For the past 4 years I have trained for the Bellin 10k with my son through and the Luxemburg-Casco youth program lead by Coach Fred Kramer. This race truly is a full circle event for me as I used to watch my dad train for the Bellin many years ago. Running is a family affair for us and I am proud of my son for joining our ranks of road warriors.
Our training runs began in early April and continued through June. Twice a week a group of kids grades 3-6 would gather to stretch, run, and most of all have a good time. It has been a pleasure to be part of such an amazing group of young athletes.
In the past the weather has typically been warm for race day, but this year was a bit more concerning as early predictions estimated high 80’s. I was impressed with how the crew handled the impending weather. Friday evening every racer received and email offering them the option to defer their entry until 2017. In discussing this option with my son and dad (who was joining us again this year) we all opted to run in 2016. We knew that the heat would be a factor in our pace and were prepared to take it easy to accommodate for the hot temps. The Luxemburg-Casco training program ends at 6th grade and this was going to be the last year my son was eligible, plus he wanted to run with his training partners. The night before we hydrated and rested, knowing that the next day was going to be a battle.
Race morning is always nerve racking regardless of the distance. We had picked up our race packets the night before which helped to reduce our stress. The Bellin is one of the largest 10k races in the US…so as you can imagine parking is a zoo. We were lucky to get about 5 blocks away from the start. After finishing up our prep we walked to the start village. There were so many people that we were not able to get into our coral and had to wait outside of the gates until the event had started. One of the awesome, unique features of the Bellin is the saxophone solo of the Star Spangled Banner which is played to kick off the event.
The Bellin began on time at 8am, however with close to 17,000 runners we did not get to the start line until 8:30am. When I say that the starting village is a zoo I am not blowing this out of proportion…it is crazy. The 1st year we ran together the chaos freaked my son out. Being that it was his 4th race it did not phase him. Before we knew it we were off.
The heat became a factor immediately. I could tell that Chas was overheating. Today I was not a runner, I was a mom. I quickly realized that if we were going to finish this in one piece we were going to need to slow our pace and keep as cool as possible. Knowing the course well came in handy. Being that I have run it so many times I knew where the shaded areas would be and which stretches were going to be tough.
Kudos to the race crew. The water stations were plentiful and well stocked which included ice, cooling stations set up on the long shadeless stretches, drop out buses along the course, and EMTs that circulated throughout the day on bikes. They were prepared and it was appreciated.
We zig-zagged throughout the streets to run through all the sprinklers and also stay in the shade. One of the coolest parts of this event are the spectators that come out to support the runners. Knowing that it was going to be a hot day many had taken out their hoses and were doing their best to keep us cool. There were also individuals who had music playing.
As for the course it is relatively flat. There is one hill, but to be honest I love it. When you are at the top you get to see the mass number of runners who participate…it is amazing!
The swag for this year’s event was top notch. Being that it was the 40th year not only did we get an awesome technical t-shirt, but also a beautiful medal. As always the volunteers and crowd support was exceptional. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the race crew, they put on a well organized event from the expo to the after party.
There truly is no greater joy than being able to run with my dad and my son. Even with the heat and the slower pace – we laughed, smiled, and finished…a family that runs together, has fun together. Until next year!
#BeHappy #BeKind #BeActive
Gear Used at the Bellin 10k:
- FitSok F4 Tech Socks – My feet stayed dry, cool, and blister free even though it was super hot out and I was sweating a ton!
- Trail Toes Cream – To further ensure I did not get blisters I lubed up extra good. This stuff is amazing…seriously, get some if you have issues with blistering or chaffing.
- Oiselle – Roga shorts.
- Skora Tempos – The mesh fabric was a winner today! My feet did not get hot, unlike the rest of me!
- Garmin Fenix 3 – With the heat we needed to stay slow and steady. Having data made that possible.
- Sunglasses – These were CHEAP, but they do the trick and keep the sun out of my eyes.