This morning I ran in the Run to Remember 5K for the Chicago Police Department, down at Soldier Field. I woke up, and guess what... it wasn't raining! Hooray!
I drove down to Soldier Field, picked up my packet (nice tech shirt and backpack... plus a package of Oreos!), and took a hobo nap in my car while I waited for the race to start.
This race is ultra-competitive, but HUGE, with lots of walkers and people with strollers. So I moved pretty far to the front, thinking that I would finish before the vast majority of participants. (Not TOO many people passed me- and most of them were men.)
At 8am, after a speech by former PD superintendents and a national anthem sung with the wrong words (home of the free and the home of the brave? Really?), we were OFF!
Mile 1: Started off heading north, with the lake on my right and museums on the left. We ran on a path I'd never run down before, that runs alongside the entrance to the Shedd Aquarium. My pace felt pretty good. The wind was howling out of the south, so maybe it was pushing me along? I swear, that first mile marker came out of nowhere... 7:46
Mile 2: Gosh, the views are tremendous. I love Chicago, even when the weather sucks, like it has been since the beginning of the year. There are some really fast people who run this race, and they are pretty much right at the 2 mile mark already. I make the turnaround (it's an out-and-back course), and get hit by a wall of wind. Seriously. It started blowing me sideways!
I come upon the aid station... the usual high schoolers holding out cups of water. Not interested. Then there's a guy with a giant gallon jug of... BEER. No joke. He's offering beer to runners. During a 5K. Of COURSE I took some... that's my kind of aid station! I love cops! 7:50
Mile 3: There's a guy in front of me running in his bare feet. Um, hobos pee on the sidewalk down here. Gross. All I want to do is beat him and his yucky feet. So I zoom zoom past him, and make the turn onto one of my favorite parts of the city- the path that winds around the Shedd and to the Adler Planetarium. It's simply gorgeous here. While I'm running fast, I know a PR is out of the question. Since really all I wanted to do was go under 25 minutes, I'd say I'm right on pace.
The last quarter mile or so of the race has pictures on both sides of the lakefront path of fallen police officers... going back even to the 1920s! It'd morbid, but strangely moving. 7:58
Mile 3.1: I pick up my feet and make a (feeble) attempt to sprint to the finish. Damn, I am the slowest sprinter ever! I'm not going to do as well as last week (the wind was KILLING me the last half of the race!), but I finished and I beat the barefoot guy AND the guy who kept stopping to walk. Success! 0:45
FINAL TIME: 24:20
AVERAGE PACE: 7:51
MILESTONE REACHED: First time I've taken part in a beer aid station!
NEXT 5K: Lew Blond Memorial 5K, 5.22.2011