I managed to convince my sweetie to take a drive with me up to Track Shack so I could pick up my bib during the week. It did take some bribing with a lunch at Pho 88 Restaurant. It was totally worth the extra cost of lunch in order to get my bib before the race instead of needing to pick it up on race morning. The night before the race, I was going to see Rob’s band play and hang out with Crystal, but it turned out that they were playing at a private event. It worked out good for me since I was able to get to bed at a decent hour.
I woke up around 4:45 to get up head to the race. It was in Downtown Orlando and I left just after 5:30 and made it downtown in about 30 minutes. Street parking was free and there were some paid lots and garages near the start line. I pulled down a street and parked near some families that were with Girls on the Run. I chatted with one of the moms on our way towards the start line and broke off from her when we got to the starting area.
I made my way over to use the porta potties and had a bit of a wait for it. No where near as long a waiting for a Disney porta potty though! After I took care of business, I made my way to the start line. Yet again, since this was such a small race, there were no corrals. There were signs along the side indicating pace. I lined up near the back of the runners and towards the front of the walkers.
We started promptly at 7. The first 1/2 to 3/4 mile was around Lake Eola. I caught a picture of the sunrise over the lake. Compared to the previous weekend, it was a lot hotter out and with a later start time it only promised to get hotter. The course was fairly simple going through downtown Orlando and the neighborhoods around town. It headed north then east for the first 5K before heading south for several miles. There weren’t a ton of turns on the course even though the longest distance we went on any given street was just over two miles.
There was some entertainment on the course, but the bulk of the people out there were the volunteers with the water stops. There was a group of accordion players and Japanese drummers but not much else out there. Some of the last 4-5 miles were through neighborhoods and parks which were very nice and peaceful to run through. Oh, and around mile 9 there were people with FREE BEER. I may or may not have imbibed.
Aside from the heat and my mind not necessarily being in this race, I was able to maintain my 1:1 run-walk ratios. I stopped at the medical tent around mile 8 to get some Tylenol since my knees were a little bit sore. Unfortunaly there was only one medic there and she was helping the person who got there before me. I was held up for maybe a minute. Next time I’ll remember to carry my medicine with me.
Of course, the intervals made a big difference for me because in the last 2 miles I was passing a good amount of people, many of whom I hadn’t even seen before passing them. I even kept my intervals until about mile 12.5. I probably could have kept them up then too, since I wasn’t having the tightness in my hamstrings that I had the week earlier. The last mile was where all the spectators were at too. There were a lot of people at Lake Eola park.
Once I made the final turn and saw the finish line, I was so relieved. I also saw a mom and daughter team that I had seen somewhere around mile 4. I knew at that point that I couldn’t let them finish ahead of me, so I kicked it into high gear and sprinted to the finish line.
After finishing, I quickly collected my medal, grabbed a bottle of water and a muffin before wandering into the finish line area. I got some ice and then realized that the announcer was my friend Carissa so I went over to say hi to her. We chatted a bit before I decided it was time to head home. I can’t wait to see her again at the WDW Marathon!
I am pretty happy with my finish time for this race (3:16:53). It was slightly slower than the time I got for Space Coast. I think if I wasn’t held up at the medical tent, then I may have had a second PR in less that 6 days. I’m not sure I’ll do this race again. It was very well run, but I would rather run a different race and maybe see another part of the state or another part of the country. For me, the course wasn’t exciting enough to necessitate a repeat.
Did you run the OUC Half Marathon? Post your race report in the comments!