Sunday, September 1, 2013
Race Review: Buffalo Grove Stampede 10K (or, why races should start at 7am)
I arrived in Buffalo Grove and managed to find a parking spot in one of their designated parking locations. Thankfully, I did not have to park at the movie theater and take the shuttle bus to the starting line. I couldn't imagine the smell on the ride back on one of those school buses!
The registration area was pretty easy to figure out -- I picked up my packet without issue, but then over the loudspeaker came the announcement that they placed the B-Tags on the bibs in the incorrect orientation and we would have to turn the bibs sideways. Not a big deal, but I had just pinned on my bib when I had to take it off and re-pin it!
I found the Oak Park Runners Club participants and joined up with them pre-race to chat. Side note: I am very happy that I have now met several members. It's nice to have some folks to chat with before and after the races!
Now, as to the race itself. I'll start with the positives. The course was lovely. I was a little worried when I read the disclaimer that 60% of the 10K course was a crushed gravel trail, since I had never run trail before, but it ended up being totally fine, and actually better on my joints. Once we got back to asphalt after going through the trail, my knees were like "Nooooo!"
The trail bit was very pretty -- through a forest preserve and down along the banks of a creek (it was so hot I considered jumping in!)
And that brings me to the negatives. This obviously was no fault of the organizers, but it was blazingly hot. By starting time, it was over 80 degrees with over 60% humidity. The sun was just beating down in a cloudless sky and the course was literally shadeless. By the time I finished, it was 90 degrees outside.
One thing that could have been done about this is the race start time. When I checked the weather forecast for Sunday, I was expecting a race start time temperature of about 70 degrees. Wrong-o. First of all, the 5K started at 8:00am. The 10K, however, started at 8:22am. In my opinion, that is just an incredibly late start, particularly for a 10K. Starting a 10K at nearly 8:30am on a weekend that still is usually warm in Chicago seems nuts to me. This may just be a personal opinion, but races should always start at 7:00am or earlier, no matter the season.
I was displaying symptoms of heat exhaustion by Mile 4. My goose bumps were out of control, and my body depleted itself of fluid so rapidly that I literally had stopped sweating. I had hydrated myself a ton the day prior and the morning of the race, but I had no more fluid to even sweat out. As soon as I crossed in a fairly the finish time, in a time that was quite disappointing to me if I'm being honest, I had to run for the shade and sit down. As soon as I did, I thought I would faint. I hope that the 76-year-old man that crossed the finish with me then nearly collapsed is OK.
Obviously I'm fine now, but it was a very tough race for me. I would love to do it again next year, but maybe I'll do the 5K instead. Hopefully things will cool off before my long-awaited and long-anticipated Run For Your Lives race in three weeks! I'd be so mad if I overheated and had a miserable time at that event since I have been looking forward to it for so long.
But on to the next, each race is a learning experience, and I certainly learned from this one!
Buffalo Gove Stampede 10K
September 1, 2013
Buffalo Grove, IL