Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
About the halting of our race
Abouton Saturday, emergency management staff in our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) started tracking pop-up storm cells, as well as a significant line of storms to the southwest, moving toward the Champaign-Urbana area. By , when the second line of storms started showing significant lightning activity—25 cloud-to-ground strikes in the area and an additional 100 cloud-to-cloud strikes—the experts in the EOC made the call to halt the race. It was not a decision they made lightly or without significant angst, as they knew how much you wanted to continue with your races. However, the safety of our runners, volunteers, police officers, medical personal, public works staff, thousands of families and spectators,and race staff had to come first.
We want to thank those of you who followed our request to seek shelter and be transported back to the stadium—or, in some cases, back to your homes by a family member who came to get you. Some of you were diverted from the course and ran an alternate route to the stadium because no bus came by to pick you up. Many participants did not follow our request and continued along the normal course to the stadium (we apologize that communication on the course was not consistent). We did not close the stadium because we wanted to get everyone back safely and up to the Great West Hall for food and shelter, whether they ran there or took a bus.
I get it. I 100% get it. Never questioned it. At mile 18.x, a flashing-light police(?) vehicle was driving the "wrong" way down Sangamon Avenue, as the driver blasted the "race is cancelled...seek shelter" message. About 1/2 mile later, at the corner of Kirby and Duncan, race volunteers repeated the message, and urged runners to seek shelter in the CIB (Central Illinois Bank) across the street. The scene inside CIB was surreal... Dozens (40?) of soaked, shaky, dazed runners standing, sitting, laying, and pacing while the saturday morning bank crew grabbed cans of soda, plastic cups of water, and microwave popcorn...anything they had on hand that the group could ingest. Amazing. The 30 minutes or so post-cancellation announcement were a blur for me, but I'll forever remember that scene. Truly remarkable.
The race... Even after the 5K the night before (IChallenge!), I had relatively "lively" legs. My goal pace was 10:00 - 10:30 / mile, which I maintained pretty consistently. I was fading a bit starting at Mile 16, but was still feelin' pretty strong and NOT cramp-y. (Thanks, pickle juice!!!)
The weather (aside from the potentially deadly cloud-to-ground lightning strikes...) was fine. "Good" in fact. NOT hot. N O T H O T. It seems like it's ALWAYS hot for IL Marathon. Always. The cool temps and even the rain were a welcome change. When people ask what kind of weather I'm hoping for (for any race) , my answer is always "Anything but hot." Boom. I got it. The rain was annoying (I made a bad clothing choice...should have gone with a more repellant shell instead of light layers!) , but it did not slow me down too much. Heat does. Quickly and consistently. Rain does not. Cold does not. And I was never truly cold...just wet and "heavy!"
I "threw" one of my all-time favorite running shirts. *sniff* Odd to devote a write-up paragraph to a shirt...but...it was an AWEome shirt. It was a gift from my brother 10 years ago. It was super comfy and I LOVED the fit. The styling was probably(?) a bit dated, but I didn't care. Loved. That. Shirt. It was the first one I grabbed for any "cool" weather run. At least I have some good, memorable pics of it. (Orange, long sleeved.) And hopefully, somebody picked it up and gave it a wash & a good home.
It was very unsettling to stop abruptly after 19 of 26.2 miles. Weird. Confusing. I knew what happened / what was happening, but it was still odd. 19 miles is a difficult, exhausting endeavor. But it's not the "fun" part of the race. In fact, it's -just about- the start of it. 20 - 26 are where it really gets fun / dicey / maddening / excruciating, etc... To ramp up for, and to get just shy of that part of the race... Jarring. I could not, for a long time, wrap my mind around it. Even though I -knew- what to do next (ride home, dry off, eat, drink...) , I wasn't ready for it. "This isn't what's supposed to be happening right now..."
I thought of going back out on Sunday (Saturday afternoon and all day / evening Sunday were GORGEOUS!) and running (or biking) the last 7.x miles. But that didn't feel right either. A Moon-Glo burger and fried pickles did though.
FINALLY used (and discarded) the Nick Hotel poncho from Spring Break 2008 DisneyWorld trip. It's been out of the closet several times for "just in case" weather non-events. (Originally purchased for a forecasted rainy but ultimately dry day!) It was a good run.
View from Corral C.
One of very few "official" race photos I've shelled out $ for. Taken early (Mile 0.X?) , while I was still dry, springy, fully clothed, and focused.
Mile 7 - Monkeys UP!
Mile 7 Hydration System.
Mile 7. Wet, but all good!
Mile 12 thumbs-up.
Mile 12...still going (relatively) strong. Soggy, but strong.
Mile 16. Soaked. Fading a bit.
Screen shot of area radar within a few minutes of cancellation. Yup. I get it.
Post-Race @ 1901.
Post-Race @ 1901.