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So, the Midwest this winter has had it's fair share of snow storms, but so has the plains and Kansas was no exception. I had been receiving lengthy and frequent emails from the organizers of the Chocolate Rush 1/2 marathon and I knew that the course was now covered and even more snow was expected, but then they told me about the ice. Being from the Chicagoland area...I just assumed that they would use salt to get some grip on the ice...I was wrong. Brian and I drove out on Friday and got an early start on it at that, we were able to get the race packet but we were both tired and hungry so I didn't check the course...lesson learned. We went out and ate and relaxed and got to bed around 11pm. I woke up at 6 and we were at the race at bout 7. I checked out the course and there was plenty of ice and it was untouched, no salt, no sand, no kidding! The 5K race set off 3 minutes before us going east, we set off 3 minutes later going west and ran a short and hilly spur and then back to the start and we ran the 5K course 4 times. Well, it was 18 degrees, not much wind but, I'd say that 80% of the course was ice covered; much of it hilly, and the footing was horrible. After the first lap, I was quite frankly, pissed! It was dangerous, I saw 20 people fall and every one of us were slipping and sliding on every surface. After lap one I decided to just slow down and get through it safely. I took my time, paid attention to staying away from other runners, most of who didn't have studs in their shoes, and run my own pace. I had brought and was wearing my studded shoes. At one point in the course we had to run in this little path adjacent to a car bridge. It was thick with snow and I just threw my leg over the concrete abutment and ran on the street, not before cracking my right knee on the concrete, that hurt, but not for long. Each lap got worse as the ice got more slippery with the polish of each running shoe. In the middle there were a couple of pretty steep hills that were dangerous going up and down. The snow on the side was a foot deep, so running in the snow was not an option. Brian was by the start and he would take the bottle that I held in my hand for a lap and replace it with warm water as I came around, so that my valves didn't freeze up. That was his idea and it worked perfectly, I was never without water. Finally I finished and when Brian asked how it was I had a one word answer, "Horrible"! All of us runners went into the Prairie Life Fitness building and it was warm and dry and filled with people who kind of looked pissed. I was not alone in my assessment of this race. Brian took good care of me and found me a comfy chair, gave me the rabbit bomber hat and his heavy wool coat and I started to warm up. The announcer started with the winners and got to my AG and called out 3rd, not me, 2nd, not me and then called out 1st, "Joan Johnson". What??? Brian and I looked at each other, wait...what? Unbelievable!!! So, nothing makes a crappy, ice, cold, dangerous race better than a first place medal!!! My time, 02:18:22, 42 of 61 runners and 1st in my AG. Definitely the worst race in my quest because of the conditions, but done and on to Nevada, next...

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