Monday, February 6, 2012

Frostbite 13.1 Half Marathon Race Review

Race Review by Maureen Bowen, official member of Fifty States HALF Marathon Club:

Review - Frostbite 13.1 (St Louis Missouri 1/21/12)
The race is operated by the St Louis Track Club and I believe is truly a warm-up for the spring marathons. I needed another state with a low cost race and this fit the bill (easy in/out to STL and 15 bucks for the race). The race had 421 finishers for the 1/2 and also had a 4 mile run (over 400 people) as well.

The weather DID NOT cooperate for this race as there was freezing rain on Friday night with cold temperatures through mid-day Saturday. The course was located in Forest Park (site of Worlds Fair) and is a beautiful area. However, there were at least 2 major issues with this race. 1) The streets and sidewalks were covered in ice at race time 2) According to race directors, they are not allowed to stop traffic for this race through the park. Add both of those up and you have a recipe for disaster. But as most of you would agree, if everyone else can run in it, why can't I suck it up. I had already flown there from Raleigh.

Shotgun start - everyone is trying to figure out how to run on the ice (some not successfully) but there is little to no traffic at 9am and all the volunteers are out and about. This is going to be hard, but I can do this... then at MILE 3 - BAM! I AM HIT BY A CAR going about 5 miles an hour from behind. (NO JOKE) The older man got out of his car and was visibly shaken - I assured him I was okay and sent him back to his car. The volunteer asked if I needed him to call the race director and I said no - and then decided I needed to finish the race. I walked for about the next 2 miles - more emotionally upset than physically injured - flinching each time I slipped on the ice or a car passed by. It was not good. Did I mention that my 2:58 finishing time was the 5th slowest of the race?! 1 water stop at mile 2/7 (loop) in front of the visitors building. I saw NO on course support after mile 8. The timing belt was still up. I did go into the administration building after the race and announce that I was the one hit by the car. They were very concerned about me and couldn't believe that I finished. (PS - No medals or shirts for 13.1 race)

Their website now posts an apology for having such bad conditions...

They were nice - the course would be nice if the weather was better, but the weather and the CAR TRAFFIC would make me say no to this race unless you live in St Louis and can make that determination at the last minute.

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