This past weekend I ran the Hershey 10K race. I was looking forward to this weekend for so long but as you recall, I hadn't been feeling well lately so was worried about how the race was going to go.
Packet pick up for this race was available the day of the race and the day before. If you picked up the day before, you had to go to the arena which is located to the left of the entrance to Hershey Park. It actually took us a while to find this. The "expo" wasn't really a big deal but there were a few local running stores there and a some vendors so if you needed some GU or a water bottle, etc, you were covered.
When I got up on race day the weather app said it was cooler than what I expected so once again I wimped out and decided to forego the colorful running pants and slipped on my comfy fleece lined tights. I also wore a thin long sleeve and my pink Reebok running jacket which was admittedly a mistake.
We stayed at the fabulous Hotel Hershey and were offered race day transportation. (Note: the two Hershey resorts are Hotel Hershey and the Hershey Lodge), the Hotel Hershey is the closest to the park, attractions, and race. We left a little after 6:45 am for a 7:30 start.
It only took us only a few minutes to arrive at the start which was at the stadium just across the highway from the hotel.
I should note that my mom came with me on race day morning to spectate. Spectators were allowed to go into the stadium to watch the runners finish. After I had already walked to the start line (which was on the other side of the stadium) my mom called me to tell me she was not allowed to go in the stadium to watch because she had her purse with her. I'm glad the security team was so diligent in doing their job but they were also letting people with strollers and diaper bags in, and she said a wheel chair went through that also had a backpack hooked to it but if you were a person without a baby, you were not allowed to take a bag in! I told her to ask if she could bag check it, but they wouldn't let her do that. She ended up having to call our driver that brought us to the race to come take her purse so she could come inside and watch. I thought this was important to note because no where on the pre-race info did it mention that spectators who wanted to go into the stadium could not have bags.
The race started just outside the the Hershey Stadium. Just like Disney, there were even Hershey characters at the start. It wasn't all that cold and I knew right away that I was over dressed. I started my Garmin and then we were ready to go.
The first two miles were around the parking lot. Since I had a chest cold, my chest was burning and heavy and I was feeling cramps in my thighs (something I've never felt before while running).
There were no mile marker flags or signs but I heard a guy next to me tell his friend that we had just completed the first mile. I looked down at my Garmin to see how I was doing and I noticed that it never started. I was bummed! I started it again and just had to remember that I was about a mile off.
It wasn't until mile 2.7 that I noticed that some of the mileage was marked on the side of the orange cones that were along the course. After exiting the parking area we ran up Hershey Park drive which is quite an incline. Around mile 3 I started picking up speed and then a lady right in front of me decided to bend over ( I don't know if she dropped something or what), I ran right into her bottom with the top of my thigh, which hurt. I did apologize even though I felt she was in the wrong. She apologized too and then moved to the side of the road.
We then ran around the shopping outlets and then entered Hershey Park at mile 4. As we ran around the park I thought that it reminded me of running at Disneyland through California Adventure. We actually got to do a lot of running through the park (which was pretty hilly).
The 7K mark was the first time I saw a mileage flag, and then again at the 9K mark. That last kilometer seemed more like a mile or so. During this last "kilometer" we exited the park and then ran to the stadium. I was hoping that we weren't going to have to run a lap around the track before crossing the finish and luckily we didn't.
We entered the stadium at the side and then I sprinted to the finish line that was located on the same side! I ended up finishing in 1:02. If it were any other 10K I would have wanted to finish under an hour but since I knew this race wasn't going to be at my best effort, I was completely okay with my finish time.
I didn't carry water with me (I should have) and from having a chest cold and doing all this running I was extremely thirsty. The first person I saw as I crossed the Finish Line was Ana. She was waiting for her sister to finish. She was so sweet as she congratulated me. We chatted for a moment about the race but I was in one of those post race hazes where all I wanted to do was find water.
I eventually found water and then they handed out these goody bags. I must say that this race had awesome swag.
The medal was awesome, the shirts was great, and the Goody bag was a lunch box filled with great treats and a race magnet which I was most excited about.
We didn't really hang out at the race and finish watching others like we usually do. We called our driver and he promptly picked us up and returned us to the Hotel so we could get ready for our day at the spa.
Although I really enjoyed being in Hershey, I have mixed feelings about the race and the hilly course (but then again it could be because I wasn't feeling well). So for that reason I don't think it is fair for me to have too strong of an opinion on this race. -M
We are linking up with the gals from TOTR.