The deed is done. I’ve run my 15K in the 2008 Jacksonville Gate River Run. The results:
It was a nice day, if a little windy. I had said before the race that I thought I would finish around 1:35, and was surprised to see that I managed to do that. See the Hart bridge? It starts at the 7.5mi mark. The winds were at 20mph, gusting to 30mph, and were quite literally blowing my feet out from under me. But, I didn’t stop or slow to a walk—which I am wicked proud of.
Ten thousand people (in a roaring, seething mass) are a lot of people. It seems like even more when they are all trying to run, mostly in the same direction, at different speeds. I had thought that the crowd was going to thin out as the race progressed, but I crossed the finish line surrounded by almost as many people as when I started. (For a visual, at no time during the race did I have more than a foot or so of personal space, which is very hard to run in.) I have a theory that I expended the energy equivalent more like a half-marathon because of all of the dodging and passing that had to be done. I was glad to have a friend running it with me, as it would have been very easy to get demotivated by the anonymity of being one person surrounded by that many people that didn’t know you and wouldn’t remember if you slacked off.
Oh, and I have a sunburn. Lame.
To all you marathoners out there: I still think you’re crazy.