Monday, May 18, 2009

Jenks Aquarium Half Marathon

Last Saturday was the Jenks Aquarium 5K and Half Marathon. I entered the Half and Julie did the 5K. She was doing her first back to back weekend 5K's and I was doing a half three weeks out from the OKC Marathon. I wanted to break 1:30, but had no idea on how my legs would hold up. Here is the blurry start.
I started up front, but I had no idea who was running what until we got to the 5K turnaround and could see who was in the Half. Once that happened, I knew I had some good competition. Ryan Ripley was in the Half and he had just won the Full Moon 5K last weekend. I started out the first mile at 6:38 and then kind of lost track of where I was at. Once again my complaint at Fleet Feet timed events, poor marking for splits or no split callers. We turned around at 81st street and I could see who was behind me and how far. It looked to me like a lot of people were close. I headed back to the Jenks bridge and once on the pedestrian bridge, I could see how close people were again. I had dropped some, but others were still there. I started on the lonely stretch on the Riverside trail. I finally saw a mile marker again at mile 7 and I could maybe time the next mile and see how fast I was going. I have got to get a Garmin! There was a mile marker at 8 and I was going just under 7 minute miles. We turned around at the 71st street bridge and I could see how others were doing. I felt pretty good and picked up the next mile marker at mile 10. I ran the next mile at about 6:50. I still felt pretty good and made it back to the pedestrian bridge and headed for home. As turned the corner I had an eerie feeling that someone was right behind me. As we went under the bridge, he passed me. I told him to go on as I didn't have anything left. He said, "lets go" and I said, "up yours". I finished in 8th and did a 1:29:37, a new PR. I was very happy and glad to be done.
Unfortunately, this year they cheapened the run up. My kids were in line with us for food and only Julie and I could get food. No big deal, as they did not run, but they are used to smorgasbords at Ultras. Next, only the runners could get into the Aquarium for free. When I did it two years ago, everyone got in for free. Then they ran out of finisher medals. I got mine, others did not. Then they announced that someone had tried to steal the finisher medals. What? It seemed that they were pretty unorganized this year and we may not run it next year. It is too bad as it is something that the kids had looked forward to, but we could not enjoy the full benefits of. I could have paid to get them in, but it is pretty pricey and we are heading back home to Illinois this weekend to visit my mom. So, above and below are the shots you get of the Aquarium. Will did not get very many shots of the run either, so this it. Have a great week!


Anonymous said...

I have heard more bad things about the Aquarium run than good things. Sounds like FF timing needs an overhaul.

Bobby said...

I too have heard a lot of complaints about this and other recent races. As Rick Wells would say "Hey, what's the deal?"

I am still waiting for my OKC finisher's medal that I and several others didn't get. I paid well in advance and they put a limit on the number of entrants. You would think the number of entrants would equal the number of medals. Who snuck off with mine?

tomdog said...

It's kind of ironic that both events were done by Fleet Feet. I have nothing personal against them, but this does not look good. I really struggled to see the mile markers or the K marks. This would have helped me out a lot. I was really disappointed for the kids and the Aquarium, but such is life. I appreciate the chip timing, but that is only a part of the whole race. Thanks for cheering me on for several spots on the race course. That always picks up my spirits in a race!