Do you ever wake up in the morning and suddenly decide that you’re going to take on a challenge that you’d normally avoid? Say picking a race that’s known for being very hilly? Even has a hill known as “The Beast”? Does this happen to anyone else? No? Hmmm.
Yesterday before my work day went totally crazy, I decided to sign up for the Fair Oaks Sun Run aka The Chicken Run. Based off the course elevation map, I’ve clearly lost my mind. Especially since I complained about the hills during the SacTown 10 – 5 Mile.
Look at that elevation map! Those hill names are scary but I’m committed now! I payed my money and on Sunday May 3rd, I’ll pay the real price. I’ve got two weeks to mentally prepare myself for this.
I don’t really have a goal for this race. Due to the hills, my main goal is to run them all especially The Beast and enjoy myself. But in addition to the hills this race is also part road and part dirt track which I’ve never raced before. I’ve run dirt but never raced it. I’d like to come in with any time under 60 minutes but if I don’t, I don’t. My race goals for this year are simple, have fun.
Yesterday morning I got up early, jumped into my running clothes and headed up to downtown Sacramento to run the SacTown 10 – 5 mile. The weather was really nice. The sun was shining but there was a stiff breeze especially around the high-rise buildings. I was hoping for a much stiller morning but at least it wasn’t hot.
It was still a bit dark when I got there at 7:45 but I managed to find a small patch of sun that wasn’t directly next to the porta potties to stand in until the start. The kids miracle mile started at 8am, followed by the 5 mile at 8:30 and finally the 10 mile at 9. It was a weird start especially since the 10 mile people made two loops of the course. I’m not sure why they didn’t just start them together. And there were no “corrals” for different pace times. You just lined up and took your chances…and prayed you weren’t behind someone slower than you or blocking someone faster than you.
The course was much hillier than I expected. I knew there were going to be some hills, primarily after mile 1, but I wasn’t expecting all the other hills. Some were short steep hills and some were gradual hills that seemed to run on for miles (mile 4). Where I live the hills are the way they slop the streets for water run off. Saying we don’t have any is an understatement. It’s flat, flat here and I’m only 30 driving minutes from downtown Sac.
There were two aid stations on the course at mile 2 and mile 4 and both were great. I passed on the mile 2 one but did grab some water at mile 4. I was surprised at how little water was in the cup, just enough for me to wet the inside of my mouth and then choke on (as usual). But the folks manning the stations were very cheerful and were yelling encouragement the whole time.
Once you rounded the corner onto the Tower Bridge after mile 4 it was all down hill to the finish line.
I finished in a very respectable 50:48. But the course was almost a 10th of a mile longer then the 5 advertised miles. I’m not sure if I just didn’t cut the corners like I should have or what but .7 is a lot longer. I wonder how long it actually was for the 10-milers.
Over all it was a good race and I would run it again.