|My running buddy for the second half of the race-loved running with her!|
The aid stations were well-prepared with water, Powerade, and Hammer gels and spaced pretty evenly along the course. The course was also well-marked at each mile. Packet pickup was easy to navigate. I finished in 2:34:06! I was really pleased with that time since this was part of a training run. That's where the good parts end.
|Ruben Studdard and I pre-race|
|Lululemon cheerleaders at the halfway point|
|I may not wear Lululemon but I do love their signs that they hold during races|
Well, the race was supposed to start at 8 and didn't start until 8:30. Not a huge deal but when you dress for a certain temperature range and then the start time shifts so does the temperature during the race. There was a 17 degree jump from start to finish.
Perhaps I'm spoiled from the other races I've done this year but there were no split times along the course. I had my watch so it wasn't a big deal for me but it would have been nice to have.
In addition to the cobblestone sections of street pictured below there were more parts than not that had uneven pavement and nearly all the streets desperately needed resurfacing which made running very interesting.
|this reminded me of downtown Charleston and although I love cobblestone streets they aren't the best for running|
The course is in downtown Birmingham and basically runs you through the sections of Birmingham you should never drive through at nighttime. Even with cops all over the course there were sections that I didn't feel comfortable in at all and I did my best to tune out the comments of the people along the side of the road.
Honestly the course it ugly. There's no nice way to dress it up. It was depressing and it breaks my heart to think about how many cities across the country have sections of their downtown areas that are like this-once thriving and now dying. **This is not to say anything negative about all of Birmingham. Allan was born and raised there. I was raised in Montgomery and our downtown area has greatly improved but there are still sections that are rundown and filled with empty, old buildings. I am merely pointing out that this is not an ideal area for a race course.**
Last but not least let me comment on the girls working the entrance to packet pickup that took down my name and handed me my post-it to take to the tables where I actually got to pick up my packet. When I ask you where the race starts try saying "I don't know" instead of saying "somewhere really close to here" and don't roll your eyes at me.
|one of the "lovely" tunnels we ran through|
|Although I was excited to see "You Are Beautiful" spray painted on the building it was heartbreaking to see all the old, abandoned buildings in downtown Birmingham|
|this tunnel scared me!|
Needless to say I'm glad this Triple Crown series is over. Talladega is one I'll never run again and the only way I'm running this one again is if Allan runs with me and stays with me during the race. The likelihood of me running Life Without Limits in Florence is 50/50 since that bridge still haunts my dreams. I can't say I'd recommend this one to anybody.
Have you had a race that you struggled to say anything nice about?
Did you go back and run it again anyway?