Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Firecracker 6 – Race Review

July 04, 2014


After completing this event last year, I received an email notification regarding early bird registration…for $14!  So of course I signed up.  I also paid 10 extra dollars for a tech shirt.  Still all of that was a great price for any race.

This would be the third year in a row to do this race.  Even though the past two years have been HOT! Sun HOT! Sun HOT!  I have really enjoyed it.  It is well organized, there are hydration stations every mile (much needed those first two years) and lots of treats post race.

THURSDAY, JULY 3rd: Once again, packet pick-up was held at the City Market in downtown Indy so its super easy for me to get to and I’m able to just park in my workplace parking garage.  I got there around 11:30AM and although the lunch crowd was starting to arrive at the Market, packet pick-up was not crowded at all.

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It had been so long since I had registered, I didn’t remember at the time requesting a shirt but I was being given one.  Upon researching my paperwork later, I discovered that I did indeed order a shirt.  So after getting my stuff, it was back home.  I wasn’t 100% sure if the shirt was dry-fit/wicking or not so I decided to wear last year’s shirt instead.  I had not worn it last year but dressed “patriotic” instead so it wouldn’t be a repeat.  And since I didn’t need gels or multiple sugar free candies, I planned on using a Spibelt instead of my usual race belt.  The plan was to be downtown by 7:30-7:40 so I set my alarm for 5:45am.

FRIDAY, JULY 4th: Once again – with a distance shorter than a half marathon – I’m never really sure what to eat in the morning.  So I had a spoonful of peanut butter and a Luna Bar, plus my usual cold tea.  And I drank a small grape G2 on the drive downtown and ate some Gatorade chews.

The weather this year was AMAZING!  The fact that we were having  a “cold snap” in July was crazy but I was very thankful for it.  I was hoping that the cooler temps would help me shave some time off from last year’s finish.

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I got parked and fiddle around in my car for a bit before deciding I should probably try to take care of “business” one more time.  I couldn’t remember if the City Market was going to be open and decided to go into my building so that I could use a real bathroom and not have to wait.  Our offices are on the 19th floor so all of this took a little longer than anticipated and suddenly I felt a little rushed to get to the starting area.

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But of course I got there in plenty of time to turn on my watch, sing along with the National Anthem and wait for the GPS to load.  Since it was my 3rd year to do this, I knew that they would light off firecrackers to start the race.  There was a slight delay on this after the countdown but eventually we heard it – BANG BANG BANG BANG – and we were off.

2014, 07-04 (2) Everyone was looking at where the firecrackers were being set off.

For the most part the route was exactly the same as last year although it deviated slightly around mile 4.  So I think these photos are very similar to the ones I took last year.

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Since I wasn’t wearing my “bigger” race belt I couldn’t put my phone away but what you see above are the only in-race photos I took.  There were a couple of times I contemplated a picture but didn’t do it. 

As is typical with my poking pace, at about the 2.7 mile point in MY race here comes the race leader headed back past the Fieldhouse on his way to the finish line…and there wasn't anyone close behind him.  He was flying!

I remembered from last year there was a Miss (State?) at the 3mile/5mile aid station – which I thought was very random and weird – but I did not see any beauty queens this year.  Once again we are given small American flags with about 1/2 mile to go, we make one right turn and then it’s a dash to the finish line.  I’m happy to report that I finished 3 minutes fast than last year.  YAY!!!

As usual, there is a huge food spread after the race.  You get the typical banana, water, chocolate milk but then on the plaza of the City Market you can get cookies, popsicles and this year there was a food truck and runners got a free pulled pork BBQ sandwich.  Although that’s something I don’t eat, I got one and thought I’d give it away if I passed a homeless person on the way back to my car.  Surprisingly, no takers so I took it home to my husband.

2014, 07-04 (13)2014, 07-04 (14)2014, 07-04 (15)  Truth be told, I stood in front of all these desserts for SEVERAL minutes trying to decide which one to choose and then they brought out a box of these cute “flip flop” cookies and – DECISION MADE!2014, 07-04 (16)2014, 07-04 (19)2014, 07-04 (18)

Also new this year was the Selfie Zone.  You could take a “serious” picture or they had a table of fun Patriotic themed accessories you could wear.  I’m not very good at selfies but luckily they had someone there that would take pictures for you.

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This race just keeps getting better and better in my opinion.  Maybe I feel that way because my time keeps getting better as well but I will more than likely sign up for this again next year.


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