First, let me say I am not in that photo above. Don't bother looking for me. Actually, I'd love for the Chase Corporate Challenge people to tell me why they even bother having photographers at the event when they only bother to post 20 photos of the whole thing!
Anyway, there are lots of reasons to not run the Chase Corporate Challenge (crowded course, people who have no race etiquette, unpredictable weather, course with multiple hairpin turns) but for the third year in a row I decided to do it. Why?
1. No race entry fee for me! Okay!This year the weather decided to ignore the fact that it's almost June and hover around 45o with 20 mile an hour winds blowing in off Lake Michigan. The actual race itself was fine and I was almost too warm in my capris, short sleeved shirt, and arm warmers. But the pre- and post-race festivities? So.Cold. At least the beer was nice and icy?
2. Free t-shirt (although this year they didn't do women's sizes which bummed me out).
3. An excuse to hang out with my coworkers who I actually like.
4. Free beer and food in our post-race tent.
Anyway, several people from my lunch time running group were doing the race as were several other people from my office. In fact, it was my new(ish) employee's first race ever! He did really well and managed to beat his time goal by almost 6 minutes.
The Chase Corporate Challenge is notorious for being crowded and full of walkers and slower runners who start at the front. This year they tried to combat that by assigning people to "waves" based on whether or not they entered a predicted finish time when they registered. There were three waves. Red was for competitive runners, yellow was for non-competitive runners and white was for walkers. I was in the "red" (aka first) wave but by the time I got to the starting area there was no way I could elbow my way to that one. So I started in the "yellow" (second) wave. Of course, people totally ignored the fact that if they had a white bib maybe they shouldn't be standing at the front.
The plus side to having the slow people in front of you and all those hairpin turns? This is probably the only race all year where I will easily run negative splits. Just ignore the fact that my Garmin freaked in the tunnel during mile 2 and thought I was going 75 MPH.
In the end, my official time was 28:09 for an average pace of 8:02. Thirty-two seconds faster than last year and just a hair slower than my current 5K PR pace and, I admit, I wasn't even trying that hard during the first mile. Pretty cool.
(Nope, not in that photo, either)
Chase Corporate Challenge 2011 by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details