The Leprechaun Chase was held this past Saturday and was the March race of the month for Runner's World magazine. A fact that you could hear any number of times as the event. ;) This was my first time running or attending the race. Also this was only my second 10k race. Lets just say that I did NOT PR...
I really liked this race, I thought it was fun and really well run. My two daughters and I were in and out at the packet pick-up. There was even a greeter at the door to answer any questions. My girls snagged a trail mix sample so all was good (well until it was discovered that there was an odd number of M&Ms in their sample...). The race shirts were cute and sized correctly.
On race day we had no problem with parking and walking to the event. Runners were advised to carpool and allow 45 minutes to get parked and over to the event location, but we didn't need close to that time. The event was held at the Air and Space Museum in Ashland next to Mahoney State park. I think the location was perfect! There was enough space to move around and there were enough indoor restrooms for the size of the crowd. I waited in line for 5 minutes around the peak for bathroom use. So not bad at all! Also, the museum is a great place to explore for kids and any other spectators.
I think the race started on time. It seemed to go smoothly, my chief complaint is that you are indoors before crossing the timing mats so it is hard to link your GPS devices before you get going. The guys start 5 minutes after the ladies and then it is pretty much race on. I pictured it being a bit more crazy than it was, but there were still plenty of guys cutting other runners off to get to the front. After the initial cross country bit there was a stretch where the lads had their own lane to race in to get ahead of the slower runners. That definitely helped to keep things more friendly.
Personally, I thought the drink stations were just where I needed them. Each and every time I really wanted to walk to help out my right calf, a water station popped up! I walked through the water stations and was able to hydrate and stretch that calf at the same time. I liked most of the course, but I don't think anyone likes running in a bunch of parking lot loops and there was some of that.
I ran about 3.5 minutes slower on this 10k than my first one in September. I am fine with that, this course is not flat and my first one is super flat. Also, my training runs have not been going well so I actually think this race went a lot better pace-wise than it could have. I was glad to be finished! Runners were given cold water and a kozy (is that spelled right?) after they cleared the finishing chute area. David found me right away and we quickly claimed my free diet Pepsi (also ice cold!). Whole Foods also had some post-race snacks available. I think there might have been beer available too? ;)
Overall, I think this race was really well organized and a lot of fun. My only other issue is that the pace posted in the results is based on your gun start time and not chip time. My posted pace is nearly a minute slower than my actual running-pace. So, that was crushing to my ego! ;)