We’re rolling the odometer over. Just like Joe Harris did when he finished his 100th Rock n Roll race at DC in 2015, we’re starting to count over from One. Given that introduction, it makes more sense that we make some rookie mistakes.
We landed Friday and had just enough time to get to the expo to pick up our bibs. Although we signed up for a Remix weekend, we wanted to spend more time with Jennifer, our maid of honor from our grad school days, and her husband Mike. We decided to pass on the Saturday 5K. Part of all the travel for races is being able to see friends we don’t get visit otherwise, so we had dinner and breakfast in Springfield, Illinois about an hour and a half from St. Louis.
We weren’t totally slacking though. We found time for a 5K of our own on the Lost Bridge Trail. If you’re in town and need a place to train, it’s a good path and could probably support a half marathon distance without a lot of trouble. We had a light brunch and made our way back to St. Louis. Jennifer would join us later.
Saturday we picked up Al and hit the expo. He and about 130 people had already finished a Rock n Roll that morning on the east coast for the first half of a double race weekend.
Brooklyn had a 7 AM start. Most people caught a late afternoon flight to either St. Louis or Denver for the Sunday half marathon. Lisbon was the other option (on Sunday as well, but it couldn’t fit into a double). Logistics for BRK2STL and BRK2DEN were more eventful than some people might have liked. While Al and Tawni were able to catch an earlier flight out of New York, that airport was later shut down due to a bomb scare. It’s unclear if any of the RNR doubles were impacted. Also, some of the BRK2STL runners had a connection through Chicago but the continuing flight was either missed or cancelled. They had to rent a van and drive a few hundred miles, arriving in St. Louis Sunday on a few hours sleep.
We miss all the fun it seems.
Numbers for St. Louis were down again and there was no registration for 2018. This is never a good sign for the race, but we did manage to add to our collection of RNR swag. These could become collectors items.
We had an early dinner at Gio’s so Drew could catch the Pixies concert. Tawni spent the weekend with Peanut (taking him to shop and see a few shows in the Big Apple). Tawni would also be doing her Gold Record (10th) RNR for the year and started narrowing down the location for her 50th state half marathon (Minnesota, May 2018).We caught up with Tricia and her last few weeks at the Berlin and Chicago marathons. Tricia also brought Peanut a friend – I think she settled on the name “Buttercup”. I love how there’s always something amazing to recap or look forward to when we get together. It was a beautiful night for a raid.. and a walk.
Sunday, October 15th, Half Marathon
Given the Sunday options, St. Louis ended up being the best weather as far as we were concerned. Lisbon was hot and Denver was freezing. We had mid-50’s temps, a little sprinkle at the start and the occasional blast of wind while waiting in the corrals. There was about a 25 minute delay at the start to secure the course, but with an extra space blanket and a disposable plastic poncho, it was nothing we couldn’t handle.
There wasn’t really a group pace plan this weekend. We stayed together the whole race the week before in San Jose but with Chengdu and Double Live V coming up in a month, we were on our own. Al took off and I stayed with Drew and Elaine for the first mile before stopping to see how far Susan was behind us. She was taking it slow, still wearing the rain poncho, so I decided to see what I could do for the last 12.1.
It ended up being my fastest race in probably 2 years. But you won’t see the split times on the results page. Why? Because on the bib, there are two halves of the timing D-tag. One has the instructions on how to put it on. The other is the timing chip. For some reason, I made the rookie mistake of using the wrong half.
Susan, on the other hand, went the whole race in the poncho. At the end, she realized that her bib number was obscured. So while I went the whole race without timing splits, but had a lot of pictures. She got all of her split times, and except for lifting the poncho and flashing the finish line, almost no pictures.
Pictures. Or it didn’t happen. Fortunately, we got them.
Jennifer was waiting for us at the finish line with an adorable sign. It’s going to be with our race souvenirs when we get the new room outfitted with medal hangers and the San Jose memorabilia.
We had a late afternoon flight out, so we had time to hit Park Avenue Coffee for gooey butter cake – seven flavors in all. So much for that pesky calorie deficit.
As we sat, we flipped through Facebook posts from the crew in Denver. A few dozen of them stopped for beer during that half – twice – and ended up finishing together. The pictures and videos were absolutely awesome.
We leave for the inaugural Rock n Roll Chengdu today. It’ll be our 14th Rock n Roll this year, somewhere around or 15th or 16th full, but most importantly, the last of 7 continents for full marathons. It’s been 12 years, 4 months and a few weeks, but this item will finally be checked off our bucket list.
I can assure you, once we get the SIM card for China, there will be pictures.
We had a little more confirmation after the race that both St. Louis and Brooklyn are not likely to be held in 2018. Denver is still on the schedule, but with Vancouver, Queratero and most recently Mexico City being off the tour stops for next year, that reduces the amount of races in North America. Getting to the Hall of Fame is going to require a little more planning to get to enough cities, maybe requiring a European trip. There’s some talk of another world major in the eastern hemisphere, possibly under the Rock n Roll brand.
The Hall of Fame count for 2017 got a big bump this weekend. Congrats to America, Amy, Erika, Tony, Jen, Liz, Melinda, Noah, Leny and a few more that I didn’t recognize from the pictures in the Black Sheep Run group. The Pannell Report is probably going to be a little late because of all the data we need to crunch. With any luck, we’ll have something when we get back from China.