I decided, this year's Lincoln Park 8k would be different/happier. Not only would I leave early enough to find a free street spot, and be able to start near the front, but I would also be attending the race with my dad (he was doing the 5k). So I had three things going for me this year vs. 2007!
We arrived in my car near the finish line just off of Diversey and Cannon at around 8:15 am for the 9:00 am start. After making a couple of sweeps up and down the streets nearby, my dad spotted an empty spot that was near a fire hydrant. Luckily, I was able to squeeze the car in and was happy to park so close without paying. While waiting in the car, we took a look a look at the course map and realized that the start line was actually a few blocks south of the finish line, so we decided to head on over at about 8:30 so we would have enough time to take a leisurely stroll there.
Once there, the race emcee announced that the combined races were sold out with over 8,500 runners! That is an astounding number for a little race along the Lakefront Trail. No wonder I got blocked in so badly 10 years ago. Anyway, after checking my bag, we walked to the start corrals, which despite the posted mile/minute splits for each wave seemed to be somewhat of a free-for-all since there was no one monitoring the entryways. The "A" corral was only about 1/3 full, and despite it being for runners of sub-6:00/mile ability, I surmised that a decent percentage of the people queued up in the corral were likely not even sub-7:00/mile ability. So, I parked myself at the very back of that corral since I was shooting for around a 6:30/mile and knew it wouldn't be a problem.
The national anthem was sung and we were off!
|Starting the race|
(Notice that I'm at the very back of the sub 6:00 first wave src)
As we headed north along the Lakefront Trail, I passed about 30 people who obviously had started in the wrong corral. In any case, we had a nice tailwind so my first mile was a little fast, but not too bad. Since the course was an out and back, the race did a fairly decent job of keeping the northbound runners hugging the lake via the sidewalks around the harbors and the southbound runners on the Lakefront Trail itself. About at mile two along the LFT, I spotted Declan who was out for his casual morning run, heading towards me. Luckily, we were able to make a successful side-five, which was very cool. At mile three we turned around and I once again saw Declan who was no doubt returning home for his Thanksgiving breakfast feast!
|Mile 4 (src)|
|Dash to the finish (The 8k and 5k courses were together at that point)!|
First half: 16:10
Second half: 16:04
Not my fastest by any means, but not a bad outing since I had just raced a half marathon five days earlier. I kept the splits pretty much even-steven despite the headwind at the end.
After I picked up my bag, I returned to spectate for my dad and got to witness him finishing 1st in his age group in the 5k! It would be another hour before the awards ceremony, so we decided to bolt. On our way out, we bumped into Kimberly, who had also finished 2nd in her AG. All-in-all it was a nice day for a run, a much better experience than 10 years earlier, and it was a good way to spend the morning working up an appetite for the Thanksgiving feast later in the day!
Next up: ??