Chase Corporate Challenge 3.5M 2009

By , May 21, 2009 11:46 pm


I’ve never run such a congested race in my life. The announcer said there were close to 18,000 people. The event coordinators tried very hard to be organized. They had pace signs at the start, and kept repeating over and over NOT to start in the front if you were walking or planning on finishing in over 30 minutes.

Do people listen? NO! Because everyone is SO special that the rules do not apply to them (this is not a new thought in my head – I recognize this pattern in a lot of people). I got very frustrated when a lot of my coworkers started at the 7:00 minute mile pace, after they had all told me they planned on finishing in over 30 minutes. I passed them. Anyway…

The race was so congested that I did not cross the start line until well over a minute, and I was shoulder to shoulder with people the entire 3.5 miles. I actually saw one guy get knocked over onto the pavement because he was pushed from behind. People started in front of me who were walking, or running much much slower than the people around them. It was frustrating to have to dodge around these people. Oh well. I guess that is to be expected at a big race like this.

This is a race where I kept thinking, “And… why do I run again?” Because it was hard course (it was extremely muggy when we had to run under bridges), it was HOT (75°), and it was so freaking congested. It was just a HARD run. BUT, I gave it my all and finished 3.5 miles in 27:13. My clock time was 28:22 because I didn’t cross the start line right away.

Steven came downtown to watch me race and hang out with me and my coworkers at the after party (I totally sucked at introducing him to people – what is my problem?). I am so happy he came to support me! He said he enjoyed watching people race.

Video of the start!

image:Chase Corporate Challenge 8 min mile marker

I started where I was supposed to… this is well before the HUGE crowds! (Click on the photo to enlarge and check out my awesome farmer’s tan! Lame)

image:Chase Corporate Challenge start line

The start line.

image:Chase Corporate Challenge starting off

Starting off… still smiling…

image:Chase Corporate Challenge ending

Scary finish photo!

image:Chase Corporate Challenge Steven and Kim

Me and Steven-o.

I was super pumped for this all day, and am happy with my time, but it was not as fun (the racing part) as I expected. I am worn out, and happy I have tomorrow off to kind of relax. And maybe go on an easy run (I can’t help it!).

23 Responses to “Chase Corporate Challenge 3.5M 2009”

  1. diane says:

    While I didn’t run it, the race reminded me soooooo much of the Komen run. It was the exact same course and just as crowded. My co-workers who ran said it was a hard run. :p
    But you did great!! Enjoy your nice peaceful run tomorrow, and your day off!

  2. DeAnne says:

    yeah, sometimes people suck and even more often they just don’t pay attention. I like your super cute gear though! I thought about you last night when I was noticing how warm it was outside . . . hopefully you got some cool views of the city??

  3. tori says:

    My friends did one like that and said they would never do such a crowded race again. I haven’t ever done one so crowded but I can imagine how frustrating that must be. When I do triathlons, they always say slower swimmers start to the back. I usually go towards the middle because I’m not super fast but also not slow. I am constantly swimming around people who must think they are faster than they are or something and seem like they should have started farther back. I always feel like having to fight all the people in my way (not literaly fight, just having to go extra to swim around them) makes me slower and more tired.

  4. Tony says:

    Your post just made me feel much better about not running this one. I think this race has a lot of non-runners who don’t know the appropriate etiquette for racing. I hope the post race was worthwhile for you. You had an awesome time, especially with all those obstacles to run around.

    I can tell your a runner with a tan like that.

  5. Beth says:

    Yep, looks pretty congested. I will do one of those this weekend in Boulder. 55,000 people. It is a cluster&%$!.

  6. Christina says:

    My future sister in law ran for her company, this was her first race in abut 7 years. Great job on your time.

  7. Amy says:


    It does look congested…but gosh, that video makes me want to run a road race NOW!

    You are a good little runner, starting at the correct pace time. Don’t you hate when people are where they shouldn’t be? They make it so easy to know where to stand, but no one ever listens. Sigh…

  8. sizzle says:

    I don’t understand why people would go up front if they knew they couldn’t finish in the time stated. If it were me, I’d feel so much pressure to hurry I’d have some sort of panic attack. 🙂

    Congrats on completing another race. You’re doing so great!

  9. Mica says:

    Sweet race! I’m sorry it wasn’t as good as you had anticipated, but at least you ran an awesome time! Congratulations!

  10. Jamie says:

    Great job on the race despite all the congestion. People who line up wherever and totally disregard the signs drive me crazy! But it happens at every race.

  11. Erin says:

    Nice time! Imagine what you could have done in a less crowded race!

    I stupidly started way too far back (at the back of the 9 minute mile people….what was I thinking???) so it took me almost 6 minutes to get to the start line and even then I wasn’t entirely sure WHERE the start line even was so I started my Garmin a little late.

    And the WALKERS!!!!!! I seriously passed people who were wearing jeans and just chatting. What the hell?

    So, yeah, my “official” time was 36:12 but my Garmin said 30:50 for 3.45 miles. Average pace of 8:55 per mile. Imagine what *I* could have done in a less crowded race!

    Do you think you’ll run it again next year?

  12. Bethany says:

    Wow, that’ definitely crowded! I’m glad you had a good race though- and as an aside, it’s cracking me up that some of the people in the 3rd picture look like they have bunny ears. 😉

  13. diane says:

    Okay, I feel like I have to step up for a minute and defend the walkers. In my company, this was a wellness initiative. I don’t understand how it works exactly, but people get “wellness points” for participating. And yes, some of my co-workers walked. I think it is important to keep in mind that for a lot of people this was a fun, company social event–not a hardcore race. And a charity event to boot. I think it is kind of mean to imply some people shouldn’t have participated. It’s not like this was the Boston marathon. :p

  14. aron says:

    CONGRATS!!!!!!! you did awesome!

  15. Yay another race done! Wow 18,000 people! I cant even imagine how much it would frustrate me to run with that many people. Good job lady!!!

    (Oh and getting that much fruit in =AWESOME)

  16. Susan says:

    I hate when people think they’re better than the rules or that they’re too important for rules to apply to them. (I’m thinking more in terms of life in general…runners are usually pretty good about stuff.) It always drove me crazy at the restaurant when people would talk down to me or continue to talk on their cell phones the entire time. Why did you come out to eat??

    That race looks crazy in general…18,000 for 3.5 miles? That’s huge!

  17. *lynne* says:

    Kosh and I were wondering why there were all these people in running gear, numbers and all, at 5pm heading into downtown! Now we know! We were like salmon trying to go against the current of all those participants who were heading to the start.

    … but omg 18,000 people over such a short distance? That’s crazy!! Just reading your description brought out my claustrophobia heebie-jeebies!

  18. kilax says:

    diane – I didn’t realize this was the exact same course as Komen! I thought I would enjoy running this course more. I wonder if it would be more fun if it wasn’t as crowded. It’s almost like they need to do waves or something!

    DeAnne – We did get to run along Lake Point Tower, which I thought was pretty cool! I was concentrating so hard on not tripping though that I barely noticed where I was!

    tori – That is what this did to me too – made me more tired because I was working so hard to pass and not run into people. I think it’s great that so many different people do it, whether they are “fast or slow” (it’s all relative!) but I just wish people would LISTEN! It must be even more frustrating when you are swimming!!!

    Tony – This would have been too much stress on your body before Madison! Maybe you can do it next year 😉 Is that a runner’s tan? Woo hoo! Yeah! It’s not a farmer’s tan, it’s a runner’s tan!!! And we did have fun at the post race party. Gosh, I ate SO MUCH food. I do not know what I was thinking.

    Beth – 55,000?! Can’t wait to hear about that! 😉

    Christina – Thanks! How did your future SiL do? I bet she was so pumped, especially with all the people around! I hope it gets her back into running 🙂

    Amy – Even watching the video now, I feel like I want to run it again! Ha ha! I guess seeing runners gets us going! It does bother me when people start where they aren’t supposed to, but I try to tell myself “It’s going to happen at EVERY race.” I think it really is. I just try to deal with it… I had just never seen it happen in this capacity!!!

    sizzle – Thanks! 😉 I would think that people starting up there would get furstrated with everyone passing them and bumping into them too. Maybe they will learn from it 😉

    Mica – Thanks! I thought about you while I was running and how you would probably have something clever to say about how congested it was. As you can see, I couldn’t come up with anything 😉

    Jamie – Thanks! It does happen at every race, and I kind of anticipated it all day, but still let it bother me. I wish I didn’t!

    Erin – 6 whole minutes! Oh man, you must have been losing your mind! I think I will run it next year, just to see if I can beat my time, but try to be more mentally prepared for all the passing and how hard it is. 30:50 is a great time! Was that your A or B goal?

    Bethany – LOL! I totally didn’t notice that! Those blue things DO look like bunny ears. Ha ha!

    diane – I hope you didn’t get that impression from me, you know I think it is great when ANYONE gets ANY sort of exercise. A lot of people from my company walked it, and they did get in the back where they were supposed to. I was actually upset with my “running” coworkers who didn’t get in their pace group. I guess everyone is a bit selfish and wants to start near the front 😉 I wish more people from my company would have come out and walked – it’s probabaly actually a lot more fun if you are just in the back taking it easy!

    aron – Thanks! 😀

    Scale Warfare – Thanks and thanks 🙂 I am traveling this weekend and hope my family has lots of fruit for me! ha ha!

    Susan – I bet you have a TON of good restaurant stories! 🙂 I think I could make a whole list of things that people do when they act this way. Steven has a lot of coworkers like this… I used to… ugh.

    *lynne* – Ha ha! We were trying to drive when everyone was headed to the race, and that was crazy enough! It made my heart flutter just seeing everyone! I was all pumped up and nervous.

  19. kapgar says:

    Congrats on the time. I am confused about one thing, though, I thought you were supposed to have some sort of sensor on you that detects when you cross the start and finish lines to give you accurate times. They can’t expect everyone to be out of the starting gate at the exact same moment when there are so many people and so little space. What gives?

  20. Nat says:

    I had a similar experience this weekend, and got hit by TWO strollers. It took eight minutes to get to the start. So frustrating. I actually gave up in spots and walked.

    This you get the groups walking abreast blocking the way??? gah!

    The only race that handles this relatively well, was the 5K for Breast Cancer. They have two starts. One for runners, one for walkers.

  21. kilax says:

    kapgar – Thanks. You are supposed to report your finish time on the clock, no matter when you crossed the start. I think that is why there are so many people trying to get to the front.

    Nat – Strollers?! OUCH!!! I am surprised this is not handled well with such large races. It’s great that so many different people of different running/walking speeds participate, but I think it’s kind of dangerous…


    I always start way, way back as I know myself.

  23. kilax says:

    Hotch Potchery – Me too. Me too.

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