This past Sunday I ran my first race! I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K in Columbus, Ohio. The day before the race I drove to Columbus to meet up with my dad and pick up my packet. My dad was hours earlier than I thought he would be, so when I got off work he was already in Columbus and I still had an hour and a half drive. On top of being early my dad was at the wrong hotel. The hotel I had chosen to stay at was right at the start/finish line and he was at a hotel a mile away at the convention center. Once I found my dad we went and picked up my packet because it was already 2:30 and I didn't want to miss my chance since they closed at 6:00. (Yes I know I had hours but I was nervous about missing it!) Being my first packet pickup I was a little overwhelmed.
However I collected my standings quickly when someone handed me a really great jacket that I was asked to try on because they were running small. I had measured and ordered a medium however when I put it on I couldn't close it around my hips. So I exchanged it for a large and was on my way.
Following packet and jacket pickup we checked into the hotel and spent the night just kind of hanging out. We had dinner at the Tip Top Kitchen in down town Columbus and it was delicious! Sadly I only ate half of my dinner (that I forgot to take pictures of) because my stomach was so nervous I couldn't even stand it. Sleeping also wasn't really an option. I don't know if it was my dad snoring or the fact that I was so nervous and so excited about the race. But when the alarm went off at 6:00am I was up and ready to go! I ate my apple and almond butter breakfast hopped in the shower and dressed quickly.
My dad then dressed and was ready to go wearing sweat pants (for my dad this is weird! ) He then told me that he would run the first two miles with me and maybe the last mile...not really allowed but man was I glad he was there. So before we get to running time there are more pictures. Having my dad there means that there are pictures of things I would have never been able to take pictures of. So the next few pictures are of the startline and traffic of people trying to get to there race! (So glad I got a hotel room)
Some where between miles 4 and 5 I took a short walk break to get my bearings back after the water station and to recenter my energy into running and not all the crazy things that go through your brain while you are running. Mile 3-4.5 took place on the OSU campus which is seems like a really nice place to live. Mile 5 and 6 where great they wrapped through the residential distracted of Columbus which is full of some really great old houses. There was a ton to look at and really great spectators sitting on there decks having there morning coffee cheering us on! Mile 7 I hit a wall and had to take another walk break. My brain was toast! It wanted so bad to finish strong but at the same time was revolting. I convinced myself that after this race I would be really proud of what I accomplished and I promised to eat cake(not the best tactic but it worked)
I will say seeing the 8 mile mark was a great feeling! I knew I only had 1.3 miles to go and at that point my dad jumped back in with me after taking a picture of me turning the corner. We started running and chatting and found that the 9 mile marker came up pretty quick. The volunteers where screaming only .3 mile to go your doing great! Then you turned to corner and found that the last .3 miles was straight up hill! (Who does that it's so cruel!!!!) I had to pause for a minute and collect my energy to get up that hill! It was slow going but I made it to the top and could see the finish line. I picked up the pace I didn't even think about it it just happened. The yelling of the dj and the other people who had already finished yelling for you as you finished just kicked up the energy inside me (they should have put all those people on the hill)
Crossing the finish line was one of the greatest feelings ever! I had done something that people thought I would never be able to do. People have doubted my ability to be a runner since I started running in June and on this day I proved them wrong and became a runner. Not on a runner but a runner who had finished a 15k in 2hrs, and 2mins as her first race! So that was it the race was over now was time for pictures and chocolate!!!!
The after party was great! If you had been running it with a group of people it would be a fun way to relax after the run. I enjoyed eating chocolate and the things you dip in chocolate following the race I mean lets be honest who wouldn't?! The pictures that follow are from the after party and finish line.
I would say this race was a huge success and I had a blast! I would recommend it to someone as a first race the energy of the city is great and the volunteers where encouraging. I wont soon if ever forget my first race. Whens the next one?!