A few months ago a friend of mine asked me to do the Rock the Crossroads 5K in downtown Kansas City. I actually did this race last year and it was pretty fun so I said yes. They have a live band in an actual concert type venue after the race. It's usually a local band, but they are pretty good. You also get pretty amazing swag for a 5K with a very nice t-shirt and medal. The race is in the "Crossroads" District of Kansas City which is kind of an art District. There is lots of fun graffiti everywhere.
|Some of the graffiti in the Crossroads District|
So now for the heat. This is an evening race so it's truly in the heat of the day. It starts at 7:30 before the sun goes down. And this Saturday we had "Out hottest day of the Summer so far" according to the local weatherman. Oh goodie. We've actually lucked out in Kansas City so far this Summer. Normally we would have seen many days in the 90s and even 100s but it's been a pretty mild Summer so far with only a couple of days in the 90s.
I looked up the temperature before the race. 90 degrees....and feels like temperature of 95 with the scorching humidity. The sun was still shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It was going to be HOT for sure. On top of it all this course is pretty darn hilly. Pretty much the entire 2nd mile is uphill....or at least it seems like that anyway.
I got to the race pretty early because I still needed to pick up my packet. It didn't take long and then Jim (who was sitting this one out) and I tried to find a place to hang out while I waited on my friend. Almost everyone was crowded in this tiny alley trying to get some shade. We were there for a bit, but then found a spot on the steps around the building that was shaded by another building.
.Hiding in the shade before the race start
So what do I do....kill it during mile one. Of course. The race starts and I just start running. I am dying already and can tell I'm going way too fast. I'm sweating and I'm hot already and I am absolutely parched within the first half mile. My friend Christa asks "what's our pace" 9:45 I say - and she says "oh that's good, this feels ok, let's just keep that the rest of the time".....I know that's not going to happen - 9:50 pace is my 5K PR....
Anyway, she gets a bit ahead of me and looks back to see where I am and I wave her on. I know I will keep slowing down and I do. I settle in to a more comfortable pace and then the giant hill comes. I start running up it but it is kicking my butt and I stopped to walk for a few seconds. I was amazed at how many people were walking this portion. The heat was really getting to everyone. I think my second mile was around 11 something.
We finally get through mile two and mile 3 isn't too bad. Some small inclines but nothing like you have in mile 2. But at this point the heat is baking me and everyone else. I've never seen so many people walking. I'm not speedy by any means but at this point I'm still averaging in the upper 10s and most people who run that pace are still runners....I rarely see people walking in other 5ks. My third mile is a 10 something. I haven't downloaded my Garmin data yet. I finally see the finish line and pick up my pace again.
I crossed in 32:58, a 10:38 pace. This wasn't my fastest or slowest 5K time. But in the heat, I would take it for sure! I ended up 20th in my Age Group out of 64 and 445 out of 914 overall, which honestly is pretty good for me. Apparently the heat got a lot of people.
After the race I grabbed my medal and two bottles of water. One to pour over me and one to drink :)
|Post race with our medals...HOT!!!|
What's the hottest race you've ever done??