During all the NYC Marathon hustle and bustle I actually forgot that I had registered and committed to run this race. I was caught a bit off guard when I checked my email the morning after I returned home form NY to find an email about packet pickup for this event. My first thought was “Oh crap I have to run a half marathon one week after completing NY!” Not to mention that just 3 short weeks before I had run Chicago.
It did cross my mind that I could skip the race, but who wants to miss out on earning another medal? I had paid for the race and I wanted the bling. The only way I wasn’t running this race was if it was raining race day. The forecast was clear so the race was a go.
This was the inaugural Naperville Marathon and Half Marathon and I wanted to experience first hand all the social media hype. I’m familiar with downtown Naperville so I knew where to park. I arrived early enough that parking was still close and plentiful. When I got to the starting area I used the cleanest race port-a-potties I’ve ever experienced. However, after just running the Chicago and NYC Marathons this observation may only be a relative comparison. I went to the nearby athletic center to wait inside and stay warm. I’m not sure there would have been room for me if I had arrived any later. We were crammed in like sardines. I did appreciate the warming area while I was waiting for start time though.
I decided that I was not going to “race” this race. I was going to treat it like a relaxed longrun. My body was pretty beat up already and I just wanted to make it uninjured to the finish line where I could collect my medal. That is why it was such a pleasure when I ran into a women who runs with some of my other running friends. We recognized each other and figured out that we had the same running plan. So it was an easy decision to join this woman and her two other running buds.
We arrived at the starting area a little too late. It was very crowded and I couldn’t tell if where we were lining up was in our correct pace section. This was not a stressor for us since we weren’t planning on going out hard. If I was planning to race then I would have needed to head to the start area early enough to stake my claim.
The first 9 miles of the race were not very exciting. We were running on a main 4 lane street and then on neighborhood side streets. A bit of it was on a prairie path, which was the most interesting part. If I didn’t have friends to run/chat with I might have gotten a little bored. There weren’t too many spectators out but the aid stations and volunteers were plentiful. At the 9 mile marker we split from the marathoners. The remaining 4 miles were on a paved trail with views of large homes and town houses. In my opinion it wasn’t a very scenic route.
I did enjoy having a race available to me that had easy and organized packet pick up, was super close to home with convenient parking, great volunteers and a nice post race set up. I’d have to say the hot beef sandwich from Buona Beef post race was a mighty fine way to finish off this race. It doesn’t take too much in the way of food to get on my good side.
I ran this race super laid back. I needed to take it easy after just running two marathons prior. I came in at 2:13:??, which is about 15 minutes slower than my best time. Mission accomplished. I’d run this race again just because of its sheer convenience (and the hot beef).