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Pike's Peak Ascent Race in CO. Her recap makes you feel like you were there with her. Ever wonder how to train for a 14,115' climb? While you there, poke around her blog and check out the training that went in to a race like that.
About this link up...It is active every Tuesday - Friday. Link up your most recent recaps, or throwback to an old favorite. *If your post is unrelated to the theme, it will be deleted. One recap will be featured on the next link up! Read at least 3 other posts and leave them some love. The more the merrier… share on your social media so others can link-up. #TuesdayTales Grab the code to the link-up image below on your post or somewhere on your blog.
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And speaking of Race Recaps I have been holding onto one for awhile now, since August 1st actually! This link up day is the perfect day for me to release the recap for the very sought after Beach to Beacon!!!
The quest for the TD Beach to Beacon 10k 2015 started in March. Yep March for the August 1st race. No the training didn't start but the registration did. Beach to Beacon is Maine's most popular race. Hosting over 6000 runners on a 6.25 mile course. Being the most popular race the spots fill fast. And by fast I mean like blink or have a typo and your chances of running it are slim to none. This race sold out in just over 4 minutes. FOUR MINUTES! Which means you have to be fast OR hope that one of the 1200 lottery spots they open after registration closes goes to you with the luck of the Irish on your side. I happened to have my act together on the morning of March 13th and my typing fingers flew because I GOT IN!!!! For the first time ever I was going to be joining the masses and running this sought after course!
After the high of securing a spot in the 4 minutes of active registration I let the race slip from my mind. I mean after all I was in the middle of Marathon training and raising three kids so I thought nothing of it, knowing that training was something that I wouldn't really need to focus on too much for a 10k. After all I in May I held my own for 26.2!!!! But alas packet pick up was upon me. There was really no choice of a morning of packet pick up like I was accustomed too. Morning of pick-up was held only for the most needed cases, think those traveling from afar or having some special circumstances. With 6000+ runners they really needed bibs to be picked up before. So the afternoon before after spending the morning at the beach as a family we headed to the expo. And it was immediately very clear as to why the packet pick-up was mandatory the day before. There was pick-up TRAFFIC. Yes, we sat in lines of traffic and then had race volunteers direct us to the very last lot left for parking. I was starting to realize how big this race was going to be. After the let down of the Maine Coast Marathon expo I wasn't expecting much but I was very VERY pleasantly surprised!!!! The packet pick up was a breeze, very well organized and over quickly. Then I was sent out to enjoy the vendors and pick up me free Beach to Beacon shirt. We were treated very well. Given lots of samples, gift cards to a sports store and Dunkin Donuts. (When all was said and done after that weekend I walked away with $15 of Dunkin Donut gift cards. Enough to keep me happy for a long time!) The kids had a BLAST, each collecting their own little race expo goodie bags, including cow bells to cheer Mommy on! A very well organized and fun expo for sure!
After such crazy traffic for packet pick-up we decided that a VERY early morning departure was needed. Which meant that my little cheering crew would not be attending. I left the house at 5am after 3 hours of sleep and made my way to the Biddeford park and ride where two lovely ladies from the Lebanon Lady Runners run group met me and we then carpooled to a designated parking lot. There were 4 such lots. Since this was a point to point race shuttles were being used to get us all were we needed to be. We arrived at the lot and had port-a-potties waiting for us. A quick stop in and we were in the shuttle line. Awaiting our turn to board the school bus and be bussed to the start. This was all done very quickly and organized. Stepping out at the start line we were welcomed with oranges and bananas and some Gatorade if you so chose. A sunscreen station was set up for those who may have forgotten to put it on and the smiles and welcomes were plenty from all the volunteers. Also awaiting us was the most glorious set up of port-a-potties EVER! A line as far as the eye could see with alternating side entrances to keep the lines from being so chaotic. Another stop in for a bathroom break and we had enough time to head down to the start to see the start of the wheel chair participants AND then the special guests. This year the special guests were a 90 year adorable lady and her support crew and a strong and brave Boston Marathon bombing victim and her husband. It was a pretty emotional send off. Here we paused to snag a picture at the start line AND managed to even get Joan Benoit Samuelson in our shot!!!! It was really cool to see her at the start giving orders and saying good luck to all she came across. One more trip to the port-a-potty line and I was off to seed myself.
6000+ runners is something spectacular to see and to be in the mix of. It was heads as far as I could see in both directions. All gearing up to run. We were packed in shoulder to shoulder and no where to move. I had put myself up with the 10 min milers and as an after the race thought I wish I had gone closer to the 9 minute ones. I however, was locked in. There was no where to move once you stopped in your place. People who were obviously late were trying to fight through to their pace section and were having no luck. It was just wall to wall bodies. The gun went off and somewhere over two minutes later I crossed the start line. I was running. I was weaving and I was dodging and being dodged. I waited for it to thin out so that I could get my groove and get focused. It NEVER did. In fact, they closed the whole course and we had the entire road to run both lanes but the people never thinned. With no music and just the spectator cheers to focus me I put my head down and just made the best of it. I weaved, I bobbed and I was passed or passing runners the entire time. Not once did I have a spot where I could breathe and settle in the run. I was constantly all over the place. Things got a little worse at the finish. I have always been one to save some for the end. And when the two lanes of runners were funneled into a 6 foot wide single lane about .4 miles from the finish line it got tight and I got a little frustrated. I was stuck in the spot I was in. I couldn't open up and sprint, I couldn't try to get in under the hour like I had wanted to do. I had to bid my time stuck behind groups of people running three across and not moving aside to let others through. When I crossed the line not breathing that hard and 1 minute and 20 seconds over my goal I knew that I would have had it if it weren't for being stuck in such a tight pack the last quarter mile or so. But I had done it. I had finished Maine's most popular race and I was feeling great. Hot but great. We were herded up a hill to find water and then down the other side for food.
The food lines were long and being one who never eats after a race, I circled around the lines and found the ladies I carpooled with. We then headed out to find the shuttle line. Although, the lines were long they were organized and went smoothly. After about 45 minutes we were on the bus and headed back to our lot. Once I got to my car and had 40 minutes to drive home alone in my thoughts I had time to decompress about the event. Overall it is a spectacular race. The energy from the expo right on through to the finish is unbelievable. The spectators line the whole course and the cow bells, cheering and even live music blaring is an amazing sight. To see so many runners together is chilling, the goosebumps from the inspiration of all sorts of runners. The elite Kenyans who won to the back of the packers smiling high fiving and staying the course is all so beautiful. The volunteers were plentiful and amazing. The small touches of having sunscreen tents and pre race fuel were touching. The smoothness of that many people being parked and shuttled and cared for during a race was phenomenal. If this was a race you were hoping to PR in or beat a time you will be disappointed as the sheer amount of runners leaves the course packed and crowded the whole time. But for a race to run just for fun and to see the running spirit in full force go for it!!!!! I do not think I will be up on a morning in March with my fingers ready to race for registration in 2016 but I am oh so glad I had done it this year! Oh and the FREE amazing race photos are a HUGE perk!