Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Dorney 10K

This is the race that almost didn't happen. A week early I ran a half marathon in Paris. To be fair, I signed up for the Dorney race a couple of months before the one at Disneyland Paris, but it was still a lot for a week. Add to that, the forecast was calling for 50s and rain (brr..first cold snap of the year). On the other hand I signed up for it and did not want a DNS (Did Not Start) for this one. We cancelled the hotel and decided not to go (yes, we can be quite indecisive at time). We even asked Michelle to pick up our race packets. The next day we changed our mind (as the forecast improved) and find out most were sold out due to a track meet at Lehigh University bringing 6,000 people to town. 

We found a room. When we checked in we were told they were overbooked and it was first come, first serve. We were there before others, so we got a room. Stinks for those running later, so we avoided the lobby the rest of the night.

We had a lovely visit with Michelle and Marc. Marc and I founded Kappa Sigma Rho in college, a co-ed fraternity. The joke goes it is rare for to founders to be the same room at the same time because most of the founders have left the Mercer County area. I texted Michelle later and said Mark and I should have taken a photo for proof that it can happen.

The race was good. They three options: 5k, 10k, and half marathon. I opted for 10k, Don and Michelle both decided to do that distance, too. Michelle talked her friend Susan into joining us. Don was the fastest (59 minutes). I was second (1:11). Susan (BE) and Michelle (ST) ran together and beat their goal. They had 121 runners for 10k.

The night before the race, Michelle mentioned it is hilly. Oh, so unlike Marne-le-VALLEE, France, the Lehigh VALLEY is hilly??? Wow! Unlike the Princeton Half Marathon, though, the uphills were followed by lovely downhills. I walked through my intervals on the uphills, and ran through them on the downhills. Even with taking 25 pictures, I finished near my stretch goal of 1:10 (realistic goal 1:15). Okay, it helped a bit that my watch measured the 6.2 mile course as only being 6 miles long.

After four hilly miles going around the theme park, we came inside and were met by dinosaurs. You just can't make this stuff up. Later on Don, Ashley, and Maia went to check them out and found out that was an extra $5 fee. Way to go with the upcharges Dorney, um, no thanks.

Often races start with the theme park section, and end someplace really boring (like a lap or two around a parking lot). This was the opposite. It was nice to end on the fun part. The finish line itself was out of the park, but not by much.

Halloween is big at Dorney

I only saw one character. Don said he also saw Sally.

I like the 10k distance. It is a nice stretch for me. By the 4 mile mark I was hungry (fortunately this time I remembered my Sports Beans). By the 5 mile mark I was tired of doing this (but I was almost done). It was overcast, but not raining (maybe spritzing, we can't agree on that one). Don went into Dorney with Ashley and Maia. I went home to volunteer for Community Day. 

You did it! (Subtract 10 minutes because the half started earlier)
Feeling more human.

To me an odd thing ... the 5k, 10k, and half marathon medals link together. To me this would imply it is possible to earn all three medals. However, the half marathon started at 7 AM, the 10k, at 7:10, and the 5k at 8:30. You could do two out of three, but it would be impossible to do the "hat trick." The race organizers say you can do the races at different theme parks. This Run and Ride series also goes to Cedar Point, Kings Dominion, and Carolwoods -- nothing closer to home.  

Don has already said next year he might be interested in the half marathon distance. I said "no, thank you." The half marathon course was basically two loops of the 10k with a bit more tossed in to get from 12.4 miles to 13.1. If we can talk Ashley into the 5k (not at all likely) then maybe our medals could also link together.

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