For some, St. Patrick’s Day is a day to get completely wasted… which is what someone must have been when they decided that it was also a great day to race. Yes all over the country people dress up in green and decide this is the day we have chosen to kick off the running season. But not me… no I’m an idiot and have been doing races all winter long. Did I ever tell you how much I hate the cold?
You see… early march we finally had a break to all of this cold weather and the sun peeked out and gave us *gasp* FOURTY DEGREES! And after the longest, coldest, snowiest winters I can ever remember …I knew again what the warm sun felt like on my face. And then… race morning… that stupid bitch Mother Nature dropped the temp back down to TEN EFFING DEGREES!!!
So we wake up race morning at the butt crack of dawn. Neither the GF nor I said a word to each other… I may have grunted or something but race morning prep was nothing but sleepy too-early-in-the-morning silence. The car ride in I reached over and put my hand on her leg while she drove and we listened to the radio not saying much. We knew the way… we’ve been there before… but it was too cold and too early for cheery happiness.
This year the Kona Running Company is all about improvements. They are single handedly raising the bar for all other races. They added some cutting edge technology this year such as QR codes on the race bibs for instant results and the ability to have your times broadcast on social media. They also added many logistical improvements and from the moment we drove in we could see the difference… last year there was a huge parking backup… this year they offered a free shuttle service from a larger parking area off site. And might I add they didn’t use any old rickity school busses, they pulled out the big guns and used some rather nice looking bus line. We, however, opted to park close to the packet pick up area and did not experience a ride.
We made our way to the warming tents and sat out the first wave of the 10k in order to warm up a bit more. At the last possible second we left the warming tent and headed to the start for the second wave.
5… 4… 3… 2… 1… GO! And we were off…. er… why are these 2 people in front of us still standing there talking??? WTF GO!?! UGH! Ok get around them… wait why is everyone stopping? Are you kidding me?
We. Missed. The. Start.
T E N more minutes in the cold we waited… all of the warmth from the tent gone now and I am effing freezing! “321go” ya ya I take off like a bullet in a full on sprint. I figure I need to generate as much heat as possibly as quickly as possible or I was going to make a “wrong turn” and head straight for the car. We found a comfortable spot and slowed up our pace… miserable …cold…
The race itself was very nice in true Kona fashion. The course is the same as always… the streets were cleared of all ice and snow and where there was ice there was someone on the case. The aid stations were actively combating the spilled water on the ground even though they were helpless to keep the drinks from freezing… a slushy in the cold is no treat but I’ll take it. Kona is up on the latest running technology so sometime in the future if they ever invent a runner warming tunnel I’m sure they will be the first ones to offer it.
We found a fellow “idiot” running the course but she looked miserable …we felt like crap …so we didn’t say “hi” I only photographed her like a creeper from behind lol. We walked often… the GF was having trouble breathing in the cold, my ankles hurt, I think from shivering and bouncing too much before the start. She kept telling me to go on without her, as if my time meant something to me, but I opted to stay and share in her misery. I tried my best to cheer her up… acting stupid, running backwards, doing circles around her… trying to keep her mind off the cold. It’s funny really, she used to wait for me and now it’s gone full circle, but I’m sure once it’s warm out again she will blow my time out of the water.
I pulled ahead on the last .2 in order to make a strong finish because… ya know, even your crappiest race can look good when you’re going balls out at the finish line.
There were no back ups at the finish… we got our medals, got our food, and got out. Another win for the Kona company! I have to confess though I did take a second cookie. I missed out on all of the chocolate at the Chocolate Run so I rationalized that it was ok just this once.
My results… not so great but who cares really:
as always you can track my run with Nike+ here.
And so I add another medal to the wall and I’m 1/4 of the way to the Kona “Grand Slam” series medal. We have another race in 2 weeks if its as cold as this one someone please shoot me!!