The Sunburst Races were on Saturday in the beautiful town of South Bend, Indiana. Although this race has become a bit of a tradition, this year has certainly been a bit “non-traditional” for me and the family. Yet, I’m happy to say that I was still able to participate! I drove in the morning of the race and it’s about a 1.5 hour drive from most of Chicagoland.
Traffic was light and the wait to get into the FREE parking garage went quickly. I utilized race day packet pick-up with none too much time to spare, dropped my shirt back in the car, hit the port-o-potties
which didn’t have too long of a wait, and managed to get to the start about 30 seconds before the gun went off. Yes, my time management skills are in overdrive these days because I honestly don’t have a minute to spare!
And we were off! I ran to catch up with my friend Kasey to hang with her for a few miles. We chatted. We complained that it was hot. I acknowledged that I was over dressed in capris and tall socks. I slowed down
to a crawl. I wasn’t much in the mood to “run” and that’s just kinda how I’ve been feeling lately. I’m not hurt although my Plantar Fasciitis will probably NEVER go away. I’m just overwhelmed and emotional and that really takes a toll on my body. Plus I’m an emotional eater and drinker and well, I’d rather have a beer and eat ALL.THE.FOOD. after work than actually slug out a nasty workout. So let it suffice to say that I’m not in great shape right now and my cute clothes don’t fit I just feel sluggish and tired. So I wasn’t looking to “kill” this half but just try to enjoy the atmosphere and give thanks that I’m able to run even if I don’t feel like it.
My “not so fast” attitude also allowed plenty of time for photos and making new friends! The 2014 course was changed in several areas to account for the construction in the Notre Dame Stadium which negated our normal finish on the infield. I know this was upsetting to many but I liked the addition of a long out and back on a very shaded road in miles 5 & 6. I was able to see all my friends in front and behind me!! What I didn’t love about the new course was that it passed a sewage plant 2x in the 6th mile and with the 80 degree temps the odor was a bit overwhelming. So I was happy at mile 7 when we put the stink behind us!
The last half of the course boasts several miles by the river on the riverfront path. This is one of my favorite parts of the course. We get some shade from the trees and it’s a very scenic run.
Then after the river, as soon as it starts to really heat up, we head into a subdivision with amazing residents who put out their sprinklers and shower us with their water hoses. Such a treat on a hot day. The people of South Bend really get behind the Sunburst Races and support the event by running/walking, volunteering or supporting the runners in some way shape or form.
The race is well organized offering a 5K run, 10K, half marathon and full marathon, plus a family 5K walk. There were aid stations and port-o-potties every 1.5-2 miles. They were well spaced, even considering the heat. I also saw several people collapse in the heat and bike medics were busy chasing those call as quickly as they were able. There are a few hills in this course but nothing crazy. Plus lots of trails and shaded roads to help with the heat.
Overall, I think this is a great race. I understand that there were few “hiccups” this year due to construction and need to reroute the course but I’ll still be back for 2015 and I hope to see YOU there as well.
One more half marathon in the DONE column!
** Run South Bend ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **