Brady Street Hill.
These three words have been on my mind over the last several months.
Those readers who live in this area and/or have done the Bix race are nodding their heads right now. For those of you who don’t live in this area, let me just explain.
Brady Street Hill is about 1/3 of mile street in Davenport, Iowa that has a 9% grade incline, according to my Google research. Let me just tell you, that this hill is BIG, and it’s the very first part of the race. Here’s a photo that I found on Google:
And this is what the street looked like on race day (photo courtesy of the Quad-Cities Times):
There were almost 19,000 people racing yesterday. That’s me, way in the back among the walkers. When I registered for the race, they asked me what I thought my finishing time would be, which I knew would probably be slow, especially with the course being as hard as it was, and so I was among the walkers. Bix rookie mistake #1: no matter how slow you run, do NOT put yourself with the walkers. It took me over 19 minutes to do the first mile, simply because I was trying to maneuver around all of the walkers. I also spent most of the race trying to maneuver around walker/joggers.
The race lived up to it’s legendary toughness. Once you got up Brady Street, the course was flat for a while, and there were spectators lined up throughout the entire course. There were various bands playing in yards, spectators were having parties – it was an atmosphere of celebration! It really kept my spirits up throughout the entire race!
Then…..more hills. Ugh. I think there were 3 or 4 total.
Overall, though, I was really pleased with how I did. Other than walking up the hills and slowing down to walk while I took a couple of water breaks, I ran at a good pace, and I finished the last mile strong. Running DOWN Brady Street was my favorite part of the race! I felt like I was flying! And when I finished the race, I felt like I wasn’t out of breath, I still had strength in my legs, and I felt like I could have gone farther. Despite all of the hills. This was really encouraging because it gave me hope that a half-marathon is really possible for me.
And guess what? Meb Keflezighi was there!
(photo courtesy of Quad-Cities Times)
I saw him as I was running. I hadn’t even reached 2 miles yet and Meb and the leader pack of runners were already coming back on the return part of the course! The winner ran the race in 33:16! Crazy, but so inspiring! I was grinning ear-to-ear when I saw Meb run by! We were all cheering the faster runners as they ran by us!
This is me before the race, proudly wearing my No Meat Athlete shirt.
And this is me after the race, proudly wearing my finisher’s medal!
My official time: 1:27:36.
There was a post-race party. I brought a Clif bar with me, just in case, and I’m so glad that I did. Other than grapes, there was nothing healthy to eat. There were bags of chips, packaged peanut butter with crackers, Ho-Ho’s, and other processed crap. No bananas. No bagels. Really disappointing. However, there was cold beer. And I drank some, and it….was…..good.
I’m already thinking about the race for next year. 🙂