Last Saturday was the 2012 Steamboat Classic, which has the toughest 15K in Illinois that I was not able to run due to my injury. I had been doing Team Steam training for this race specifically twice a week, driving over after work for practice. I was so ready to improve on my PR with this course and hopefully improve my placing in this race (16th and 18th in previous years). I was hopeful the extra training on the course would help with the punishing hill climb this race is known for. Instead I think coming off of Boston and then IL Marathon less than two weeks later took its toll on me. I didn’t recover from my races and then added new hill training on top of it.
Since I’m half way through my recovery process I would be on the sidelines cheering Rob, Drew and everyone else on. Saturday morning it was a bit overcast and breezy, but quite humid. It would be a thick warm morning to race.
We found Drew and took some time to take pictures by the river before they headed out for their warm up.
I did have thoughts of, I could do this race. It would be painful, but I could do it. Luckily I left my chip at home so that thought couldn’t be entertained further. And I did know better, I’m still sore standing and sitting, there is no way running would be a good idea.
I found a spot to spectate from and anxiously awaited the start. I enjoyed seeing so many of our friends out at this local race. Often Running was in full effect with what looked like most of everyone on the team, looking great and ready to race. It was awesome to get to cheer them on. Plus I saw people from our Team Steam group, Lake Run Club and others. It was so great to wish everyone well and have so many people ask how I was doing with my recovery.
Before I knew it they were off. The 15K and 4 Mile start together so it’s a sea of people for the first two miles before the courses split apart.
As a spectator it was in no time (just 17 minutes) and the elites were back from the 4 Mile. I loved cheering everyone on. My hands were sore from clapping the whole time and I try to vary my statements to keep it interesting. I’m standing at the 400M to go sign so this is when people need to focus on pushing through pain and get there so I try to say more funny/encouraging stuff, something like:
Great smiles! If you can smile, you can run faster!!
This is what you came for, focus on that finish!
We know it hurts, and you do it anyway, keep going!!
Let’s get this one done, you’re stronger for doing this!
Everything you got, you can rest the rest of today!
So if you ran this race and some annoying woman was yelling at you before the downhill, that was me.
I loved watching the race, people of every pace pushing themselves, tired, frustrated, happy, hurting, all of it shows on their faces and they all keep going.
Some pictures of Rob starting the first loop of the big hill (this course does two loops in Peoria’s Glenn Oak Park, so you get to do the big hill twice).
And coming down the hill.
Rob finished in 1:08:48.
And Drew finishing.
This year they did a technical shirt than a cotton t-shirt, I thought that was a nice change. The medal changed again this year. I miss the old steamboat wheel from 2010 and earlier, 2011 was a painted image on a medal. This year was a medal that you insert your chip into. We have never seen a medal like this so it was unique, but for this race I kinda missed the old iconic medal of 2010.
Congrats to Rob, Drew, ORRT, Team Steam, Lake Run Club, and everyone that raced!! I was proud to see everyone out there working hard and I can’t wait to get back into racing too!