If you’re a southeast Michigan runner then you probably already know about the Kona Running company and their races. Sunday marked the inaugural Kona Chocolate Run, which is the 4th race series for the Kona team. They offered a 10k and a 5k but with these races only the 10k gets a finisher medal so the natural choice is to go 10k. The race takes place in Plymouth, Michigan as do 2 of the other 3 Kona puts on. This theme is pretty obvious …it’s all about the chocolate!
While I am a fan of chocolate, and I am a fan of Kona races, this one wasn’t really my idea the GF wanted to do it because it was the first one. I got her a race entry back in July and didn’t sign up myself for another month. I wasn’t too into this one because I assumed it would be freezing and the medal is pretty plain… but it’s Kona and they put on good races so why not do it right? Time flies and we had a busy few weeks of races and before I knew it this one was upon us.
Race morning started in the usual fashion …the GF is up and ready and I’m dragging ass trying to catch a few more seconds of sleep. There was quite a backup off the expressway turning left towards Plymouth so we made a clever right turn then looped around and beat out a good 20 cars just sitting there. Quite frankly, I didn’t see what the problem was they had a stoplight yet no cars were getting through. We got to the school for packet pick up and the parking lot was complete anarchy! People just parking anywhere and everywhere which is crazy because just a half block away there was a huge empty lot so we pulled in there and walked over. It’s kinda ironic that a bunch of runners would be fighting to get the closest possible parking spot but then go run a couple miles lol. We got our swag and dropped it off at the car real quick and headed over to the starting line. As we were walking up I could hear the Star Spangled Banner already being sung… we weren’t going to make the first wave that’s for sure but that’s ok I’m not actually fast enough to qualify for that one anyways. Oddly enough, there weren’t any porta johns at the starting line… or at least none that we could see… and the GF always needs to pee before the start of a race. What can you do except suck it up and run.
3… 2… 1… GO! And we were off. I really like the multiple wave start, it gets rid of all the hectic jockeying for position right off the bat. I also like that the 10 min mile mark is the separator which is my pace (I can’t sustain that pace without having to take walking breaks but its the most comfortable for me. Anything slower and I feel like I might as well be walking.) Also, you don’t have 1000 faster people pass you so it just feels like you are doing better mentally. The GF kept talking about having to pee so much that it then made me have to go too. Somewhere about a mile into it there was a construction site with a porta-john so we took advantage of the situation. The GF went in first and I waited… but then I didn’t really feel like going so one she got out I continued with her. Around about mile 2 I needed a break so I said my goodbyes and sent her off to run while I slowed back to catch my breath. I didn’t fall back that much and I could still see her for the next mile in front of me.
Somewhere around 3 miles or so it started raining… ALOT. It felt good to have the water cooling me down but at the same time it just completely broke my spirit. I was barely half way through and soaked so my clothes were suctioned to my body and things were chaffing where I would rather not have such an irritation lol. I walked quite a bit trying to suck it up and it wasn’t until a really good song came on my ipod that I was able to come out of the funk. It’s kind of a blur already but I think it rained right through to mile 5… all I know is I was soaked. The 5K race had started by that point and the fastest of those people were blowing by me. One guy, in an effort to shave off one hundredth of a fraction of a miniscule second of his race time felt the need to cut the corner in the space that I was already occupying and bumped me and splashed water all up my legs. I understand, really I do… but he was not first place, or second …or fith …or ninth even …next time, please go around dude.
Approaching 6 miles I did my usual “pick off” the guy in front of my routine to motivate me to keep going. It worked, for the most part, but there were quite a few people with way more reserves then I had and they took off… I didn’t stand a chance. I crossed the finish with about 1:15 as my unofficial time. The GF said I was only 5 mins behind her so I’d say that’s not too bad 🙂
Got my medal and immediately was dumped into this mob… and a line… with no clear starting point of end. We made our way through only to find out this was the line for the chocolate, which wrapped almost completely around the park. Chocolate is good but not that good so we hopped in the car and took off.
All-in-all it was a good run, despite the rain. Even though the medal is plain and square… its a good size and has some weight to it. However, I’m extremely disappointed in the tech shirt I got. They must have run out or something because the one pictured was a nice 2 toned shirt and the one I got was just a plain dull old blue. The GF’s shirt was also different but hers still looked way better with a 2 toned black and white. I guess it is what it is and I’m not going to let that get me down.
As usual you can view my run through Nike+ by clicking here.
Official Race Results are in:
106/115 in my age group