Steph and I decided to get a hotel in Buffalo and stay the night yesterday rather than waking up before the sun this morning to drive to the race. Turned out to be a great decision, and I felt pretty darn cool saying that I was traveling for a race.
|i also probably packed enough for about 3 races|
We checked into the hotel and then headed to the Bill's Field House for packet pick-up. The Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission, who took charge of picking up the pieces of the Rapid Running disaster, allowed all those registered for the RR event to race for free.
I was impressed at how organized it was and how incredibly friendly the volunteers were. You never would have guessed that this race was put together in a matter of four days and everyone there went above and beyond to make sure our experience got off to a great start.
|outside the field house with our numbers!|
They even managed to have tshirts made in time; free race t's = extra brownie points in my book.
After a nice carb filled dinner, I got my gear all laid out for the morning and headed to bed. I don't know why but I always get the best sleep of my life in hotel beds. Why are they so darn comfy?!
The alarm went off bright and early and I woke up feeling great and ready to go. Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for Steph. She woke up real sick and was not in good shape at all. There was no way she was going to be able to run the half, so she ended up dropping down to the 5k. I wasn't about to leave her behind to run it herself, so I ended up doing the 5k with her.
In all honesty, it was probably a good decision for me because we all know how minimal and half-assed my training was for this race. It was a teeny bit disappointing watching the half marathoners take off without us, but we were going to make the best of our race!
|half marathon start|
It was a little toasty out but there was a nice breeze. I stayed with Steph, and she was able to run most of the course... we stopped a couple of times to walk but she was a champ the whole time.
There was one water stop on the course, and they had these crazy eco-friendly water packet things.
You bite it open and then drink the water... or in my case you bite it open, get a small shower with all the water you spill on yourself, and take a few sips.
Before we knew it, we were turning back into the parking lot for the stadium. This was seriously the FASTEST course I have ever ran. I don't know if it was the fact that we were talking the whole time, new scenery, or that I was care-free and enjoying it, but it flew by.
|heading back towards the stadium|
|heading to the tunnel!|
The coolest part was when we ran through the tunnel and into the stadium
|inside the tunnel!|
1. Sorry for the sea-sickness you probably experienced from watching that.
2. I guess you don't realize what a heavy breather you are until you hear yourself on video at the end of a race. Yikes.
3. Note the random stranger shouting out "Fleet Feet!" at the end. People love our jerseys. Representin'
It was SO COOL running onto the field and finishing in the stadium. There was a nice little crowd cheering and they had music going and announcers and everything. We finished in 38 minutes and change and it was awesome.
|on the field at the ralph!|
We got to hang out on the field afterwards and also stayed to watch the first half marathoners come in.
|the tunnel we ran out of onto the field|
|bills elevators in the tunnel|
|half marathon winner - i'm a great sports photographer.|
Of course, we had to take pictures on the 50 yard line. I think we gave the Buffalo Jills a run for their money.
While we were hanging out on the field, the Director of the Buffalo sports commission came up to us and shook our hands and thanked us for coming to the race. Every person involved genuinely wanted to make sure that we had the best experience possible.
Words can't describe how impressed I am with the entire event and with everyone involved. So many people and organizations came together to pull this race off, and you never would have guessed that it was put together in four days.
At one point, the announcer yelled "who wants to come back next year?!" and everyone cheered. When the director of the sports commission was talking with us, he said that next year they want to make it bigger and better. We couldn't thank him enough for everything they've done for this race. Like I said, words can't describe how awesome everything and everyone was... that says a lot because you all know how seldom it is that I am actually speechless!
After the race, Steph had a mini award's ceremony for us complete with medals! I was talking about how sad I was that we wouldn't get medals for the half, so Steph did some DIY work and we ended up with some medals after all!
I had the such a good time at this race, and even though I didn't end up running 13.1, it sounds like we'll get a chance to redeem ourselves next year. Thank you, city of Buffalo for giving all of us a phenomenal experience!!
|see ya next year at the ralph!|