Saturday, April 30, 2011

Derby Festival Minimarathon or Race 1 of 2

This was a really great race!  The course was beautiful and had very little elevation changes.  I highly recommend adding this race to your list of races to run.  There was pretty good crowd support at the beginning, middle and end.  The temperature outside was cool when we started and warmed up, but it never felt too hot (there was a nice, light breeze most of the race).

The very best part of the race was running through Churchill Downs.  It was amazing to get to run through there.  We stayed on pavement and not the horse track, but it was awesome.  Horses were running and were beautiful.  There were also lots of available bathrooms, which couldn't have come at a better time! Mark (who didn't get to run due to an injury) was waiting on us as we exited Churchill downs. It was a great time to him and motivated me for a couple miles.

Gail, Chrystyna, Victoria and I ran together the whole race.  We probably started off just a little too fast.  But we felt really good most of the race. Hopefully, we didn't jinx tomorrow's run. 

As we were running today, I kept thinking about how far we've come in the last year.  I felt really good today.  It never really felt like I was going to die (extreme, I know, but I really felt that way a couple times last year) or that I wouldn't be able to finish.  Feeling so good today, makes me really excited to see where I'll be as a runner this time next year.

The finish of the race was really well done.  They kept the festival theme going and had carnival rides and some food stands where you could purchase carnival food.  They also gave out lots and a variety of snacks to finishers.  The best part of the finish was the small cartons of chocolate milk (yes, I had 2, don't judge).

Though overall the race was really fabulous, there are a few places I think they could really improve.  The first is the water stops.  They were laid out well, but the majority of them gave out small bottles of water, which in theory sounds like a good idea, but didn't work out too well.  First you had to open them.  And it created twice as much work for the clean up crew as most people tossed the lids and bottle separately.  Second, they didn't offer a sports drink until around mile 10.  I could have used it much sooner.

The race (and company of course) was really good.  I'm a little sad I didn't get to see my training group finish the Country Music Half, but I'm sure they were all outstanding!  Now it's time for an ice (or maybe just cold water) soak and to head to Cincinnati for tomorrow's race!

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