SOUTH DAKOTA!!! NOT AS FLAT AS THEY SAID, SOUIX FALLS, YES!!! NUMBER 20!
So this race is a Sunday race. I don’t love Sunday races, because I enjoy running on Saturday and having that evening to relax and sightsee without worrying about my diet and my feet and my nerves and whatever else I worry about. But…it just worked out that way...so we had to make due. Brian got home from work at about 7 and we pulled out of the driveway at 7:40pm intending to get to Onalaska, Wisconsin for the night. I had seen a hotel online there and that was roughly the halfway point so off we went. We ate along the way from the cooler and got to Onalaska before 10pm, I was so wired I had a hard time getting to sleep, but finally did at about midnight. I got up around 6:30am and Brian shortly thereafter and we left the hotel at about 7:30. We had been talking to Brian’s Aunt Connie and we were planning to meet her and Gary for lunch as they live an hour north of Sioux Falls in Brookings. We got to the hotel at about noon and didn’t bother checking in and Connie and Gary met us there and took us to a cool little diner where we all ate breakfast while sitting at the counter and then took a walk around the downtown to look at the sculpture gallery that they have. The weather was gorgeous and I really like Connie and Gary, they are a little crazy!!! Then Connie mentioned the zoo and the falls, I had read that both were great, so we headed off to the falls and that was beautiful!!! We didn’t make it to the zoo, we went to a restaurant and had a couple of beers and waited for Brian’s cousin, Greta and husband, Jason and their 2 kids Aiden and Drew. It was so much fun. We ate dinner and laughed at the kids, especially Drew who is 13 months and soooo hilarious. Gary and Connie dropped us at the hotel and we checked in and went to our room, which was really nice and adjacent to the pool, which was loud, with lots of kids and screaming. We relaxed and I laid down at about 10:30 and fell asleep super fast and was out cold until 1 am when I got up to pee. I fell right back to sleep and woke up at 4, never to really get back to sleep. Finally I got up at 5 and showered and got ready and we left the hotel at 6:15 and made it to the field at 6:30. I did my usual bathroom stop, bathroom stop, bathroom stop and stretch and lined up and was off at 7:30. It was a cluster at the start because there were 1264 runners in the half and we started in Howard Wood Field, ran halfway around the field and then exited the stadium through a fairly narrow opening where it congested again. Then a sharp turn in the parking lot, another pinch point, and finally off to settle in
to a pace. This was clearly a competitive field and I just found a girl to focus on and kept up with her the whole race. She had on a grey racer back T-shirt, black shorts and yellow shoes and she was just out of my reach the whole run. I didn’t even notice a mile marker until 5, and then I took a gel at 6 and kept it all going. I could have used another at about 10 miles, but I didn’t have one! Stupid me, didn’t put an extra in my pouch, so, live and learn. The race started at one site and ended at another, so I didn’t know what the end looked like, but I saw all the mile markers from 5 on and ticked them away, following “grey racer back, girl” and finished with a little kick at 01:56:01, a pace of 8:51, 7 of 39 in my age 50-54, 166 of 761 women, and 427 of the overall 1254 finishers (I guess 10 people didn’t finish?). It was supposed to be flat and fast, it was hillier than I expected, but I am very happy to be in the top 10! Number 20 done!!! On to Arkansas in 3 weeks!!!