I had SO much fun yesterday morning. It was quite possibly the best race I have been in.... and it wasn't even a real race! Well, virtually speaking, it was real. I decided to run the Nike Human Race at our local Roadrunner Sports. They mentioned on their website that they would be hosting a group and I thought that I would have better luck at getting a good time running with a group. I honestly expected a dozen or so people there.
There were at least fifty or sixty people there! They had a table set up for signing in, t-shirts, water etc. They even had a sports massage guy giving free massages. It was like a real race. In fact, it was better than some that I have been to! Remember, unless you are running in one of the twenty "real" races, the Nike Human Race is free. So I was a little skeptical walking up to the registration table. I asked if we had to pay. Nope. She then hands me not one, but TWO shirts!!! The red Human Race shirt is an awesome lightweight Nike dri-fit. In fact, I took off the shirt I was wearing and wore it during the race. The other shirt is a nice cotton Nike dri-weave. They also gave us a Nike nylon bag and an iTunes treadmill workout to download. SCORE (have I mentioned that I love free stuff??). EDITED TO ADD: I can't believe I forgot to mention that they had raffle prizes and I WON!! I won a FREE pair of shoes from Roadrunner!!! I just purchased a spare pair of Brooks Adrenalines that are being discontinued, but the free pair doesn't expire, so I am good for a year or so!
There were no clocks. There was no gun. There was a really friendly group of runners and a dozen or so volunteers along the course. We did a 5K loop through the industrial area around Roadrunner twice. At every turn or intersection there was a volunteer. I recognized several of them as Roadrunner employees. I was so thrilled by the unexpected race atmosphere that I turned into "Chipper Kim" (to steal a term from Jenn *wink*). I said "thank you" to each volunteer and "good morning" to a couple of joggers and walkers that we passed.
I wasn't sure how well I would do during my run. Honestly, it was hard to take it seriously as a real race, so I was WAY more relaxed than any other race. In fact, Saturday night I went to the San Diego State football game (tailgating beforehand) and then met an old friend for Mexican food and margaritas. I am now wondering if my pre-race routine should consist of a couple of beers, a Patron margarita and carne asada! I ran really well!
When we started, I took off fast. There was a bit of a hill that I sort of charged up. I did my first mile in 8:35!! When I looked at my Garmin (yes, I had both the Garmin AND the Nike +) I was shocked at the split and tried to slow down a bit. I didn't slow down much. My slowest split was around 9 minutes!
It was not too hot, but the humidity was definitely up there. I was really sweating buckets. In fact, at the end of the run, I think I was the wettest I have ever been after a run. But I have to say that the Human Race shirt dried super quickly. I can't say as much for my sports bra. Ick.
I thought my Nike+ had fixed itself. As I crossed over the finish line the first time, before starting the second loop, the lady said, "half way point." Cool. Unfortunately, as I finished up the second loop, she was telling me I had 400 meters to go as I was approaching the home stretch. Since this was an online race, I decided that my finish line had to be when the Nike lady told me I had completed the 10K. I must have looked pretty funny barrelling through the finish and continuing to sprint another 200 yards or so. Luckily, I am not the only one with goofy calibration and wasn't the only person to pass the finish line. So my Nike + time and the actual time I crossed the finish line are off by a little over a minute. Either way, I am taking it as an official PR!!!
Time (from Nike+): 55:07
Rank: 9549 out of ??? (this is likely to change since people have until tomorrow to upload their run info)
Rank for women: 1840
According to my Garmin, I ran it in 53:53. Like I said, either way, I am THRILLED. Oh, and according to both gadgets, my last mile was my fastest! I am pretty happy about having a negative split!
All in all, a great experience. I hope Nike does more things like this. I am planning on participating "virtually" in the Nike Women's Half Marathon in October. I hope that Roadrunner Sports gets involved again. Did I mention they had orange slices, bagels and drinks at the end?