I ran in the Great GO! St. Louis Halloween Race this morning. I met the Big River Training Team at 6am, plenty of time before the 7:30am start. Some people met to do a training run; most people there were racing in the 5k, 10k, or half marathon (10k for me). The pacers led the racers on a short warm up around downtown which I was thrilled about since I was freezing. It was in the high 40s/low 50s and I chose to wear shorts and a t-shirt, remembering how great that feels when running. It did feel pretty good after the warm up, even when I was waiting for the race to start and taking pictures of people dressed as stoves. (Is your name Stove? What kind of name is Stove?)
While I waited I chatted with Brian, my pacer on the 12 mile run last week. I told him I can run a 5k at 8:15 pace and I’m hoping to run my half at 9:00 pace but I wasn’t sure what a realistic goal for the 10k was. He said with those times, 8:30-8:45 miles was realistic. I said ok and adjusted my goal to that rather than my previous vague goal of breaking 55 minutes. Sometimes just hearing someone else say something is possible is all you need to believe it.
Here’s some other people in the training team.
I saw a lot of Wonder Women today, a costume I’d considered, but am now thinking is too common. She-Ra or Jem from Jem and the Holograms would be more unique.
I agonize over what shorts will be most comfortable to wear in races; other people dress as rainbows.
I bet this devil costume was warm.
Someone was dressed as Gu! Now that’s a creative costume for a run.
St. Louis is like a small town. I’d just lined up at the starting area and I look to my left and I see my college friend Jen, dressed as Lady Gaga. And I thought I was cold.
I looked to my right and I see the Man in the Yellow Hat (from Curious George). He’s next to a guy in a gorilla costume but you can’t see him in this photo. Note the man in the yellow hat’s “shoes”. They’re basically flip flops! And he was running hard just like I was.
I met another college friend, Paul, and we lined up together. He was dressed as a guy running his first 10k (haha)–he came wearing two shirts and then also put on his race shirt rather than checking his gear. But he said he wasn’t hot during the race.
Almost ready to start!
And we’re off! The first mile was pretty bunched up; I did a lot of lateral running to avoid people as we headed uphill on Market street.
I’m not exactly sure what that guy’s costume is–he seems to be dressed as a mother carrying a baby–I think he’s the baby.
Another Wonder Woman.
I’m always amazed that race pacers can not only pace the run but carry a sign while doing it. This is my goal pace in two weeks. I smiled as I passed him.
Santa and his Elf.
The Man in the Yellow Hat and Curious George on steroids are now ahead of me. How he did this in his flimsy non-shoes, I do not know.
As you can see, the weather was gorgeous. And the St. Louis Arch is always gorgeous.
I have an ongoing fear of losing the race course. It’s completely irrational as races are very crowded (unless you’re the fastest) but I generally have a dream about losing the race course in the week before I race. Stories like this don’t do much to reassure me (though I’d be fine with this outcome):
So when I saw this I veered off to the right immediately. Only 6.2 today, thanks. 🙂
We headed back downtown after 5 miles. I can’t tell you how motivating it is to encounter people with strollers, the elderly, and children during races. Not because I think “gee, how great for them” (which I do) but because I think “there is no way in hell I’m going to get outrun by a child”. I’ve gotten outrun by children more times than I can count, but not this one. Passed him!
I could hear the finish up ahead and sped up; I think I was running my 5k pace at this point (8:15) or even faster. Unfortunately the course didn’t go directly to the finish, but hung a right to take us near City Garden (I think–it’s a little crazy that I can picture what the road looked like but not the stuff around it). So I had to hold my maximum effort pace a little longer than I planned and when we turned left to the straightaway to the finish, I kicked it up another notch. In my last 10k I was drained and getting passed and I didn’t care; this morning I was able to pass 4-5 people and sprinted across the finish line, feeling incredibly strong and full of joy. Official results:
I’m thrilled with where I placed in my age group, more thrilled that I beat my previous best by nearly two minutes, and most thrilled that I did so feeling strong. The way I feel during a run is just as important as the result.
While enjoying my runner’s high I took some more photos of costumes.
Where’s Cheri Oteri?
People with kids probably know what they’re dressed up as; I just know they’re adorable.
My friend Shannon is on the left; didn’t see her at the race but as a long time fan of TMNT I’m obligated to share her costume.
Me and Paul with a scary backdrop. (Can you tell he’s a lawyer/politician?)
A close up of the medal.
Me with my swag.
I need to start running with a plastic bag to carry all the stuff they give away at the end of races. In addition to the beer (saved for later), banana, Sun Chips, and Hershey bar I’m carrying they also gave out fruit cups (ew) and water and chocolate milk, the only things I wanted to consume after running. They had Kaldi’s coffee too, which made Paul happy. A really nice mix of stuff, and really friendly volunteers, per usual.
Me and the Arch.
Last race before the Rock ‘n Roll half–done!