Look at these crazy kids jumping around! Oh wait, it's just Raisin Bread doing the jumping.
After dinner and more hanging out, we completed the remainder of the drive to the Lehigh Valley and Raisin Bread's mother's house. We didn't make it until almost midnight, which meant very little sleep before our early wake-up time.
I had my usual pre-race breakfast: water and a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Mmm...nommy!
Raisin Bread's mother offered to join us to watch us run. What a nice thing to do! We left the house around 6:45 am. The main road leading to the zoo was closed and we hit a dead end. Luckily, there was a lady jogging, who actually works for the zoo, and she gave us directions on how to get to the parking lot. Better signage would have been helpful! There were a lot of other cars behind us that did the same thing. Not fun to get lost on the way to a race.
After another 10 minutes, we finally got to the zoo and picked up our race packets. The 10K had only about 225 registrants, so our line was very quick.
We had a few minutes to kill before we had to get to the starting line. Raisin Bread saw that there were massages being given nearby, so he wandered over to see if they cost money. They were free! So we promptly got in line for a pre-race massage! So nice!
Since we were in a zoo, located in a nature preserve, there were some animals around, such as this peacock!
We had just enough time to hit the bathroom before it was time to get to the starting line. We discovered that there were lots of mosquitoes around the park at this point. Raisin Bread had a bite on his forehead and I got five bites on my legs. Boohoo!
The race quickly started and we were off. It was very crowded because the 5K and 10K both started at the same place and time. The race was mostly on pavement but there were about three spots that ventured onto trails. Here we are heading into the woods!
The weather was very nice that day. Not sunny and not humid in the 70s. It was perfect race weather for me!
Soon after the 2 mile mark, the 10K and 5K split onto different routes, which was so nice because there was so much room and no more need to weave around people. It was also at this time that we started climbing uphill along some switchbacks. Just when we thought the climbing had ended, we came to a monster hill! I couldn't run uphill anymore so I walked up the killer hill as did most people my pace. From the bottom of the hill to the top, we had gained over 320 feet! Ugh.
|Big mean hill!|
When we got to the top, we got a pretty nice view of the valley!
Around mile 4, we were greeted by these furry guys. I love bison. They are such majestic creatures although I wouldn't want to be on the other side of that fence!
After the fourth mile, it was pretty much two more miles of very fast downhill, which was amazing after such a grueling middle route. As we entered the final stretch, we re-entered the zoo grounds. I was able to spot some emus and kangaroos as we were finishing.
Raisin Bread and I sprinted to the finish and I beat him by a hair. I think he let me beat me since he's such a nice husband.
We grabbed some snacks and headed home.
My clock time was 1:12:22. The race wasn't chip timed, and we started in the back of the pack. My actual time might have been a minute or so less than the clock time.
My Nike Running app keeps crashing, so I'll update with my split times once it's working again. It doesn't look like this was a PR for me though. The route was just too tough.
Splits from my Nike Running app:
Mile 1: 10:38
Mile 2: 10:11 *fastest mile
Mile 3: 14:32 *big hill!
Mile 4: 11:55
Mile 5: 10:48
Mile 6: 10:35
Average pace: 11:27
Overall, I thought this was a great race. My only complaint was the difficulty we had finding the parking lot. Other than that, it was well-organized and well-staffed. The route was challenging, but it was scenic. I also didn't like the mozzies, but they can't help that.
Runners also had the chance to visit the zoo after the race, but we had brunch plans and didn't take advantage of that.