Go! St. Louis Halloween 10k Recap


 

Okay, what happened to that cozy Fall weather?  I love rain (it’s so moody and inspiring) but can we please have some sun and warmth? Like this:

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Gorgeous (blinding) weather for my first 10k road race, The Go! St. Louis Halloween 10k.

 

I’ll admit that I was a little apprehensive to race on my own – no support beside me or on the sidelines – but it really didn’t matter in the end.  Between the beautiful STL scenery,

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The…interesting…costumes,

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(You should have seen the 6 foot tall man dressed as a hot pink Crayon – think pink wife-beater and short shorts – complete with a hot pink cone on his head)

And all the cool tents at the finish line,

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I had little time to think about the fact that I was all alone.  Besides, with over 3,000 participants around me, I was hardly lacking in company.

I arrived at the starting line about 15 minutes before the race.  I wanted to get there with 30 minutes to spare, but in hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t: standing there in anticipation for so long would have been nerve-wracking!

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The energy of the crowd was tremendous – thousands of people raring to go, many decked out in fun costumes…and the emcee announced that the Go! St. Louis Halloween 10K is the biggest 10k event in Missouri and the largest costumed race in the U.S.  I guess I picked a good  first race.

As I expected, my first 10k was a major learning experience:

  1. Next time, I’m starting a bit closer to the front of the pack. The crowd was loosely arranged so that the fastest runners (aka Olympic qualifiers) were at the front and the walkers were at the back.  I put myself deep in the middle but ended up wanted to pass a lot of people, which I think had a hand in slowing my time.
  2. Next time, I’ll do a better job reviewing the route.  I mistakenly thought the race started and ended at the same point, and when I neared what I thought was the end, I sped up.  What I thought was the final 1/2 mile was really the final whole mile and a 1/2!  By the time I got to that last 1/2 mile I thought I would just have to walk a bit (or die), but just as I took one walking step, a more seasoned runner came up by my side. He smiled and said, “Keep going!  Only a little longer – you can do this!” “Yes I can!” I replied.  I thanked him and kept trucking on and was even able to pass some more people.
  3. Next time, I’ll take advantage of the water stations!  They were set up at miles 2 and 4, but they were crowded and I didn’t want to slow down. Never underestimate the helpfulness of hydration.

All in all, I LOVED it.  The run certainly sucked at points – especially since the course was ridiculously hilly. But I can’t wait to do another!

Once I collected myself and re-hydrated, I set about to explore the awesome post-race fair.  There was live music and lots of fun attractions.

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And more free stuff was offered than I could possibly carry:

  • Water bottles
  • Full-size Hershey’s bars
  • Mini packets of Jelly Belly’s (As soon as I crossed the finish line, I sat on the curb and devoured my packet without even noticing what flavors I had)
  • Unlimited Cinnamon-raisin rolls from a local bakery (3 came home for my family)

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  • Kaldi’s coffee (I went back for refills)

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  • Bananas
  • 5 Hour Energy (3 came home, and one assisted in last night’s near all-nighter homework-a-thon)
  • Nawgan drinks (Not really my thing, but I snagged some for my brothers)
  • A glossy post-race photo

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  • A professional stretch and massage (!!)

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  • My medal!

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I’m a sucker for free stuff and I took every thing but the chocolate and bananas.  My arms were overflowing with goodies as I hunted down my car.

Lastly, I’m really pleased with my results!  I placed 815 out of 3645, and 53rd out of 260 in my age group (20-24).  Not bad for my first time! I didn’t beat my practice PR, but that’s what next time is for. I’m already signed up for 2 more races within the next few weeks!

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