January 18th 2014 marked the 2nd annual Auto Show Shuffle. The race coincides with the opening of the NAIAS to the public… something I’ve enjoyed since I was a kid. Now that I work in the auto industry it just made sense to have an auto show medal so that pretty much was the deciding factor for signing up for this race. The GF and I both did a recap today about the race you can read hers here.
The race started at 8 so the GF and I wanted to get there by 7 to give us plenty of time to get our stuff and hang out without being rushed. When we got to the parking garage there were signs taped up everywhere that said “cash only” …wtf that’s nice to know because we didn’t bring cash. But what other choice did we have except park and go to the Ren Cen after the race to find an ATM.
“Home Base” so-to-speak was at the Detroit Port Authority building which was great because it was big, heated, and had indoor plumbing which is a novelty. The temps outside were frigid! Roughly 15 degrees and a stinging wind chill made it painful to be outside. Luckily there was enough room inside for all to move around comfortably. A running group I belong to, SEMR, had quite a few members participating in this race. I’ve never met any of them so I was trying to keep an eye out for any sign that might tip me off to who they were… but in a sea of faces it was near impossible.
Funny story… One of the group members has his own blog, Detroit Runner, and while reading his post on the race I see a guy he is posing with and realized I had a photo with that exact same guy in it taken at the starting line. Upon closer inspection, as it turns out, he was LITERALLY standing behind us and we didn’t even know it:
If you look close …yep theres the top of his head lmao.
So the race began and we were in this narrow sidewalk area on the riverfront… nice view… horrible race bottle neck. I never quite understand why …if you are going to walk …and you KNOW you are going to walk …why do you line up at the front? I don’t hate… I’m no speed demon… I could barely care about my time anyways… but its a horrible road block and mass chaos when everyone is trying to get around. At the same time, why do fast people start way at the back? I am middle-of-the-pack and you will always find me where I belong, in the middle. It only just makes sense.
The first mile I couldn’t get my hands to warm up. I got these new TrailHeads running gloves that are fingerless and convert to mittens that I have been anxious to try out. I’m on the fence about them… my hands were literally going numb from the cold and I had to awkwardly warm my hands in my pocket while running. But after I got warmed up they seemed just right so maybe they weren’t designed for such extreme temps …or maybe it was to keep in mind that you will be warmer with activity and to not over heat you. Either way I will continue to use them because there really isn’t much choice when it comes to fingerless gloves.
By the second mile I was still running strong… maybe the extreme cold kept my mind off of running. The GF, on the other hand, was not breathing well and needed to walk for a moment. This was only the second time in our history of running together that she needed the break not me. I wasn’t going to leave her there, race time doesn’t mean that much to me, instead we walked hand in hand for a moment until she was ready to get back into it.
After passing the second mile marker something began to happen that I had never experienced before… a wardrobe malfunction!! Now, I pretty much wore the same outfit I had in the Christmas Story Run, which was also very cold but I was very comfortable considering. But this time I became very aware that the sweat being wicked out of my UA compression underwear was literally turning to ice inside my pants!! Everywhere else on my body was warm at this point in the race: hands, feet, face, everything except where my underwear was touching my body. They are extra long and almost go down to my knee… everything below that was perfect. My UA Cold Gear pants do a great job of keeping me warm so I have no idea why under these pants which have and were currently keeping me warm, would I be having this problem. I began rubbing my legs which helped just enough to keep me going until the end.
At the finish line the GF took off ahead of me… I couldn’t keep up but I managed to dig deep and dial it up enough to make a strong-looking finish. Enough to get a high five from a random guy at the finish line for my “strong finish”… hey I’ll take that kind of compliment any day. I got my medal although I heard they ran out sometime later.
I heard a lot of people didn’t like the race shirt or the medal but I personally think both are great. The yellow sets it apart from the other blah shirts that I have while the medal… ok so its not fancy but its not one of those cheap generic round ones with a sticker on it like some races offer.
My official race time was 34:48 with a pace of 11:14/M. Putting me at a low 22nd out of 25 in my age group but an overall 354 out of 619 middle of the pack finish.
As always you can track my run with Nike+ here.
After the race, we ran over to the Ren Cen and got some cash so we could pay the discounted 3 hour parking of $4.50. While we were getting situated we suddenly noticed that there was a car sitting directly behind us… and one behind him …and one behind him… so I got out and looked and the whole garage was completely jammed and NO ONE was moving. Sooooooooo we waited and no lie an HOUR later that same car was still behind us and hadn’t moved even an inch!! We hadn’t even backed out of our parking spot yet. I could see the streets outside of the exits and there were NO CARS leaving. The combination of no credit cards and having to make change for every single stupid car caused a complete and total cluster fuck.
Here was our view of the world from the parking garage.
While I will stress that this was NOT the races fault… SOMEONE somewhere should have done SOMETHING. Yes the parking garage is a business I understand that but in a case like that OPEN THE DAMN GATES and let us go if you’re not equipped to handle such a crowd. It’s not stealing, it’s a damn parking spot. When we finally got up to the gate we had passed the 3 hour mark and had to pay another full hour making the price almost double …it was like waiting in line to get kicked in the nuts.
And so we went home with a sour taste in our mouths over what was the Auto Show Shuffle. I may do it again next year, maybe not. It didn’t make the “must do” list but I haven’t ruled it out either. All in all it was another medal for my collection and that’s all that matters to me 🙂