I decided to bail on Broad Street, definitively, shortly after receiving this email:
It is important that the runners must understand that the amount of cups provided are for the entire field of runners. It is up to you to respect your fellow runners and only take one cup at a time at the water stations. Those of you who feel the urge to take large amounts of water are only putting yourselves at risk for over-hydration and are depriving your fellow runners of much need water along the way. Please realize that we have increased the calculations of our cup distribution and water supply to try to meet your needs. However, we cannot control your personal actions on the race course. You must be responsible for how you feel during the event. Medical teams are on high alert and our volunteers have been instructed to rise to the challenge.
10 years ago this past weekend, the Broad Street Run became my first DNF. I had run my first marathon the week before. It wasn't my legs that kept me from completing the race, though: it was the unseasonably warm weather. It was close to 80 degrees at the start, and by the time I got to the first water station at mile 2, I was suffering, badly. I tried to stop for water, but the volunteers had run out of cups. Same thing at the next two water stations. Realizing this would be the case all along, I got on the subway, instead.
No worries, I quickly caught the tail end of advance registration for the Y the Ramble 10k instead.
Race morning, I took out a zipcar and headed up to the Bronx. I'd never been to Riverdale before, and the area is impressive: beautiful, large houses with gorgeous river views overlooking northern Manhattan. And hills. And hills. Crazy hills.
OMG OMG OMG HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO RUN WITHOUT A WATCH THAT TELLS ME MY PACE AND HEARTRATE AND DISTANCE??? Oh, yeah, that's right - like I did for years without it.
So, the race itself. First off, I was mad dehydrated. We're having an unusual heat wave, and I hadn't slept well the night before on account of the heat. At the 1m mark, the only thing that kept me from turning around was the realization that I would just have to walk back that same path I'd just taken. Where the 5k and 10k split off, the only thing that kept me on the 10k path was telling myself that I wouldn't have to go back out and run 4 more (I'd promised myself 10 for the day) if I finished this race. By the turnaround, I was 8 people from last and walking as much as I was running. By 4m, I'd had to take my rings off because my hands were so swollen from dehydration. Someone called out a time, and I realized I'd been doing 11 minute miles, so I set my goal as 1:10.
Link to photo.)
One small vindication is that I did a 10k last summer in 1:10:46 - and that was a totally flat course. So I've been improving.
1. Those hills SUCKED.
2. I must train on those hills.
And some more fun...: A photo of the old school leaders board (I'm not on it, natch) and the elevation profile of the race are below. Hm. It really doesn't look that bad when I look at it here. Hm.