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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Race Recap: Flying Feather 4 Miler

Packet swag: the shirt is fantastic, hat is nice, gloves just ok. 
The Flying Feather 4 Miler took place November 24, 2016 at 9:00am in Dublin, Ohio.

Pre Race
Each race packet came with a color-coded parking pass to make day-of parking seamless. Unfortunately, traffic was insane for those of us in the yellow and green lots (located on the same main road). Yellow lot was the largest and we were stuck in an endless line of cars. When we finally parked the wait for the shuttle bus was enormous, so we chose to walk to the starting line. It was almost a mile and I had to go to the bathroom, so that was fun. Luckily, we arrived with about 5 minutes to spare (race was moved back 10 minutes) and there weren't any lines at the potties. But still, not a stress-free start to the day. Plus, this was our first time at this race, so it didn't make a great impression. (We left an hour and a half early, so it wasn't like we got there late!)

The weather was cool and overcast, but warm enough that I wore shorts, a tee, and gloves (48º). I didn't have set goals, but wanted to run a steady pace around 8:30 and maybe PR (under 34:00).

Photo by M3SSports
The Race
Unfortunately, Alex and I couldn't get close to the start line. Instead of seeding myself in the 8-8:30 area and Alex at the very front, we were with the 11-12 minute folks. Needless to say, once we finally got going Alex and I were bobbing and weaving through traffic. I lost him pretty early and just kept trucking. The course was narrow and I kept getting stuck behind people. The roughest part was between seven tenths and the one mile marker. There was a steady hill that slowed everyone down and my pace dipped when I got stuck behind a line of people. Had I been in the correct starting area, congestion probably wouldn't have been an issue, but because of our parking issues I spent the entire first mile dodging. (By the way, we saw a shuttle bus blocked by the race with runners still on board! They had to get out and walk to the start. What a mess! And I haven't seen any apologies or acknowledgements from the race company. Weird.)
Mile 1: 8:35

The course
The course had a few rolling hills so I didn't think I'd beat my previous 4 miler PR (set on a flat course). I'm a faster runner, but I'm not in peak shape nor did I train. Mile 2 was pretty uneventful, honestly. The most exciting part was seeing my friend Andrea and the spitting mist/rain/whatever coming from the gray, overcast sky. Mile 3 brought us to Glacier Ridge Metro Park. We ran along a park access road and a pre-teen stopped right in front of me. Whoa, kid. After that I settled into a decent pace as the field finally spread out. I was beginning to feel tired, but I know my default pace is under 9 minutes so I didn't worry about the slowdown.
Miles 2 and 3: 8:15, 8:34

With my wine
We went through a nice patch of tall trees in the park (they should put a photographer there!) and out towards the park exit where we encountered another uphill. I knew the rest of the race was downhill so I sped up. If I had trained I would have crushed my PR. Regardless, when I turned the second to last corner at 3.9 I knew I'd beat my PR and that I'd go over 4 miles. I sprinted in and finished with 4.1 -- must have been all the dodging and weaving before.
Mile 4: 8:05

After the race we grabbed our bottles of wine (white wine instead of the red they normally have. Not a big deal.), snacks, and chatted with friends. Then we were off to walk back to the car and get ready for Thanksgiving in Cleveland. Thankfully, no traffic on the way out. I thought the course was really pretty, but Alex doesn't want to run it again. He said it's too far from our house... plus the whole parking fiasco. We have a Turkey Trot 5 minutes from our house, but the course is so ugly. We'll see what happens next year...

Final time: 34:00 (33:31 at 4)
Overall: 449 / 3276 (14%)
Gender: 136 / 1854 (7%)
Age Group: 22 / 447 (5%)

The medal
Up next: First on the First 5k on New Year's Day unless we sign up for something else. This will be our 4th time! I PR'd last year, maybe I can do it again.

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