You can read last year's recap here.
I'll be honest and say that I wasn't mentally in the game for this race either, which also made it tough. I've never mentally quit so hard. I did finish the race but it wasn't pretty. There was a lot of hills, a lot of walking, and a lot of negotiating with myself over those 9 miles on Saturday.
Let me point out a few things first....
1. This year they changed the course to a more traditional route. The last two years I ran this race it was pretty much just an out-and-back on a mostly flat course with a big hill at the end.
2. I live in Tulsa, I train for all my races in Tulsa, and I'm not a stranger to the fact that Tulsa is hilly.
3. This is my third time to run this race.
Now, back to the course. The picture above is courtesy of the Tulsa Sports Commission. That elevation map is a little scary. The word on the street is that due to an upcoming construction event taking place along the usual route, the course was changed. I'll just say, I'm not a fan of the new course. It felt like if we weren't coming down a hill, we were going up one at all times. Not to mention the race stared at 9:00 am which is a pretty late start for a race and I noticed a lot of traffic that had to wait on runners. I will say that this course was way more scenic than previous years but you paid for it in hills.
Now here is a factor that the Tulsa run has no control over. The weather. It has been unseasonably warm here in Tulsa for a couple weeks. When the Hubbo and I pulled out of the drive way an hour before the race, it was already 69 degrees. When we got back in the car after the race, it was 85! Too hot for this Ginger who is not a hot weather runner! To put it in perspective for you, the first year I ran this race it was so cold, I wore a hat, gloves, long tights, long sleeve shirt, and a jacket the entire race! This year I wore a tank top and shorts and still overheated. If the race had started earlier, or the weather had been better, maybe this race wouldn't have been so hard. I will say that one week before this race, I ran an 18 mile training run which was very hilly as well and that seemed much easier than this race for some reason.
I am sure that I have a Tulsa Run Shirt Curse because there has been something wrong with each shirt I've received over the last three races. Every. Single. One!
The first year all the shirts were too small for everyone!
The second year I ordered mine a size larger trying to avoid the too small problem but when I noticed how big it was at the expo, they wouldn't let me trade it in for a smaller size. It was a men's shirt! Not a unisex shirt. Why do races do that even though women outnumber men at most races?
This year, I got my shirt with a big hole in it.
::Insert Sad Music Here::
The Water Stops/Post Race Food
This year, at more than one water stop, I had to stand there and wait for a volunteer to fill a cup with water so I could take it and continue walking while I drank my water.
Then when I crossed the finish line they were out of water! How in the world do you run out of water at a finish line?!?
Luckily, a volunteer had just walked over to the finish area and opened 1 case of water as I was about to exit the race and I managed to get a bottle. There were several people out on the course after I was and I really hope they had a truck load of water brought in for the people who finished after me.
Then as I'm going through the post-race food tent I was surprised to see that they had really skimped on the food this year. They had bananas cut up in to small pieces which is fine, but they had bagels they had also cut up into such small pieces that the box of bread looked like nothing but crumbs! Then they also had granola bars that they had opened and cut up into very small pieces as well. It was sort of embarrassing. This is a huge race with over 9,000 people participating and I was embarrassed to be from Tulsa and have the Tulsa Run represented that way. The Hubbo and I signed up for this race when it was first available (meaning the cheapest rate) and it was still almost $40.
I would rather skip the post-race food all together and see that money be donated to charity. I would like to say THANK YOU to all the volunteers who works so hard to provide this race for us! Races couldn't happen without people like you! Also a big shout out to the Beer Stops! Yes, stops as in plural. Towards the end of the race at two different locations there were tables set up with cold beer. I figured I needed to do something to jazz this party up so I happily obliged and drank a cup from each station. It made me forget how hot I was for a split second so it was totally worth it!