We left home bright and early this morning, shortly after 5am to head to downtown Indy. We were fortunate enough to get there early enough that we were able to obtain street parking since the lot we'd planned to park in was designated as 500 Festival employees only. After parking, we made our way in the dark over to Military Park, where the Connection Pointe Christian Church tent was and where all the CPCC Mini Training Group were meeting up. We made a bathroom break for Rei and myself to make sure we were good and about 6:30, we headed over toward the start line on Washington Street.
The route itself runs over and through Speedway main street, then around the Indy 500 Motor Speedway track and then back to Downtown Indianapolis, ending up in Military Park. Here's a map of the route:
It was bitter cold as the 18-20mph winds whipped through the downtown buildings and the temps were in the low to mid 40's. Overall though with all the bodies packed in we were pretty good. First we headed to the Marriott hotel as a group for one last bathroom break and to hang out in the hallways in the warmth and stretch out and do last minute planning/strategies for the race. It was almost awkward as we walked through the hallways lined with other runners and feeling all the eyes watching the two of us walk through. I heard a lot of comments of "there's the dog on the news!" in reference to the interview that aired on Thursday night about 5:50pm Indiana time. For whatever reason, this has not shown up as a link online yet, so I used the camera to record and share this with you all- this is courtesy of Wish TV 8 news:
****** NOTE: If you want to play the video, you will need to go down and hit pause on the playlist down to the lower right side of this page- or you won't be able to hear the words of the video.
If you are receiving this post in an email- you'll need to go to the web page to view the video, as the videos are not posted in the emails*******
So we had about 10 minutes to make our way down to our corral, which was letter Z since we had to start at the very back. We had to really work to get through the super crowded sidewalks and Steve, who walked with min in the 15K lead off. Unfortunately, David that was our lead walker and pace setter was ill and unable to attend today, so prayers are with him for a speedy recovery!
Steve and I picked our way through the heavy crowds and suddenly found ourselves face to face with another large yellow lab that immediately went up on its rear legs lunging towards Rei and growling. So in defense, Rei responded in a similar manner and both of us immediately corrected our dogs and the spectator pulled his dog over to the side and out of our path, which I immediately got Rei to re-focus and back to work and we quickly put distance between us and the dog to get moving on toward our corral.
The race start line was located just west of West Street and as David had told us from his experience, we were just under the overhanging building of the Circle Center Arts Garden. We placed ourselves at the back and along the back rope of corral Z, but it still seemed that there were a LOT of people behind us, especially once we started working forward.
The start took a good while to get us to the start line, which you can see from this photo of the start- you see the start line at the front- I was right under that big glass semi circle way back at the back!