It may come as a surprise that this race was NOT on the Fourth of July. I’ve noticed quite a few races in my area are called Firecracker [enter length here]. There were at LEAST two other races that had a Firecracker name that I could have ran over the weekend or on the Fourth.
This race was on the second of the month. It happened to be a lovely hot AND humid race in Cleveland which took me over quite a few paved asphalt areas where there were no trees. Felt about 10 degrees warmer running down those stretches. It was noticeably cooler when there was shade and there wasn’t nearly enough of that for my liking!!
The course itself was pretty straightforward. Ran around areas of downtown by the lakefront. The scenery got to be quite scant towards the middle of the race, which made things very difficult with the heat basking off the blacktop. Since it was so warm I took it a lot easier than I normally did (resulted in only a 3 minute time gain off my average total for a 10k, so not bad). And on top of the heat/humidity combination I was on day 4 of a head cold. Running was surprisingly the only time I could breath properly, go figure!
Took to chatting on course with a few different people. I passed two young ladies between miles two and three who had ran a half marathon and 10k in May. It was just too hot for them, and I had to agree. Though, I knew going into my July races there was a HIGH chance weather conditions would be this crappy. Nevertheless, those two finished not too long after I did. Then I paced with someone around my age and a gentleman I wager was in college. This was from about mile three to the end of the race. I ended up passing both of them in the final half mile. Though they both gave quite a good fight right up to the end, we kept hop frogging each other and I was 75% sure they would both finish before me.
The race ran out of water shortly after I finished. I feel bad for those who came in after me. I’ve never understood why people feel the need to take multiple bottles of water while there are still others finishing.
But overall, the race was a challenge. I don’t particularly care to race in downtown Cleveland, but this wasn’t too bad at all! Weather and health conditions aside. I would consider doing it again if I were in the area. There aren’t too many 10k in the area and I would like to improve about my 1 hour 18 minute finish.