This year it was tough to get out the door to do the Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup race. I really enjoyed this four-mile race last year, but this year temperatures were in the low 20s, it was breezy out. On the other hand, I have yet to DNS (Did Not Start) and didn't want to make this one it.
The race was set to start at 10. By 9 Don was pretty convinced he wasn't doing it. I messaged Gabrielle, who said she was still on for it. Since at this point the decision was all mine, I decided to go for it. Which then encouraged Don to also run.
Yes, it was colder this year -- but there was no snow and no ice. It wasn't windy after all. All that was needed was enough layers.
Despite being told at packet pick-up there was no "Spiral of Death" at the beginning like there was last year, it was the same course as last year. We use the first 3/4 of a mile to get into the right pace group. My GPS watch refused to connect, so I was running without my usual intervals, and at an unsustainable pace (for me). Don passed me when I took my first walk interval, not to be seen again until we passed at the turn around point. Gabrielle was WAY far ahead of me the whole time. She looked great in her plaid sparkle skirt (which I didn't get to take a picture of) and green sweater.
I finished at 43:40.8 with a sub 11 minute/mile pace -- quite possibly my fastest pace yet for a race, and at least a minute faster overall from 2016 (or about 15 seconds faster per mile!).
All was not joy in Mudville. By the two mile mark I was regretting not having an carbs. A shot of Gatorade at the finish line fixed that. Unfortunately waiting in that line meant by the time I made it to the tomato soup line they were out of tomato soup. But wait! They are getting more! It was a cold wait under the gazebo. Don had dashed to the line ahead of Gabrielle and I and got the last of the tomato soup (not enough to share). I really wanted that soup, so we waited at least 15 minutes for more soup.
An apology was sent out the next day. They used the same algorithm this year as they did last year, but did not factor in that the weather was much colder this year. I suppose the fast runners took more than they did last year, leaving the rest of us without soup (and clueless that they did). When the truck returned with more soup we were told to only have half a cup. I was only fourth in line and had no troubles getting soup, but the line was mighty long. My friend Kim said they gave up on the wait.
This year they sold out at 525 spaces. A hearty 399 finished the race (not sure if others started and DNF'd). There were even a few people cheering on the runners. They had the toughest job of the day.
As for next year, I do like the race. It was cheap (only $20 with early registration). Nice mug at the end. As with all races -- very dependent on the weather. I'll have to think about this one.