CASA of Will County Running 4 the Kids 10k – Race Review
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Another weekend, another race… I just can’t stay away.
Sunday, October 1… 4:30 am…on the road again. That’s right – before the sun is shining, I was headed east to New Lenox, IL. It’s about a 3 hour drive, all on Interstate 80 – simple. I can also grab my packet before the race start at 9 am. No need to pay for hotel.
If you are looking for a little more background on the event and what CASA of Will County is all about, check out this blog post.
After a boring, uneventful trip on the super slab, I was at the race start location at about 7:45 am. It was at a school, so there was plenty of free parking.
I made the short trip to the packet pick up area. I was pre-registered and they were just laying out all the shirts with bibs. It took a little while for them to find my stuff as they hadn’t got their “system” down yet. I was then handed my bib, which was pinned to my short sleeved, cotton, unisex shirt. Note, it was pinned with one safety pin…not sure where the other pins were, but I have a race belt, so not an issue for me. I was also handed a drawstring cinch sack full of goods.
I made the trek back to my car, just in the back of the school, and opened the sack of goods. OMG!!! The bag was jam packed with stuff. In addition to flyers and area coupons, there was a fidget spinner, sunscreen, body lotion, a pen, notepad, stress ball, pedometer, resistance band…. and I am sure I am forgetting something. It took forever to look through it all.
It was near 8 am and I had an hour until the race start. I sat in my car to keep warm as the temps were on the cooler side, near 50 degrees and windy. I played with my new fidget spinner…. and then I remembered I was supposed to run 10 miles total…oops! I mean I just ran 20 the day before, and I was going to race today, so how important would 10 miles be?
Ok, so after sitting in the car a little longer, I finally put my bib on my race belt, put my skirt on, and all the other gear… I went back to the starting area to see if anything was happening… nothing much, except pre-race setup.
I had time for a little pre-race run, so I ran a mile… It really was a great temp for running and the sun was shining.
It was time to line up under the inflatable arch, so everyone just piled in, no encouragement to self seed by pace, but it wasn’t super crowded either. There were some announcements, the person making them was using a microphone, but there was so much chatter among the participants, I had no clue what was said. Which, I was kinda worried as I didn’t look ahead to see if the 5k/10k were starting at the same time, I just knew I needed to start at 9 am. Oops… oh well out of no where, everyone was moving forward…so I did too.
The race started at the school and went out and back on the Old Plank Trail, I believe this is an old rail bed. The course was all paved, including the trail, which was asphalt. There weren’t any hazards, but when paving a wooded trail with asphalt there are portions with cracks due to trees rooting, and asphalt shows user wear, so just be aware on this portion to not trip. Oh, rail beds are flat as a pancake… my Strava/Garmin stats has a total of 74 feet over 6 miles.
I was feeling good, the weather was good, so I pushed the pace. There was a woman on my heels for the first mile, and I wasn’t giving up, so I guess she was kind of pacing me… I eventually shook her off. I then kept my sights ahead to the next person…. I wanted to keep passing them. I also am familiar with those who start out too fast, so I knew I had a chance of passing some more.
I slowed to drink some water from a paper cup, as it was slightly humid… I just kept trucking…miles kept beeping by… I never checked my watch once.
I came to the turnaround, and was able to count my place in the race. I was the 9th female overall. I wondered if I could improve…. and I did as I said above, kept my sights ahead on the next person… I still had 3 miles left, and needed to pace myself.
The next 2 women were kind of running close, but one was slowly fading…. I did stay with them for a little while to let them do the pacing work for me…..However, I could see another female in front of me, so I dropped those 2 and was the 7th overall female, by my count.
There were so many volunteers helping with the course, I made sure to thank them at the numerous road crossing and water stops. They were also very encouraging.
I was in the last mile, and I wanted to make sure I had enough left to give it a kick to the end…. I really tried to pass the next person, but I wasn’t making any head way. The 10k also met back up with the 5k in the last quarter mile or so. My pace met up with the families walking the 5k, thankfully there was enough room to pass around them, as I pushed towards the finish.
I crossed the finish line and paused my watch. I then was handed a medal. Dang….6 miles… not the 6.2, but a time near 55 minutes! I was soooooo happy with this overall time, considering my legs had just made it through 20 miles the day before. I then looked at my mile splits, wahoo, go me!!! After a year of endurance running, it’s nice to feel a little speed return. Don’t get me wrong, I still prefer a 50k over a 10k.
I reset my watch, put my medal in my Spibelt, and went out for a cool down mile, this would get me to 8 total miles on the day, which if you are doing my math, is close enough to the 10 training miles I needed for the Detroit Marathon.
I came back to the finish area to find lots of post race activities. I was too late for the free kids race, that must have happened when I was out on the 10k course. The kids were able to get free pumpkins too!
There was a HUGE spread of post race food, bananas, apples, bagels, 2 styles of granola bars, fruit snacks, bottled water, chips, chocolate milk and pizza. I needed more hands as I grabbed the pre-wrapped items to eat later. I just can’t do pizza after a race.
I walked over to the raffle prize table, they had pre-selected bib numbers to win some awesome prizes. I was not a winner, but they had some cookbooks to giveaway, so I grabbed one of those. By now, my hands were super full, and as luck would have it, they had extra drawstring cinch bags, so they were more than happy to give me another one, so I put my snacks in there.
I toured all the tents that were set up in the parking lot. More giveaways, you could buy a Jamba Juice and even tour a fire truck. This little race had all the big expo type feel, without all the hassle.
It was time for the awards. I felt I did a good job, but I wasn’t sure how far out they would be awarding people. (Ooops, I probably could have read that online.) I was listening to the awards, and I was sure they did not announce my age group. The prizes they were awarding were really nice, so I thought I better check it out.
I went to ask, and the lady looked at her sheet, and it did not have my age group on it. We walked over to the timing company and found out there was some sort of glitch, and they were re-downloading the results. I had time to wait, and things like this happen… so I stuck around.
It’s a good thing, I was the 30-39 female age group winner. WAHOO!!!! It was now time to get my prize, which was pre-determined. It was tickets to something local, and I told them it would be a long drive back, and I wouldn’t be able to use it. So they were more than accommodating in finding a prize I could use. I ended up with a Clique Nutrition gift card for $100, as they had an online store. How exciting!
Everything was done, it was time to go home. I walked back to my car. I heard a shout, and it was Adrianne with the race, she is the person who was working with BibRave and she thanked me for driving over. Well, that was nice!
When I was going through the bag of goods, I saw a TCBY yogurt coupon… I thought, why not hit that place on the way out of town. I checked the hours online and it said they opened at 11:30…so I drove over and sat in my car the 10 minutes…However, I noticed the posted hours said noon…eek, I wasn’t going to wait that much longer. Lucky for me the nice owners were in and out of the door, so I asked, and they invited me in. Yum!
Then for whatever reason when I got back into my car, I looked at the $100 Clique Nutrition gift card a little closer… “valid in store only.” Womp Womp…a quick check of google maps, and the store is kind of on the way home….
I made the detour over to the nutrition store… I was optimistic about what I would find. I have never been one for traditional protein bars, but I can always make use of protein powder.
I was greeted by Drew at the door, explained I won the gift card. I wondered around the store asking questions. I finally decided on protein powder, protein chocolate peanut butter, protein chips and all the protein cookies. Nice little reward! Thank you Clique!
Alright enough .. time to get back on the road. I wanted to get home to take a nap. The drive was another uneventful trip. I was back in my driveway at 3:30pm, less than 12 hours later.
You might be asking, why the heck drive all that way for a 10k… well I do weird things, plus the race description reminded me of the local races that are put on in Iowa. I love the small community feeling, no fighting through crowds, no waiting in long port-o-potty lines, you can talk to someone if there is an issue.
The race was well priced too, and you got a lot of things! That was nice, but I really don’t need all that stuff, maybe monetary donations that go straight to the race could be a better option… however it does set the race apart from others.
If you get a chance, add this to your calendar for next year. This year it was a week before the Chicago Marathon… you could make a 6 mile run part of your taper and support the CASA of Will County.
For my no frills race review, check out bibrave.com