This past Saturday morning, I ran my first Bix 7 in Davenport, Iowa. While I knew this was a big race, I didn't know just how many participants would grace the hills of D-Port. Okay, so there were 18,000 people in this race. That's the biggest race I've ever been in; and probably the most annoying race I've ever ran!
I was feeling good at the start of the race. I consumed my trusty blueberry pancakes about two hours beforehand, and I knew that I had properly trained for the hills. I did notice, however, that my mother (she ran it too) and I were lined up toward the end of the second pace group. Not good. I also noticed that there were just three tiers, including the elites. Not cool.
We started the race and we were off hitting the first mile, which is a large hill. Loved the hill. HATED the walkers. I know 'hate' is a strong word, but GEEZ. I had TONS of walkers in front of me, blocking the runners' paths and contributing to my growing annoyance. With 18,000 participants, I soon realized that I was not going to PR. I was hoping to average an eight-minute mile, as this is a tough course full of challenging hills. I quickly discovered that I'd be lucky to average a nine-minute mile. My first mile was over 11 minutes, followed by a 10-minute second mile. Ugh. Not good.
While the crowd and volunteer (water, ice, etc.) support were excellent throughout the race, I was still pissed. Cursing under my breath, I weaved between people who woke up and just decided to participate in a seven-mile race without any training (and lined up at the start improperly). I didn't get a break until about mile five, and from there, I was able to put on some speed. While I averaged an 8:45 minute mile in the end, I had tons of energy to still expend once I finished. I did not deserve the free beer and Twinkies at the post-party!
Now, I know I may sound mean (and I'm really not an evil person), but COME ON! Is it necessary to line up in the incorrect tier and walk the first mile?!?! I think not. But...that's just me.
Although the overall weekend in D-Port was fun and relaxing, if I ever do the Bix again, I will stop and accept a supporter's invitation to partake in shots and beer. Why not? On that note, I guess I'll be back at the Bix 7 next year!