Full disclosure here. I was 100% waiting to do this race recap until the race posted the pictures. Gotta have some content here, right?
I’ll touch on some of the race logistics here, but you’ll be able to find a bulk of that on my review for the race on BibRave. Yes, I’ll post a link…once I actually write that review.
The big thing to know about F3 is that it’s a late start. The Half begins at 10 am, with the 5k not starting until 10:30 am. I know some folks like a later start, but I’m not one of those. Give me a 7 am gun time, please. #MorningPersonProblems
Getting to the race wasn’t too awful for me. But then again, I think it’s generally easier getting to Soldier Field coming from the South than the North. Plus, I’m always notoriously early to just about every event; so i gave myself plenty of time.
The best thing F3 does is allow runners to hang out and warm up in the United Club at Soldier Field. Having run January and February races before, I can’t tell you how clutch this is.
We were encouraged to head outside about 10 minutes before the race. I think for the Half that’s a good amount of time, but knowing what I know now, I think the 5k allows for some more time in the warmth.
Ok, let’s get to the actual race.
The gun went off and away we went. The first mile looped us around Soldier Field and then onto the Lakefront Path. Here, I made what I considered to be my mistake on this run (and in a 5k…you don’t have room for a mistake). The lead pace felt a little quicker than I wanted and because of that, I let the leaders go. Had I checked in with my watch, I probably would’ve seen the pace was pretty darn close to my plan coming into the race.
This led to a situation I’m all too familiar with: running alone. Getting trapped in a headwind in mile 2, by myself, brought back memories of the Shamrock Marathon. And not good ones. I mean, look at all this pain:
The turnaround, almost right at Mile 2, was one of the sharper turns I’ve seen in a road race. It was fine going it alone, but I’m not sure if it caused any congestion with packs of runners.
It did provide me with a chance to see who was tracking behind me. That, and the tailwind, was a nice boost, but I was done at that point. Sub par fueling, and worse race tactics, had done me in.
I did get out gunned by the two runners tracking behind me in the last quarter mile, but there was nothing I could do about that.
Ultimately, when it wasn’t my day, running an 18:50 to fifth place in January isn’t the worst thing that could happen. As my coach reminded me, it was a good building block to move forward with. Plus, the 5k was never my forte anyways.
After the race, we were able to mosey (and take the long way) to Kroll’s in downtown for some (free) post race beers.
Like I said, it didn’t feel great (but when do 5ks feel good?) but it wasn’t a terrible result. Plus, I got to spend most of my day with this squad: