I guess it was a bit too much to expect that we’d get two nice, mild Northeast winters in a row. Granted, I’m not running races outdoors every weekend these days now that I’m done with the 2012 challenge, so I’ve been spared some of the horrible coldness of winter ’13. But not all of it. So when Hubby signed us up for the 1st Veterans Inc. Indoor Half-Marathon, Marathon Relay and 5K in Hartford, Ct., I was excited by the idea of a winter run that didn’t involve numb feet and 50,000 layers of clothing.
Apart from being my first-ever indoor race, this also checked off another box: It was my first event in Connecticut, bringing my U.S. running states total to nine. Yay! (My U.S. states travel total is 41, but that’s another story.) It was also for an amazing cause. Veterans Inc. is the largest provider of services to military veterans and their families in New England, helping out with housing, reintegration, employment, etc. There are very few other causes that would entice me to run a race with only six other people …
That’s right, I said six. The organizers of this half-marathon/marathon relay added a “no-frills” 5K at the last minute, and it didn’t attract much of a crowd. I initially wasn’t thrilled with the idea of being so, er, on display, or by the prospect of coming last. But like I said … good cause.
The run was on the concourse level of the XL Center in Hartford. So for the 5K, that meant 15 laps. That’s 15 times running past concession stands that normally sell beer and pricey hot dogs. And 15 swings by the small crowd of half-marathon spectators who had gathered. They were very polite and applauded every time I ran by. I wasn’t sure what to do. Smile? Wave? Smile and wave?
About five laps in, my face was on fire. I’m talking full-on inferno. It was crazy hot on the concourse track, and despite wishing there were beer stops each of the 15 times I ran by one of the closed concessions, it was not to be. There were 15 water stops though. I kept sneaking in a walk at the other side of the loop, away from the audience, but there was a lone medic there to witness my shame. About seven times. Oh well.
I was dying of heat exhaustion by the time I got to the final lap, having realized about 25 minutes earlier that I was overdressed for the occasion (note to self: no tights indoors), but I somehow managed to squeak under 30. Again.
And I didn’t come last! OK, so I was five of seven. But I’ll take it…
Oh, and Hubby, who decided to do both the 5K and the half that day (the only person to do that) won his first 5K ever. The half had considerably more participants, and it was dizzying fun to watch them do their 64 laps.
This indoor-racing business in the middle of winter is genius. For those in the area, Veterans Inc. is having another one of these, Dec. 28 at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA. You should all go.
The event: 1st Veterans Inc. Indoor Half-Marathon and 5K
The location: Hartford. Ct.
The date: January 26, 2013
My time: 29.55
Hubby’s time: 20.22 (5K) / 1.32 (half—a PR too!)
The T-shirt: None for me; army green tech tee for the halfers
The cause: Veterans Inc.