Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Boilermaker 15K & 5K Road Race 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012.

A day that will go down in the history books, well...for the Family Dunlap at least!

It was about a year ago my mother told me that I should run the Boilermaker.  She also told me that I should run it with my nephew, Adam, who is on his school's cross country team.  I had grown up hearing about the Boilermaker, but I never really paid attention to it...until about a year ago when I really started running.

Mom was onto something (moms usually are though, aren't they?).  My sister-in-law thought so too and she got in on the action as well.  And so, running became a family affair and Team Dunlap was born; and for the first time ever, not one, but three Dunlaps heard the bagpipes and crossed the finish line after running 9.3 miles in the 2nd largest Boilermaker on its 35th anniversary!  Registration was capped at 14,000 runners for the 15K event, and 11,360 crossed the mat.  By far the biggest race I've ever participated in, and so far the most meaningful and FUN!

I don't know if you want to hear about all the family fun time, so I won't recap that part except to say THANK YOU MOMMY AND BROTHER for making sure I had enough snacks and dinners and snacks and peanut butter for the yummy goodness that I know as carb loading.  And thank you sister-in-law for introducing me to what I like to call, Cherry Yum Yum.

Moving on.

Race weekend for me actually started the day before.  On Saturday morning, I joined sis-in-law, Jenn, and nephew, Adam, for an easy mile run with their running group, the Utica Roadrunners.  

Jenn, Adam and I (in the middle)
pre-run.  We're having fun :)

Me.  Post-run.  Oh my.  Aren't
I colorful...

A big shout out to the Roadrunners!  They are a great group of folks, who made this stranger that talked funny feel welcome AND they know how to treat their members post race...under the tent...with tomato pie...and right close to the porta-potties (this may be more important than the tomato pie....).  And for those that don't know about tomato pie....well, good.  That means more for me.  But I digress....

The Utica Roadrunners!

After the run, it was time to hit the expo

Me, getting my number.
Adam doesn't look as happy as I do...
He must be troubled by the
baby poop brown color of the bibs...

and preview the course.

driving down the Parkway

going into the golf course

a pretty view from the top of the golf course.

a wedding party thought so too

My niece, Jordyn.
She's having fun, trust me!

It seemed my camera skills were
suddenly lacking.

Then, after some family time, good spaghetti and meatballs (MEATABALLA), we hit the sack.

Race day saw the family up and about earlier than maybe it ever had before!  I don't know if we were all awake, but we at least were conscious.

a shirt we saw at the starting line.
a runner armed with her iPhone
sent it to me when she heard
"dang, i wish I had a camera...
that would have been perfect for my blog..."
I tell you, you have never seen so many people IN YOUR LIFE!  And they were all in line for the porta-potty before the gun went off.  We were probably in the middle of the 11,360 people...us with the baby poop colored bibs, waiting somewhat patiently.  We sang the national anthem, had a prayer and then we were OFF.  Well, the Kenyans and the Ethiopians and the Morrocans were.  It took about 10 minutes for us to actually cross the starting line.

The first 3 miles were filled with runners and spectators. Heck.  The course was lined with spectators for the ENTIRE 9.3!  The road had a very slight incline, but not so much to cause anyone any problems.  We then took the Parkway, tree lined and gorgeous, to the humdinger of a hill, the one that I was most worried about, going into and then another inside the golf course at mile 4(ish).  We made it back down from the golf course and back onto the Parkway.  It was at this point I looked to the heavens above and said "Thank you, dear Piedmont of North Carolina!"  I met those hills, the heat and humidity with little to no problem.  This is when the suffering of southern training became completely worth it!

From here to mile 6 or 7 was level for the most part.  The scenery here, not so nice.  We were on a highway for some and then behind a college for some.  But the people, oh the people, they kept you going with their shouts and clapper hand thingys and their tireless enthusiasm. Around mile 6 or 7, the course begins to take you into the belly of the city.  And it was at this point I was starting to fade.  You see, as much as I was worried about the hills at the golf course, I should have been worried about this little silent killer.  You know the ones I mean.  The ones that when you're driving don't seem like much of a hill until you get out of your car, lace up your shoes and run it.  That's when you learn about gradually increasing elevations.

By mile 8, that misery is behind you, you may (or may not) hear a drum line (I either lost the drum line, they were taking a break or they just weren't there...very sad...I love a drum line), and then mile 9 comes out of nowhere, you hear the bag pipes play (or a note...before they take a break.  sigh), and then you RUN LIKE HELL for .3 miles.

And then.  Just like that, after the months of anticipation and training, it was over.

And then you ask yourself, "Did that really just happen?"  "Did I really just do that?"

Hell yeah you did!

So next year, I invite you all to run or volunteer or spectate the Boilermaker 15K & 5K Roadrace.  It's an experience like none other.  And then...party at brother's house :)

Adam at the Finish.
Putting in a fantastic time of 1:21:40

Me at the Finish.
Ready for my half moon cookie
time:  1:29:45

Jenn got a little emotional :)
She started running in the winter,
Her first big race, and she chose a 9 miler.
You go girl!
So proud of you!!!

Post-race party at a brewery = a shit ton of people.

Yes, this is what a shit ton looks like.
Race Best-ofs
  • Doing it with family, hands down.
  • Running on the Parkway...just wish I could have gone to the zoo, I love the zoo.
  • The amount of entertainment on the course, from porch djs, to belly dancers to live bands.  Fun, Fun Fun!
  • The spectators.  Simply awesome.
  • I got a pint glass instead of a race t-shirt.
  • The winner was a male from Ethiopia this year (it's usually Kenya) with a time of 43:01, that is a 4:37 pace if anyone is wondering.  The first female finisher was also from Ethiopia with a time of 49:26, a 5:19 pace.  If you'd like to see all the results/times whatever...you can find them here:   http://www.leonetiming.com/2012/Roads/Boilermaker/

Race Not-so-cools
  • Some runners were not so familiar with race etiquette.  I have no problem if you have to walk, I would just rather you not do it in the middle of the road where I trip and almost fall so I don't run you over.  Walk, please do, just do it on the side please.
  • Navigating water stops.  You could never tell when they were coming up until people all around you were running you over while making a mad dash for the sides.  Big flags up up in the air would have been most helpful.  
  • So, you had mad water dashers and walkers in the middle....you had to pay attention and it was pretty hard to keep a consistent and comfortable pace.

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