Saying the full name of this race almost takes longer than the race itself.
This 1 Mile race took place way back on Labor Day (clearly I’ve been procrastinating with Recaps), two days after the Madrid Milers, and only one week after Killington. But after a sub par (in my opinion) performance at the Humboldt Mile, I was hoping to fare a little better at this race.
Also, this took place in downtown Naperville, so it was less than a mile from my apartment; making this a tough race to pass up.
On race morning, I meandered downtown, and set up shop at the Starbucks while watching the run portion of the triathlon that was taking place on Main Street. Packed pickup was morning of the race and right by the start line, so it was super easy.
The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was that there wasn’t any gear check, or place to set things in general. Now, a lot of races don’t have this, but most aren’t taking place in a large suburb right before a Labor Day parade. Aka, lots of people and lots of opportunities for a random person to walk away with your things. Naturally, I just asked a person who was set up for the parade if I could set my backpack by their things for the duration of the mile.
The race is billed as fast and flat. That’s a stretch, but more on that in a second. As with a lot of Labor Day runs, this was more for fun than anything else. Because of that, though, all of the kids running the race were allowed to line up right on the starting line.
When the gun went off, half of the battle was weaving around the kids for the first 200-400 meters. Normally not a big deal, but in a mile, those are precious seconds. We also had to get around the hot dog mascot. I’m not even joking.
Quickly we turned off Main Street and went up Jefferson. And I mean “up.” Any thoughts we had of this being a flat course were nullified in the first half as it was almost entirely uphill. We turned on Mill Street, and here I was able to get around the runner who turned out to be the winning female.
After the turnaround, we did get the benefit of running down Jefferson back to the finish. I passed another runner here to move into the top 5, where I would stay.
As I made the turn back onto Main St, it was clear I wasn’t moving up or down from my 5th position. I clocked a very pedestrian, if not disappointing, 5:40 on the day. But a week after Killington, and not the friendliest course for a mile I wasn’t too disappointed.
I chatted with the other top 5 finishers, all of whom will be out running Chicago as well. All of us had the same thoughts: Uphill start, kids, heat, and slower times. Everyone was in the same boat.
But 5th overall was good enough for an Age Group win, and was enough to get the medal for beating the Hot Dog. Fortunately, the guy in the Hot Dog costume wasn’t a ringer like The Freeze.
So while it was far from my best time in the mile, I wasn’t that disappointed. I showed myself I can run a solid mile in less than ideal conditions. And that I still had some decent leg turnover so soon after Killington.