April 5, 2014
This race takes place in Bloomington, IN on the campus of Indiana University which is a little over an hour south from where I live. I looked at doing this race last year but was frightened off by this quote from their website: a challenging race where participants will find 13.1 miles of relentless rolling hills.
Well, it was time to Suck It Up, Buttercup and get the job done.
FRIDAY, APRIL 4th: Packet pickup was being offered the Friday before the race from 4:00PM – 8:00PM at the IU Alumni Center and also race morning from 6:30AM – 7:30AM. Again, it was somewhat frivolous of me to drive down the night before but I wanted to get a feel for where I was going and I was pretty sure the shirt was going to be one that I would wear on race day. Only one little hiccup in getting down there was that an exit OnStar wanted me to take was closed (the bridge was out) but as it turned out I think the very next exit was probably a better alternative anyway. There were plenty of places to park. The Alumni Center is across the street from the football stadium and the basketball area. This is where runners would park on race morning as well.
Not many other “features” at packet pickup. Instead of handing GU out on the course, they had packets of it available to grab as you picked up your bib. It wasn’t very crowded when I got there which was just shortly after it opened.
I was a little disappointed when I got my shirt to see that it was gender specific. Normally this would be my preference but when signing up, the choices where either Adult or Youth so I chose a small. I would have gotten a medium had I know it would be a woman’s cut. I was sure that it would probably fit but I just don’t like for them to be tight. Basically I was in and out of here and then drove home.
SATURDAY, APRIL 5th: Heading down to Bloomington this morning I would be going a different way then when I went for packet pickup. I’m so thankful to have OnStar since I would not have known where to turn on these miscellaneous back roads at all on my own. And I certainly kept my eyes peeled to the sides watching for any random deer that could potentially jump out in front of the car.
I was in the parking lot around 7:40AM and sat in the car for a moment trying to decide if I should get out and go pee. I decided that it might be best so I headed toward the Alumni Center. Much to my surprise, they were NOT letting people use the restroom inside! So I hurried over and got in the porta-potty line. They had lots of options but the lines were long. It took about 10 minutes for my turn to come up. I was glad that I had decided to wear gloves and my ear-warmer band but wished I’d had on a throw away. After using the bathroom, I went back to my car to finish getting situated (put my head phones on, eat my Gatorade chews) and to stay warm as long as possible.
I got to the start finish line with about 5 minutes to go. I don’t remember hearing the National Anthem and although they did a countdown from 10, I think the gun must have malfunctioned because it never went off.
I’ve only been to this campus a few times so most of the scenery was “new” to me.
The plan for this half marathon was to take it easy – not that I’m out there hauling butt every time – because I was doing another half the following day (Sunday). My first ever back-to-backs. Plus this course was hilly. And when it stated relentless hills…they were not kidding. It seemed like at every turn we needed to go up another hill.
The sun started to come out as I was getting close to the end…which of course was uphill. And I could also see some girl puking just prior to the finish line as well. I made sure that I moved toward the other side. Got my medal and then on the other side of the Alumni Building is where the refreshment were. There was also a place to have a Finishers Photo taken but by the time I got through the food line, the photographer was gone. Which was fine. I wanted it taken with my phone anyway. But it seemed like a “hidden” area so I wondered how many people even noticed it.
It was nice to see blue skies as I was getting back in my car to head for home.
Good medal and overall I guess I was pleased with my effort.