* Running in the rain stinks. I really really really don't like it. Wet, squishy running shoes are just no fun, and if my podiatrist knew I was getting my $300 custom-made inserts wet, he'd be more than just a bit annoyed.
* There are parts of the city that don't get as much respect and tender loving care as they should. I'm talking about the near South Side. I was pleased that several miles of this 9.3-mile trek included some of the more neglected neighborhoods of Syracuse. Running here is a white-dominated sport, and by running through the predominantly African-American side of town perhaps a few residents got inspired to try out the sport.
* Pit bulls are scary, especially unaccompanied pit bulls. At Midland and Bellevue a seemingly innocent black pit bull kept sniffing around the side of the building. Once the nearby police officer saw the dog, he tried to shoo it away. The dog provided enough incentive to run faster for a bit and he remained harmless, but I just don't trust the breed.
* Syracuse hills are among the toughest I have ever run up, and then down. It's the long, low-grade gentle ones that really get to me, and this course had plenty of them. By mile 6 my quads were feeling some pain; the good news: the distraction kept me from even thinking about my foot.
* I would say that this course is more challenging than the legendary Mountain Goat. The local running gods may strike me dead, but several of my friends agreed that it is so. All the same, I still beat my goal by nearly 2 minutes.
|Jess Novak, Carol Baldwin, Molly English-Bowers|
All in all, this is a quality event--next year I hope for better weather conditions and an even better finishing time. Oh, and race organizers: maybe it was the weather's fault, but next year you should party up the chute and finish line--pink balloons, more fanfare. Just sayin'.