Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Race report: Chase Corporate Challenge 2013

Normally I don’t do well in the heat, but I crushed it at the Chase Corporate Challenge Tuesday.

I spent the day chugging water in preparation, and it felt good to sweat it out. Mother Nature was kind to us, a nice breeze broke up the thick, stagnant humidity just as we were lining up.

And only once everyone was safely across the finish line and I was halfway through my salad did the sky suddenly get dark and the freakish storm arrive.

I did the 3.5 mile race in 32:03 with splits around 9:00.

My work day ran late and I was rushed getting there. I parked at the University of Rochester and caught the shuttle. We pulled up to RIT, and holy lot of people! There was white tent after white tent with companies represented from all over Rochester. Finding the Democrat and Chronicle folks was a challenge, but we had a solid group of 40 and represented well! (Not as well as Wegmans, which brought an army.)

Team D&C

Our shirts were fun.

Me and Victoria before the race. 

But some were better.

I lined up with Traci, Victoria, Neeti and a few others. I figured I’d keep up with them. I didn’t listen to the speeches. They unleashed a special wave of people, then the fast people, then us.

Everyone I was around booked it, so much for keeping up, I was worried about getting run over. Adios and god speed, coworkers!

Even dropping back as early as I did, I was running a sub-9:00 after the first half mile, woa there!
I got to the water stop just after mile 1 at 9:16, but that may have included a few seconds at the start before we crossed.

I vow to slow down, but the course is fast, flat and I’m feeling good as we weave through RIT. It’s warm but the breeze has kept up, so I’m comfortable. I got the second mile done in 9:28.

Eh, mile and a half left and I’m feeling good. Why not. I kick it up a bit, past some students drinking (and perhaps offering up?) cheap beer. The third mile goes fast, 8:58, and I’m on the home stretch.

The cockiness kicks in, I’m passing people who no doubt started out too fast so I kick it up even more. Not sure what pace I ran the final half in, but I was going fast!

I see Neeti up ahead and kick it up even more to catch up to her. We cross together.

There’s a long chute. First came the water, then the food. They were handing out Dole Banana Dippers, delicious, must find! So refreshing after a run in the heat.

We then get a second shirt, though I wasn’t fast enough to get a small so I ended up with a medium which was way too big!

I finally make it back to the Democrat and Chronicle tent, compare notes, and get my salad. The D&C was lovely enough to get Wegmans sandwiches for everyone, but I had to be gluten free and special but at least I wasn’t the only one.

I’m sitting in the grass eating and someone says: “There’s a storm rolling in in about six minutes.” The sky is bright and blue. Victoria felt the rain drop first, then me, so we scooted under the tent. Our final teammates came through just before the sky turns dark. “We need to go now,” Traci says.

I follow blindly and get into the backseat of the car with three others, just before the sky opens and it starts pouring. We drive around lost trying to find my car at U of R.

Lots of fun, I loved doing this race with my coworkers. Can’t wait for next year!

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