09 October 2013

Race Recap: Fort4Fitness 4-Miler

This is the race I've basically been training all summer for. And it finally happened. And it was just as awesome I was hoping!

The race was back on September 28, but right after it happened we drove up to South Bend for the Notre Dame football game, then a few days later we headed off on a multi-state adventure. We're busy people!

I was looking forward to this race because I'd heard a lot a talk about it around town. There were actually FIVE different races as part of the event, but I chose the 4-mile race because I'm not quite ready for (or even sure I want to attempt) a 10K. There was also a half-marathon, but that's not even on my radar--I only get 2 hours of child-watch per day at the Y, so it's not even feasible.
A picture of the finish line I took the day before at packet pick-up
When I signed up for the race, I was asked my pace since they did corral starts. I put down a 9:30 pace, and noticed that my bib told me to go to Corral C. I figured the corrals were just big or something, because that pace isn't very fast. I got the corrals, and saw N and O at the back of the line. Seriously, I was right up front! Corral A was wheelchairs, so I was actually in the second corral! (I guess it technically was a Run/Walk, and I suppose there were a lot of walkers?) They did a little opening ceremony with a gal singing the national anthem, some minister did a prayer, and we had a countdown a canon-fire start. Then we were off!
Running through downtown Fort Wayne--fall colors starting to emerge!
The race had a pretty cool route. We raced a bit through downtown Fort Wayne, then through some old neighborhoods, then finished at our minor league baseball stadium. We ran the outfield, then down the first-base line and finished on home plate (although it was covered).
Yep, running through the dirt of the outfield!
We got lots of cool swag, the best being a Vera Bradley market tote, a more mesh-y t-shirt (although mine is ill-fitting), and FREE digital pictures!! They had a handful of photographers, too, so I got some good ones!

There was a lot of energy at this race, and a lot of community involvement. There were 2 drink stations on the route, and a lot of people just outside their houses cheering for us. This was also the first race where I've ever seen ads specifically put up for the runners. It was mostly banners for other races in the coming months, but I thought that was sorta neat. My favorite on-the-route thing, though, was the decorated streets! A few of the neighborhoods chalked some motivational messages for us to run over. Most were around the 3-mile mark, which is where we definitely needed it.
My favorite picture of me running EVER! Also how neat is it that our names were on our bibs?
I ran the whole race sans music. Mostly I listened to the pitter-patter of everyone else's feet (which was actually very cool to hear), but I also got to hear what I assume was a dad/daughter pair behind me. The dad was doing a really good job motivating the girl, and it was helping me out as well! They were right behind me for at least 2 miles but I lost them at a water stop I think. I never did get a good look at the girl, but thanks Dad!
I sprint my finishes. Can you tell?
The best part of this race, however, was finishing it! The whole point of this thing was to just get more people into fitness around here, so they did darn near everything to make you feel like a queen for accomplishing it. And hey, 4 miles is actually the longest race I've ever done, so I was okay with that! As I came down that stretch toward the finish, the baseball announcer said MY NAME over the PA system! And he said it in the style of a baseball announcer. It was cool! I also had signed B up to get a text when I finished (he stayed home again), and that was nice because I also could see my time (it was a second or two off, but still).

So yes yes, I should tell you my time, pace, and place, shouldn't I?
My time for this 4-mile race was 37:16. My goal was to be under 38, so I was very very happy with this! That's a pace of 9:19, which is way under what I was doing in practice runs. (I'm still convinced that races mark the courses short.)

My standings: I came in 293rd place overall out of just over 3600 runners! And I came in 18th in my division out of 286! I'm quite pleased.
Tough, but fun. Maybe I'll do it again next year?


  1. woooo hoooo super fast! and great stride!

  2. I LOVE these pictures of you! How fun that they were for free to download! The prices of race pictures always throws me for a LOOP! AND: awesome swag bag!

  3. Congratulations on your run! The pics are awesome too! :D I'm proud of you for going out there and doing your goal race and finishing in your goal time too! :) Very inspiring :)