After my positive run at the 6 hour race last weekend, I started looking for something to do this weekend. I discovered the Pequannock Blood Run. A portion of the proceeds of this race was donated to the Children's Cancer and Blood Foundation.
At 5:45 I had a terrible moment of weakness and decided that it would feel much nicer to stay in bed and then hit the tow path after the sun came up. That lasted about 5 minutes. Once I began to contemplate the DNS, I sat up, turned on the TV, and was advised by Sid: "If you are going be up, we might as well race it". Ok.
Once at the race, I quickly filled out our apps, with freezing fingers despite my layers. 43 degrees and damp is not very comfy, unless you asked the guy in the singlet and shorts next to me. He declared "Oh, I am warm! I am used to this!" Sid and I got out bib and moved to the chip line.
Despite variation in chip technology, I am still someone who enjoys a good hand-scored race. I dont mind chips, except when they fail. I am not a huge fan of the ankle strap since I question how they get cleaned. I dont like the wired bibs that make them stiff and unfoldable. I remember my XC coach was ahead of his time when he got bar codes on our bibs and a scanner for our finish line. This was in the 90's and I am not sure anyone else was doing this.
However, I had to chuckle when I over heard a runner say "Oh Wow! A CHIP LINE! this is so RETRO! when was the last time you saw a CHIP. I dont even know what to do with that. What does it even look like!" These happened to be the square chips that we secured to our shoe with twist ties. I was unaware that chips were now old school?
Another interesting conversation about racing occurred the night before. Sid and I were in a conversation with a person we just met and Sid mentioned that we needed to head home b/c we are running a half marathon tomorrow. From that moment on, no matter how many times I inserted the word "half" in front of their questions about our marathon tomorrow, it was ignored. That's fine. Not everyone is a runner and we have all hear the jokes about "non runners" calling every race a marathon. That's ok. I am I sure I call things I dont know much about by incorrect names all the time.
However what really interested in was the confusion about why "Why" we were doing our "marathon." Admittedly I was baffled for a good chunk of the conversation.
Me: "Why? What do you mean, why?"
Her: "What is it for?"
Me: "Huh, what is what for?"
Her: "The marathon?"
Me: "Oh the race? This one is trying to raise money for children's blood cancer," I added thinking that is what she wanted to know.
Her: "So you are racing for that! That's nice!" she concluded out loud.
Me: "Well, we are really racing just because we want to race".
Her: "Huh, you aren't running for something?"
Her friend interjected to clarify.
Friend: "Her daughter just ran a marathon to raise money for cancer"
Me: "Oh... I see. That's great! But we are not charity runners in this race, we just want to run it."
Now I get the cockeyed confused look that helped me to understand that some non-runners believe that people are not free to simply enter a "marathon" unless they are planning to raise money for some cause. It was clearly bizarre to her that Sid and I were getting up early to run for our own fun and enjoyment.
The final question was as follows:
Her: "So how long is your marathon tomorrow?"
Me: (simply hoping to ease all our pain) "Our marathon is only about 13 miles long."
From there we moved on to another less convoluted topic.
So back to the race. It was bigger than I expected and I saw Elaine from last week and Zsuszanna C. who I haven't run into in a long time. That was a nice surprise. I started towards the front, too fast as usual. I settling back after the first mile and stayed within seconds as I covered mile to mile.
I was under the impression that since costumes were encouraged and this was called the Blood Run I was going to be trying to outrun gory zombies or pale-faced sharp-toothed vampires. There were very few in costume, but I did find that I was in hot pursuit of two frosty mugs of beer for much of the event.
The double loop with two turn arounds allowed me to spot Sid several times. It also allowed me to count females. I was comfortably and securely in 13th place by the end of loop 1 and this didn't change. I didn't look at my splits, until the end, so I was just trying to run comfortable. I was surprised that my numbers were so close.
I ran a 1:43:35 and hoped to be a little faster. I didn't really work too hard for it, so I know I have more to give. I was 3rd in my AG so I was happy about that. Now I am offer searching for another half where I can chip away a little bit more from my pace.