Friday, October 22, 2010

Welcome Race Fans!!!

OK, so it's 3 days later and I'm just getting around to writing the race recap from this weekend!  Busy, busy, busy.

Speaking of busy, it was a busy running weekend for me.  Starting off with Saturday's Lungstrong 15K.  After alternating races through much of the summer, Johane and I were finally able to run a race at the same time, thanks to Julia sleeping over at a friends house.  We awakened to a brisk 39 degrees on Saturday, and the thought of going back to sleep immediately popped into my head.  Jo was having none of that, so we headed down to Jetton Village in Cornelius. For a surprise there were plenty of port-a-potty's to be found, so that was a plus.  As it was freezing, we headed over to Harris Teeter to warm up and ran into @Jim Crotts.  One of the side benefits of  running with the davidson area running team, is that I actually know people now.  Got to chat with Jim for a few and wish him well, and warmed up.  As the time approached we headed back outside.  The announcements were quite amusing: "this is for the 15K start ONLY.  if you are running the 5K and start now, you will have a very long day"  pretty funny.  So the race started and I got to the first mile, and my Nike+ said......1.15.  That seemed a little long, a fact that was debated for a while on Facebook, with a lot of people saying the course was long.  I only found the first mile long, and all the others were exactly 1 mile from the previous (except for the six mile marker which I never saw)

Anyways, the course was pleasant winding mostly through residential areas and taking a quick detour through Jetton park.  Through most of the course the water was never far away and there were some amazing vistas, and some rather large houses.  I had never been here before (Jo did the race solo last year), and when I looked at it on the map, I assumed that it would be relatively flat.  Boy, was I wrong.  I guess nothing is flat in the Charlotte area.  The hills were definately rolling throughout the course.  I was ok for almost the whole course, but got a bit tired out on the last mile.  Not sure what my deal was. I did a 9 2 weeks ago like it was nothing, and I felt like I was dragging this time.  I have been tired for a week.  Trying to get more sleep this week.  Well, we finished.  Our time was ok, not great, but I looked at it as a long, slow training run.  Of course neither of us was smart enough to bring a camera or camera phone, so the only pics I have are below. Us after it was over, and my number.  Sorry!

Post Race-glad it was over

My Number-really only here because I have so few pictures!

Next up was Sunday and the Kasey Kahne 5K.  Apparently, Kasey Kahne is a NASCAR driver who decided to do a run for charity.  Now I know nothing about NASCAR at all, and didn't do the race for that.  Here in the South, they don't do racing on Sunday, with only rare exceptions, and this was one, so I jumped all over it!  The race started at 8 downtown, so I popped in my car and headed down there.  The sun comes up a bit later here in Charlotte, so as I was getting into town at 7:15 it was just getting light, which let me get the shots of the city you see below:
Downtown featuring the Bank of America Building

The new Duke Energy building-built by Wachovia who went broke

Another shot of Duke Energy and the downtown area

As this race was point to point, I was stick with the decision around whether to park at the start or the finish.  I got a coupon for $5 parking at the finish at the NASCAR hall of fame, but after some consideration, I went with parking at the start at Bank of America Stadium (home of the stellar 0-5 Panthers), which would let me get my chip and then sit in my car and be warm (in retrospect a great call, since I used the walk back as my cool down, I got to see parts of town I hadn't seen yet, like the new Mint Museum, and new Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.  Nice looking buildings.  Plus, there was no one at the parking garage collecting, so I parked for free)

Anyways, as most of you know by now, one of my pet peeves about going to races is that a lot if times, there will be way too few port-a-pottys.  I hate standing in line with the start approaching stressing about if I'll be locked in a plastic jail when the start gun goes off.  So when I headed over to check out the situation I was greeted with this:

Yes folks, that's it.  Now it is better than the 2, yes 2, they had at the Rock 'n' Run 5K, but still.  

So the start was in front of Bank of America stadium, and yes Kasey Kahne was suppossed to be there.  Like I said before this race I wouldn't have know Kasey if I (literally) walked into him.  But some of the women in my neighborhood seemed to think that he was something special.

He looks 14 to me guys

I headed over to the start and tried to avoid freezing to death.  Melodramatic I know, but something has happened to me in my time in the south and I really can't take the cold.  Consequently I was a bit overdressed at the start.

Freezing here, but soon to be boiling

The start.  Not bad for a first time race.

Before the race started, there were the usual annoncements, and I was pleased to see that I wasn't the only one with no clue who Kasey was.  In the below picture you can see Kasey in front of the TV camera's while off to the back left is the guy doing the announcements.  Literally 2 seconds before I took this pic the guy said "And Kasey Kahne will be here any second for the start", whereupon a bunch of people yelled out "He's standing right next to you".  Funny stuff.

"Kasey Kahne will be here shortly"

Um, he's right next to you

So the race itself was nice, though for a race advertised as in "downtown Charlotte" we seemed to spend an awful lot of time outside of town.  The race went all around the outskirts of town, and spend a lot of time going downhill.  Plenty of people were saying that this was going to be an awesomely fast course,  Guess what folks, the NASCAR hall of fame is waaaaaaayyyyyy back up hill.  So the second half of the course was almost all uphill.  Made it to the finish line in 28 minutes, which was pretty good considering the 15K the day before.  Something else different was the finish line.  Instead of jsut a finish line they had women dressed up in tu-tu's waving checkered flags.  Never seen that before!

Stage Right

Stage Left

Overall, I finally got a up close look at the NASCAR hall of fame.  I must say it looks pretty cool from the outside.  Will I ever go there?  I dunno.  Not a NASCAR fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I've heard it's pretty cool, so I may go just for the heck of it.

Finish Line area

NASCAR hall of fame

After the race there was Kasey himself standing there, so I decided to take a picture with him.  Though I look like a stalker in the picture that jumped in front of him, we really did pose the pic, but I did it fast, since I really didn't want to bug him.  I saw 2 other guys with him, but I had no idea who they were so I didn't get pictures with them.  I found out later it was Jimmy Johnson and Joey Lagano.  I've heard of Jimmie Johnson, but Joey Lagano still means nothing to me.
I'm really not a stalker

Once that was over, I walked back to my car, and called Jo, who told me she was now ready to run.  So, I drove over to freedom park to meet her and run.  Wound up running another 5K.  Let's just say that after waiting 45 minutes in a car to runa gain, the first mile with Jo, was.....interesting!

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