I arrived at Temple University at 6 AM and received my shirt and number and stood among the group of people that appeared vastly fitter than me. Â The group was composed of policemen and actuaries/underwriters and having little else to talk about we BSed about weather and sports. Â We bused to the starting point of the race and I looked for my corral which corresponded to how quickly I thought I’d finish the race. Â I said 2 hours and my cohort consisted of reasonably fit older folks and slightly plump 20 somethings which seemed appropriate. Â The race began at 8:00 AM, my wave began at 8:45 AM and I was off on my first race that meant anything.
At the bottom of the picture are orange stripes lined by blue. Â Each of the race bibs had a sensor strip in them that talked to these boxes and were used to log time per mile. Â This allowed for me to start the race after the first runner had probably finished and still be ranked accurately.
- Many people ran as a team and I myself had a giant Temple “T” on my back. Â One team was “Black Women Run”. Â Someone had a slightly messed up shirt that said “Black Women, Run”. Â That’s a very different team.
- Favorite sign: Worst Parade Ever
- People I saw running: Several people dressed as green man, someone in a tutu, and a bad-ass fellow in Marine fatigues who ran the entire race waving a giant American flag.
- The early miles had a lot of bands playing. Â As I passed Temple, their band was out playing and I found this strangely encouraging.
- The cross streets were all closed to cars but pedestrians could still cross. Â At one point there was a blind woman crossing. Â Wow.
- Each time I ran under a traffic light that was a red a neuron fired going “I ran a red light, tee hee”.
- You could tell what kind of hydration station you were approaching by whether or not it was sticky (Gatorade) or not (water).
- John Andelfinger was on one of the islands in the street. Â I stopped to chat for a few seconds and we made dinner plans.
- About a 1/3 of a mile from the finish line a man ran up next to me and said “hey, you keep a consistent pace. Â My running group has been following you since mile 3. Â How do you keep your pace?” Â “I train on a treadmill and that’s about it.” Â I bolted.
For the first five miles of the race Billy Penn grew taller and taller as you approached City Hall and then the skyline diminished as you approached the Navy Yard. Â The first five miles were fun, the next three were boring, the last two were brutal. Â As you run you use both the fine muscles that control micromovements as well as the large muscles that power you forward. Â Eventually, the fine muscles give out and the large ones take over and you begin to pound pavement. Â Upon crossing the finish line, most people fall back on these fine control muscles to walk and discover they are completely gone and have to use the larger ones to control their walking which is quite hard. Â Everyone looks drunk. Â Since everyone does this as they cross the finish line there is a standing wave where people turn from runners to drunkards which is quite fun to watch. Â I finished in 1 hour 35 minutes and was very happy with that time.
We returned to Temple and I enjoyed myself at theÂ barbecue which had Yoohoo chocolate drink and chicken sausages. Â I ate and talked and ate and talked and found out later that I had eaten more in calories than I had burned running the previous 10 miles. Â Time to go home and burn those calories off on the treadmill. Â Hazaa…