Sunday, May 1, 2011

Off to the races

I had a great time in Providence this weekend during the Cox Rhode Races. The whole family had a very busy weekend.

Friday night started off with a trip to the race expo to pick up numbers and shirts. RunningDaddy (That's OTMommy's other half) and his brood were there to get their stuff too. I then jetted off to M's tee-ball game to freeze my rear end off.

On to Saturday: Our entire household, of which I'm the only one who you could consider a morning person and only after a coffee, was up and out for the Kid's Marathon at Roger Williams Park by 7AM. M met up with Boogie and Mudget and they were all sporting their race tee shirts, race number bibs, superfast running shoes, and matching reflective running hats that we grabbed at the expo. It was absolutely awesome to see how exited these guys were to run in a race just like their dads. All the boys met the 5 and under class so they lined up first for about a 500yd race. Parents were allowed to run too which was great. My lovely bride actually counted me (future post about 123 counting coming) when I told her I was going to do it barefoot. The boys all ran really hard and did great.

When I tried to get M to go for a cool down jog with me, he asked if we could run in the next race (5 and older). Sure! Turns out all the boys wanted another go at it so off we went one more time. Races done, it was time for the "scavener hunt" which basically means the zoo get to charge you for admission so you can walk around and answer questions about animals in your workbook. It was fun to hang out with everyone some more but as my feet started to hurt and I started to get tired, I starting think it was probably a bad idea to walk so much before my 1st half marathon.

Scavenger hunt over, now race off to tee-ball again. Then race off to dinner and a few beers with friends in town. Ok now get home and pack for the big race and try to get to bed early because I had to meet Kyle at 6:30AM.

Race day dawned at 5:15AM. Luckily I was able to prowl around the house with ninja feet so no one woke up.

Kyle and I carpooled and eventually met up with Checca, a buddy from college, at roughly the 10min pace starting area. Bang! We were off to the races, as it were. Not long after starting, my bladder started hinting that we might need to stop. really??? Only 1.5miles into the race and we had to wait in line at the porta-johns. Sheesh. Anyway, Kyle and I took care of stuff and headed off again at about a 9min/mile pace. That was a little aggressive based on our prerace strategy session but we were feeling good and having a good time screaming under every tunnel and occasionally just yelling really loudly to have fun. It was fun for us anyway.

We kept our pace steady through the ups and downs and made sure to greet and thank the folks cheering everyone on. Sometime around mile 8, it was starting to feel like something approaching work because it was getting hot. Luckily, the trees along blackstone blvd had started to bloom so we got some shade right around then. A few screams and war whoops here and there helped lighten the mood. The last tiny but really annoying hill was at around mile 11 as we turned onto gano St. From there, I cut Kyle loose to chase the 2hr time. It was International Barefoot Running Day so I couldn't finish the race with my shoes on, no matter how minimal they were. At mile 11.5 the shoes came off for the remainder of the race through India Point Park and back to the finish line.

It is really fun when the police call to you and ask what happened to your shoes. I told him I got a flat and ran right by.

I could see Kyle in front of me through the park but I was not going to be able to catch him barefoot without getting hamburger feet.

I came in with an official time of 2:01:34 and I think Kyle was about a minute under that. This time included a pee stop and wait and my shoe removal. According to my garmin, I had a moving time of 1:58:52 so I'm pretty happy at unofficially breaking 2hrs on my first 1/2 marathon.

We met up with friends and family after the race and had a great time. It was really nice to catch up with old friends, Birdie, Fatty, and Checca in the beer garden. I have to apologize to Pam for totally spacing out and losing track of time while she wrangled the kids.

Anyway I want to thank everyone who was out there cheering and I especially want to thank my family for running themselves ragged to help me do this race.



  1. Next year, you should brave the broken glass along the streets of Providence and go barefoot the whole way.

  2. I might. I just need to build up some miles to toughen the feet. I could probably have done it barefoot yesterday but I lack the confidence at this point.