Saturday, April 24, 2010

Where to begin?

I have so many things to tell you guys.  I'll start with Crazy Legs.  It was madness!  I have never seen so many people in one place all lined up to run in the rain.  Actually, the rain held off during the race.  (Thank you, God.)

I left my Aunt Sharon's house a little after 8:00 because I knew that it would be insanity trying to find a parking spot.  And it was.  Sharon and I had talked about the two free parking spots near Camp Randall.  Well, both of those were full.  She had also mentioned to me that there was a school on Mills that a friend of hers was going to use to park.  She told me that I should go down past the Eye Clinic to find it.  Well, as soon as I saw the Eye Clinic and it's empty parking lot, I knew that my search was over!

But, let me start from the beginning.  I told you guys yesterday about my CMA exam and that I passed!!  Yippee!  On the way to the testing site, I stopped by the Kohl Center to pick up my race registration packet.

I got there about 20 minutes before the doors opened and there was a line.  There weren't that many people in front of me, but people kept showing up.  By the time they opened the doors, the line was around the corner and up the block.

The CrazyLegs people do a really good job of organizing.  I really have to had it to them.  There were more than 20,000 runners and everything about the entire event was pretty easy for me to navigate.

You know it is a big race, when they have to subdivide the runners whose last names start with 'O.'

There was this cute older couple who was volunteering at the T-shirt area.  They were really adorable and seemed to be having such a good time talking to everyone and just spending time with each other.  Of course, I was one of the first ones in the door.  I hope they were still enjoying it 8 hours later. 

So, fast forward to race morning, I am dressed warmly, parked at the Eye Clinic and heading to Camp Randall to catch one of the many shuttle buses to the Capital Square.

Once we got dropped off at the Square, I was amazed at all the people.  And, again, at the organization.  Oh, and for my NY friends, here is Madison's version of the Flatiron Building.

The Capital Square is beautiful and I just couldn't stop looking at the gorgeous pink tulips!  I wasn't the only one taking pictures of them.

I was in Wave Z, which was right in the middle of the pack.  There were 52 waves....A-Z and aa-zz. 
Looking ahead to Wave Y.

And back....

I even noticed people in the windows of the hotel who were watching all the commotion.

And this guy had one of the best seats in the house.

We even had some pre-race entertainment.  This guy was very talented.

I knew that my friend Jeremy was somewhere in the sea of 20,000 people.  I didn't know where, but I was silently wishing him well.  I haven't seen him in quite a few years.  So, imagine my surprise when I turn around to see....

This was the coolest surprise ever!  What are the odds that we would wind up in the same wave and get to start the race together?  What a great day!

We finally made our way to the starting line.

And, we're off!!
A nice steady climb to start the race.  It didn't seem to faze me much because I (characteristically) started much faster than I wanted to.

There was a nasty hill in the second mile that just about killed me.  I totally wasn't prepared for it and at one point I looked down at my Garmin to see that I was running at about a 14:00/mile pace.  Yikes!

But, I just kept truckin' along.  I saw my Aunt Sharon out on Observatory Drive and was thrilled to be able to ditch my jacket and leave it with her.  I would have been fine to leave it around my waist, but I was afraid it was covering my race bib and I wanted to be able to search for pictures of myself later and I knew that I would need my bib to be visible.

The race finishes inside Camp Randall Stadium.  We actually run onto the field and finish at the 50-yard line.  Pretty cool.  There is a band and tons of cheering fans.  It was awesome!

I would definitely run this race again.  The energy was incredible.  The race was very well organized and it was so much fun.  I just hope that the sun comes out next year.

Here are my stats from the Garmin:
Mile 1: 8:47  (wow!)
Mile 2:  9:23 (including killer hill)
Mile 3:  9:34
Mile 4:  9:26
Mile 5: 9:16

My Garmin recorded the race distance as 5.01 miles.

Official total from CrazyLegs officials:  20,450 participants!  Wow!

Jeremy finished in 48:27.  Great job.  He crushed his goal time.

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