Sunday, November 9, 2014

Screaming Pumpkin - Saturday October 25, 2014 5:50 p.m. - Peoria, IL

Last two years I have done this race it has been super cold, like bitter, but this year I could wear shorts and by the end of the race I was too warm because I was giving it my all. Perfect running weather for an October night!

This race takes place in Lower Glen Oak Park, in Peoria, IL.  You run through Springdale Cemetary.  It is the hilliest course I've ever ran in my life.  Here is the WEBSITE that tells you all about it.  Here are results if you care:  Full results!

There was a costume contest.  Both Jason and I participated, but at his request there are no pictures of his costume because he absolutely HATES to dress up.  He really doesn't even like Halloween, yet I love it.  Anyway, I dressed as the Bearded lady from the circus and won 3rd place.  However the prize was tickets to a hockey game in Peoria on Sunday, November 9th, which is today.  So I advertised them on facebook to see who would want them and found someone that lives in Peoria that was super excited to go to that game and I mailed them my tickets.

The race started about 3 minutes after they advertised it would so that was at about 5:53p.m.  I ran as fast as I could until the first long steep hill.  Hills just zap me.  I practice them all the time, seriously.  I run hilly routes on purpose so that flat routes will be easy for me, but then I get to hills in a race and don't do well.

Two years ago I ran this race for the first time but because I went off the course and fell in a ditch, I sprained my ankle.  I should have stopped at that point and waited for medical to arrive, then.  Instead my friend that I was with insisted I walk on it and then try and run.  I did that and I only ended up running because I was finishing faster and getting the pain over with.  It was a super painful night which ended up costing me over a year of therapy on the ankle, a boot, crutches and lots of pain.  My lesson I learned is "Never go off the course".  Anyway that final time that year was 1:37:01.  I walked so much of that course and took a long break when initially getting hurt..  The next year in 2013 I ran with my husband and good friends Lisa and Kyle.  We ran most of it, but goofed off so much of that race.  Our time was 1:36:58.

This year I took the race seriously.  Jason and I were both trying to have a great race time.  My PR for a Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles) was set in Columbus, Ohio the first Saturday of May in 2013.  I was still having significant ankle pain, but was able to run for the most part without pain.  That record was 1:12:15 and was set on a totally flat course.  I was determined to beat that this year, even though this course was extremely hilly, I am very healthy this year and no longer suffer from ankle pain.  So I thought, hilly or not, I'm beating that time.  Sure enough I did.  My chip time was 1;08:40.  I knew I could do even better than this, however with running a 5K that morning and having a side cramp for most of this race, I'll take just a 3:35 minute PR.  I know now that had this been a flat course I could have really killed it because in my last half marathon, I hit the 6.55 point at 1:02 something, so I have it in me for another major PR at some point!   Jason and I ran together until mile 5 when I told him to just go.  He finished in an amazing 1:05:24 for this hilly course.  So a PR for both of us.

Good things about this race:
The finishing medal is awesome!  One of my most favorite finishing medals.
The bib for your scrapbook is nice.
It was chip timed by a company that does immediate finishing results.  Basically they are posting your results before you even have a chance to look them up.  Cool!
Amazing food after the race.
Unique race.  How many races do you know are at night running through a cemetary?
Extremely organized
Medical help on the course.
amazing true to size dri fit long sleeve shirt.
costume contest

Not so great things about this race:
That course is the hilliest, craziest course ever. (If you despise hills, then don't even sign up wimp.)
It's dark and the course has some places that you could trip and fall, so make sure you have a light on your body that you can see the ground at all times.
Lots of course debree like pinecones, rocks,hedge apples, lots and lots of leaves that can be slippery if wet, potholes, broken cement and much more.
Only one water station and you hit that twice, but I felt like there should have been something like at mile 2.5 or 3.  Not sure how those marathoners on this course do with lack of water, but hopefully okay.

I have a few pictures:

Before the race.

Another before the race with the giant cat.

Amazing finishing medal.

The dri fit long sleeve shirt that is awesome!

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