The weather was perfect for running: cold and partly cloudy. The race began at Trenton’s Waterfront Park (home of the Trenton Thunder minor league baseball team). My husband drove me there and dropped me off near the stadium at 7:30 AM while he went in search of a parking spot.
The day before the race, I picked up my race bib at the Health & Fitness Expo at the New Jersey State Museum. My bib was secured and I had everything I needed in the pockets of my running hoodie, so I was ready to go!
I meandered through the organized chaos of runners who were preparing to start the half marathon race at 7:45 AM. My 10K race wasn’t scheduled to begin until 8:30 AM, so I had time to wander around and take in the scene. I saw race volunteers setting up and getting organized, people running to the starting corral, people checking their gear, long lines of runners (mostly women) waiting to use the restrooms in the stadium… There were about 2,000 participants, so the place was pretty crowded! I walked through the stadium and explored some areas in search of a good view of the first race’s start.
I followed the disembodied voice of a loud DJ who seemed to be in charge of telling the race participants what was happening. Pretty soon I figured out where the runners were lining up to begin the race, so I worked my way over to that area to get a better view. It was 7:45 AM, so I thought the race would start soon. I waited by the starting corral and searched the faces of the runners for the people I knew who were participating in the race. I didn’t see them, so I continued to wait… Time passed: ten minutes, twenty minutes, thirty minutes… This race was starting much later than anticipated! I could see the frustration on the faces of some of the runners. They were dancing in place and jumping up and down to the loud music that the DJ was playing.
The half marathon runners ended up waiting for over 45 minutes to begin the race. The DJ claimed that the delay was due to the fact that people were still closing area roads and they were waiting for the vehicles that would lead the runners through the course.
Once the half marathon began, it was time for my 10K race! The DJ claimed that we were going to start an hour after the half marathon race, so I started heading back to the stadium to find a warmer place to wait. Just as I was about to head up the stadium stairs, I heard him say, “Ok, sorry about that. The 10K race will now start in 5 minutes, so if you’re a 10K racer you need to get over here now.” So I quickly used the restroom and headed over to the starting area to wait.
Of course, 5 minutes turned into 10 minutes, then 15… Typical. We were on “Trenton Time” after all. Fortunately, the delay meant that my husband had time to find a parking spot in a nearby neighborhood and find me where I was waiting in the starting area. It was cold out there and runners were dancing just to keep themselves warm while they waited for the race to begin!
Finally, we started the race! I started a little too far back in the crowd, but I was able to move myself forward to a more suitable location by the end of mile 1. We started out on Route 29 by running through a tunnel and it screwed up my GPS readings from Endomondo a bit. Endomondo claimed I finished that mile in 6m:25s… yeah, right! The fastest I can run is about an 8m:30s mile, so this reading was way off! Once I got through the tunnels, though, the GPS issues seemed to be worked out and the rest of my mileage readings were accurate.
We continued running on Route 29, then over the Trenton Makes Bridge and into Morrisville, Pennsylvania. We ran through a few neighborhood streets in Morrisville, then over the Calhoun Street Bridge and back onto Route 29. From there, we ran back to the Waterfront Park Stadium and finished the race by running along the warning track on the baseball field and ending at home plate. It was a very interesting and scenic route! I especially liked running on the bridges because of the beautiful views!
When I got to the finish line, I looked at the clock: 01:00:48. I thought to myself, “Well, I
didn’t finish in under an hour, but at least it’s a new PR!” However, according to my chip time, I finished in 59m:19s! My goal for this race was to finish in under an hour and I was so excited to have reached my goal!
After finishing, I grabbed some water and got out my phone to stop the apps that I use to track my runs. I shut off Endomondo, Nike+, and Charity Miles and then I heard a woman saying, “Excuse me? Excuse me? When you’re done with that can I borrow it?”
I looked at her, confused for a second. “Oh, you need to borrow my phone?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied, “I just need to call my husband. He’s somewhere in the stands and I can’t find him.”
She gave me his phone number and I dialed it for her and handed her the phone. Then I shut off my bluetooth headset so she could speak to her husband. She found him and returned my phone.
After that, I saw my husband in the stands. I took a few minutes to drink some water and stretch, then I started walking up the stairs to join him.
“Excuse me,” another woman said, “Did you just drop your phone?”
I looked behind me and, sure enough, there was my phone… I rushed to pick it up and turned to her.
“Thank you so much!” I said. I was so grateful to her!
“You’re welcome,” she replied, with a look that told me she realized how horrible it can be to lose a cell phone.
First I let a stranger use my phone, and then another stranger prevents me from losing it! It truly was “instant karma”!
Once I reached my husband, I showed him my finisher’s medal and we went to the kiosks to check the official results. Since that time, I’ve looked online and it seems like the official results keep changing. My finishing time has stayed the same, but my overall, gender, and age group place keep changing. I’m not really sure why….
After that, I finally saw some of the people I knew who had participated in the half marathon portion of the race. All of them are much more experienced runners than I am, so they finished strong and seemed excited and happy with the race and their times.
Overall, this race was a lot of fun and I definitely intend to participate again next year. Only next time, I hope to compete in the half marathon portion of the race.
Here are my official race results (as of right now — the places seem to keep changing on the race timing website):