Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Race Report: Picnic Island #1

This Friday was the first of three summer Picnic Island Runs.  I was really looking forward to running this race because it is really different than any other race that we do normally.  However, on Saturday, I came down with some sort of cold/voice funk that pretty much stuck with me all week.  I was disappointed because I was really hoping to run well in this race.  

Typically, we do about one race per month, but because of other commitments the last organized race that I did was Trout Creek in March.  Ironically enough, it was also put on by Jim at Tampa Races.  The one really great thing about doing a race that you've previously done, is that you are familiar with the course.  (This has proven to be my nemesis in some cases as well, AHEM - Gasparilla, I'm talking to you!)

When we arrived at Picnic Island, we got our race numbers and shirts, met up with our friend Cami, sprayed ourselves down with bug spray and then set off to check out the water levels.  All the race entrants received and e-mail the day before the race to indicate the tide would be at the highest level right around race time.  Sweet!  And they were right, the water level was about hip-level.  

We saw two younger women on a dock and they had their iPods and shiny new sneakers on and they asked Ben and myself if we have ever ran this race before.  We told them that we have and that you shouldn't plan on salvaging any clothes or shoes from this particular race.  They looked HORRIFIED! We just said good luck and continued running towards the other end of the park.

The race started right at 6:45 and Ben surprised me at the start line to say that he wanted to run the race for fun with me.  What?  He really is the sweetest fiance and/or running partner that I could ever ask for.  I mean, he is WAY faster (legitimately) than me on a bad day, so for him to slow down for me during a race is CRAZY.  

We hit the water pretty early on.  And both my shoes came untied - whoops!  I decided I was just going to go with it and just try not to trip over them.  We made it through the first mile or so and then we hit a rock/sand hill that the people in front of us decided to walk over.  So there was a little bit waiting... ho hum.  Then we looped back to the beach and met our first obstacle:

There was also a tire hop and then hurdle to go over before heading back in to the water.  There was a lot more walking/wading in hip-level water before running back around through the first field and up and down several hills.  The real kicker of this race is that you have to swim/wade/walk/run out to a buoy that comes up to about collarbone level before running up the final hill to the finish.

Here are the splits:

Avg Pace

Overall, I was the 52nd female out of 292 total females, 199th finisher out of 699 total finishers and 14th out of 55 in my age group.  Not bad for a sick day.

Next up, Rap River on June 9th and Picnic Island #2 on June 15th

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