Purdue Boilermaker Half Marathon Race Report

I’ll start with the good news: I finished in 1:57:34, which is a 15 second PR! It’s not really that big of an improvement, but considering that I was afraid I wouldn’t even break 2 hours with all of my inconsistent paces while training, I am very happy with this time.

Now on to the bad, which is basically everything else. Ok, that is a lie. There were a few other good things. The race was adequately organized: hey had plenty of police present (important later); lots of volunteers; tons of water/gel/bathroom stations; the course was clearly marked; and they had plenty of food afterwards (though the selections were limited). Also, check out my awesome train medal:

Bathroom potato selife.

Close-Up!

So, what was so terrible, then?

Earlier this week, I realized it might be rainy today. What I didn’t realize was that it was going to be dark, 40 degrees, and raining. This caused the majority of my problems. I switched at the last minute from a tee shirt to a long-sleeved tee, at least. I made two poor attire choices, however. First of all, I left my gloves at home. Second, I decided to put my raincoat in my bag at gear check since I would be “too warm” if I wore it in the race. Also, all my money was in the bag that I checked, so when I finally ventured into a store that was selling Purdue gear at the starting area to stay warm, I couldn’t even buy gloves or a hat there, like many of the people were doing (most were just stretching or sitting around). My hands were numb until  mile 4, and then the numbness set back in around mile 8. By the time I was done, my hands were so numb that I couldn’t manage to open my water bottle (used my mouth) or turn the key in the ignition to start my car. I just had to sit there in the car until I warmed up. In general, being cold really hindered me. I was only “warm” for the middle of the race, and the whole time that I was cold, I was really having trouble pushing myself, because I was just really sore and stiff, especially towards the end. My left leg basically never loosened up and now my knee hurts quite a bit, though it has felt better as I have moved around throughout the day. At least this time, there weren’t any people attempting to haul barns through the race, though one person did drive out into the middle of it. Thankfully they were immediately intercepted by a cop!

Look how pleasant the weather was! And yes, it was still this dark when the race started 20 minutes later.

A few other interesting comments about the race:

  • I got a high five from a toddler who was spectating. He had tiny mittens! Squee!
  • When we saw the leader go past after the turnaround, a guy near me said something like “I couldn’t even bike as fast as that lead bike and that guy is running that fast!” This was true for me as well – I don’t know if I could keep up 5:00 miles on a bike for 13.1 miles!
  • The course was FAR less hilly than I expected – even the biggest hills were not very steep, so it wasn’t so bad. I will have to rub this in the face of the friend who was whining about how hilly the race was going to be earlier this week (especially if he still thinks it was hilly).

 

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