind me, but they weren't close.

The pastiness of my shoulder is bothering me
This is the running trail we had to run on. It's limestone, I believe, heavily packed and covered in green fungi/moss/something.  Plus, since it's humid and early, this limestone is slippery. Truly not the best surface for running on (at least for me).  I was pretty much forced to walk this entire section to ensure I didn't fall down.

How is he RUNNING on this trail?
Hey look, roadwork!
That blue car is mine - can I go home yet?
It's so quiet
Once we left the park, we entered into a nice neighborhood, full of gorgeous homes. I'm always jealous when I run though here, but the houses generally go for anywhere between a quarter to at least half-million dollars, so I think of the mortgage payment and I don't feel so jealous anymore!

After running through the neighborhood, you turn right and do the entire course again. Including the nasty uphill. Since I'm very near the back of the pack, once I started round 2, the course became very empty!

Hello? Anyone?
There was one guy behind me keeping me company.

Dude, either pass or move back
Only Mile 2? I feel like I've been baking in the sun for hours!

Mile 2. People in view 0.
Wow, I scored a race photo! Yay me!

See, I run with an actual camera!
Two loops also means I have to run - walk - on this stupid trail again.

I hate this trail
And... back through the pretty neighborhood, where the guy who had been behind me for two miles finally passed me.

You feel better now, you passed a fat girl?
Leaving the neighborhood, I turned left this time and headed to the finish line, where many people had already crossed, and already LEFT.

Oh what a shitty run this was!  My official time was 52:25. For a race that isn't even 5k! (Remember, last month, I did a 5k that took only 45 seconds longer than this race.  I did still beat 9 people (man, how far back were they?) and came in 27th out of 32 in my age group.

After I finished, I checked out the post-race party and was sad to see that everyone had already cleaned the place out. It's not that I want watermelon, but it does irk me to see that there's nothing left for us in the back of the pack. I don't think there was anything left but oranges and bananas at this point - neither of which I wanted - so I basically just packed up my toys and went home.

Excuse me - who ate all the damn watermelon?
Okay, so I took a Watermelon Selfie first.

Cut these up - people still out on the course!

You'll notice that I don't do a lot of races in my own town.  I don't feel like we have a good running community - for slower runners. We have a lot of bad ass runners who are part of the Florida Track Club, but for the casual runner, there is a serious lack of community. Very few races include bling (I can think of two, and one is a tiny "I got it at Oriental Trading" medal.  Many races are expensive for the swag you get (seriously, $35 for a 5k that only gives you a t-shirt?). Many races are put on by the local college, whose proceeds go to charities I don't agree with. So, yeah, there's a dearth of running opportunities in my area. And sadly, this race is beginning to feel like one of them.  I may start looking for other races to run on Independence Day - there's one in Jax that gives a medal for the same cost as this, and it's an actual 5k.