Lightning, thunder, torrential downpour, hail, massive puddles.
Last year, the event was cancelled due to threat of a hurricane. This year, it almost looked like it would be cancelled with the ominous black skies and constant lightning.
Amazingly, it was only lightly raining and the race started (on time!) at 7:45.
Moments after starting the race, I heard a large BOOM of thunder and thought oh boy, here we go!
Around the second mile, when we neared Main Street in Annapolis, the sky opened and the rain started pouring…hard. Seconds later, hail fell from the sky. But we were only at mile 2! I kept my head down (thank goodness for my Iron Girl visor to protect my eyes/face!) and kept hopping through puddles.
I felt like a gleeful 4-year-old. The rain kept pouring, I got to run through puddles, and I loved every second of it. All the runners really got into it. People raised their arms in the air, tilted their heads back to collect the rain drops in their mouths, and made tons of noise.
I want to give a shout out not only to the other runners who braved the torrential downpour and hail to run this race, but also to the supporters! Family members, race volunteers, and others lined up along the course decked out in ponchos, rain gear, umbrellas, and cheered us on. I love race events!!
I planned well for the rain. I wore my ZOOMA Annapolis race shirt and moisture-wicking pants. Both were waterproof throughout the race and kept me dry. My shoes were soaked through, but didn’t weigh me down as much as I thought they would!
I ran most of the first three miles with a fellow ZOOMA participant! I ran toward her at the beginning of the race because our outfits were identical: ZOOMA race shirt and grey capri running pants. How funny is that?
Let’s talk about the crazy course: we ran from Navy Stadium through downtown (Main Street) Annapolis, over the Severn River bridge and toward Severna Park. There were tons of hills. Long, steady hills.
I maintained a pretty solid 9:30/9:45 pace for the entire race, even with the hills, stopping twice to walk through water stations. The clouds cleared around my mile 6, so I was more than ready for a water stop at mile 7ish.
An email from the race organizers last week indicated that this is not a personal best time race. I’m super amazed that I managed to run my best during this race, especially with the rain, puddles, wind, and hail. But as I remarked to a friend today, I think the hills help me work harder. There’s so much going on in my head during a race, and having a hill to conquer makes it an even better experience.
Physically, I felt great during the race and still do several hours later! I’ve spent the better part of this year training my body for these longer race distances, but being able to run 10 miles before 10:00 a.m. and then go about my normal daily routine still blows my mind.