Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Love Run, or Running in a Monsoon

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile. This is definitely one of the first things that slides when life is busy.
On to the story!
Race #7 (of my 30 planned for this year) was the Philadelphia Love Run, a half marathon.
The organizer is a company that has several other great races around the area, so I had a feeling it would be a pretty good race despite this being the first one. The expo was not terribly exciting, but the race premium was a nice mug (which I've been enjoying), and the tech shirt was pretty nice as well.

Race day forecast was iffy - chance of rain increasing as the day went on. It was misting a tad as I headed down to the race start, but not bad. I wore capris and my water-resistant half-zip and Goretex shoes, just in case. Temps were supposed to be in the 50s for the duration of the race.

The organizers had a nice setup with tents for teams, and I had joined another Girls on the Run team. I met up with my friend E at the team tent. It started to drizzle a bit, so we waited under there until the last minute, checked gear, and went to the start line. It started to rain a bit more significantly, but still not so bad. Once we got started running I figured it would be alright. The race got started, and off we went. Less than a mile in the wind picked up a bit. As we were passing a group of spectators under a canopy, the wind caught the canopy and started to lift it up. E and I narrowly avoided getting tangled in it, although I raised one hand to ward off a head blow and banged my wrist a bit (nothing serious). It was surprisingly heavy. Another female runner right behind us was not so lucky and got knocked over by the fly-away canopy. We stopped to see if she needed help but several spectators were quick to assist, so we continued on our way. What a start to a race!

Even with the excitement, we settled into the run, and the rain wasn't too bad. Until about halfway through. The heavens opened up, and it began to pour. I discovered my water-resistant anorak was definitely only resistant, and even Goretex shoes can't hold up to sheets of water flowing down your leg. Everything was soaked. E and I were both freezing, but the only thing to do was continue on. I tried to take comfort in the fact that, at least it wasn't sleeting! I don't think I've ever been so relieved to finish a race! We made it through, shivering, and E got her hot chocolate after the finish. Despite the race organizer's best efforts with cardboard, there was a huge muddy mess getting to the gear check. I thought I was going to lose a shoe trying to walk through! We were so soaked and cold we headed home as soon as we got our stuff. I was so thankful for the mylar sheet, but it wasn't enough. I made my way to the trolley stop and got on - when I got off there was a puddle in the seat from all the water dripping off of me. At least the seat was plastic! I was so very thankful for a hot shower, warm and dry clothes, and hot chocolate and food to warm up when I got home!

This race will definitely live on in my memory in infamy. Here's hoping that's the worst weather I ever race in!