One thing I really appreciated about this race was they provided six different dates for packet pickup: Friday & Saturday the weekend before the race and Wednesday through Saturday of race week. This made it super convenient to make it to packet pickup on whichever day worked best for you.
Packet pickup was very efficient and I was on my way in less than 5 minutes. Under Armour was a race sponsor so both the bag and tech tee were furnished by them. Packet contents were nothing to write home about, but when are they ever? I did, however, enjoy the personalized bib and race program.
As I mentioned earlier in the week, the forecast was less than desirable for race morning. It only became worse once Sunday morning rolled around.
When the alarm went off at 5am I was overwhelmed with “I don’t want to run today” feelings. I was tired, thirsty (um, never good the morning of a race), and just plain cranky. I listened for thunder or even just rain hitting the roof. Nothing. Deep down I was hoping the race would be cancelled so I could head back to bed. But it was dry as a bone outside and the Austin 10/20 Facebook page mentioned nothing about cancelling or postponing.
I left the house nice and early at 6:20. Yes, the race started at 8am, but I’ll be damned if I’m one of those people whining about sitting in traffic because I left the house late. I was one of the first cars parked in the garage at the Domain and killed some time by tweeting and inhaling a Honey Stinger waffle. Or two. It’s hard to say.
I drank a glass of banana Nuun before I left the house, drank a water bottle of lemon-lime Nuun in the car, and was STILL thirsty. I had citrus fruit Nuun in my handheld as well, and a backup tablet in the zipper pouch for a refill. It was going to be hot, and I was determined to be prepared.
At quarter after 7 I made my way to the starting area and did a warmup mile. It was at this point I realized my headphones were shot. I could hear music but the lyrics were missing. This infuriated me beyond belief – I know, first world problems. I thought my kickass playlist would have helped me snap out of my cranky non-racing mood but nope. Not a chance.
The race started just after 8am and roughly 7,000 runners took to the streets of Austin. I slowed down for my first walk break at the Mile 1 marker. I was angry. I thought about how close I still was to my car. I could run back, head home and get back into bed. Pretend this whole morning never happened.
But I trudged on.
I zoned out for the next mile but when I came up on Mile 3? The rage returned. I just did NOT want to be running. I was taking far too many walk breaks and it was clear my heart just wasn’t in it. I made a command decision to throw all time goals out the window and just FINISH. Oh and maybe you’re wondering about that additional 10 miles I was supposed to run that day. Yeah. They didn’t happen.
I ran when I wanted to and walked a ton. I bumped into a few friends out on the course and chatted it up with them. This helped make the time go by a little faster. It never rained. Well it did, but I was already on my way home at that point. In the end, I’ve ran a half marathon faster than I ran/walked those ten miles on Sunday. It happens. Not all races can be great ones. I FINISHED and that was all that mattered.
Aside from my little temper tantrum, the Austin 10/20 was a phenomenal race. Dare I say better than any Rock n Roll race I’ve done? Yes. Absolutely, 100%. The course wasn’t very exciting but with two bands rocking out on each mile, they kept everyone’s spirits up. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect much. It was an inaugural race and 9 times out of 10 anything that can go wrong, will. With the exception of the long BBQ & Beer lines at the finish (and possibly running out of bananas? I saw that on the Facebook page) I really didn’t see any major problems. Here’s what I posted on their Facebook wall post-race:
Incredible race this morning. I was beyond impressed with how everything came together logistically, especially for an inaugural race. Bands were great, volunteers were plentiful, tons of water stops to keep us hydrated, cool towels during the race AND at the finish, awesome presence on FB keeping everyone updated – the list goes on. I’ve run races that have been put on for years and couldn’t come close to the race you delivered this morning. I will 100% be back next year. THANK YOU!!
Austin 10/20, I will be back for redemption next year.