Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What a Great Race Experience!

I'm not even sure where to begin - I loved everything about this race!

The Goat and the Gobbler was a small, local race with the proceeds benefitting the Ibex Leadership School, who was fundraising for a trip to Nicaraugua to work with youths. I liked that my race fees did not go to a corporation that really didn't care about a true race experience. I didn't get another t-shirt to throw in my t-shirt drawer. Instead, I got a cool ski cap and an even cooler travel mug! Woohoo - great race schwag!

Race temperatures was dicey. I started out in a beanie, only to shed that after 4 miles because the temps quickly warmed. We were so fortunate to have sunshine throughout most of the race and the temps never exceeded the low 50s during the latter half. Perfect running weather!

There might have been 200-250 runners for both the 3-mile and 10-mile races. The race started on time with instructions and a prayer, which, strangely, was nice. The volunteers were so friendly. At mile 4-ish, I had a volunteer ask if she could run alongside me. Heck yeah! Then at mile 6.5, a volunteer ran with me to the turn-around and I noticed he did that with the girls running a few paces behind me. At one of the water stops, several volunteers carried signs and shouted lots of encouraging words. Volunteers really are integral to a race's success.

The course was very challenging. Almost the entire course was on concrete with some tough rolling hills. I was worried early on that my hips or knees might talk back to me, but everything held up well. Most of the course was run through some absolutely breathtaking neighborhoods, keeping my attention with great landscaping, beautiful fencing (which reminded me I desparately need to stain our backyard fence!), and magazine-perfect homes. The last mile, however, was a bitch. No other way to put it. It was 3/4-mile of steep incline that I had to walk. I lost about 4+ minutes on the final mile due to the unforgiving ascent! I had never seen a hill like this in a race. Even with such a tough final mile, I still loved this event. My cramping calves...not so much love!

Oh, and this race had a great little finish line surprise - Chick-fil-a breakfast biscuit. I had never had one of those before and, wow, was that yummy! And I'm pretty sure that by completing 10-miles before the first bite, I definitely burned off the calories of that sandwich!

Thank you, Omaha, for the wonderful race experience!

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