The story of the third annual Madison Mini-Marathon is mostly the story of the prerace.
I got up early, and headed out of Joggerville by about 5:00, where I was greeted by distant flashes of lightning. I don't like to mess with lightning, of course, but it was still two hours to race time. Also, the lightning was already in the east, meaning it would be blowing away from us. And, of course, I didn't want to miss the MMM, having run both the first and the second. So I pressed on.
I arrived in Madison by about 6:30 and parked the car. At this point, it wasn't even raining in Madison, never mind storming. I walked over to the starting, line, but I had to stand in line for a while for the porta-potty. I was cutting it a little closer than I normally like, but I was starting way back in corral letter I, so I had time. Just as I was finishing up, about 5 minutes before race time, an announcement came that they were delaying the start because more storms were coming through. They told everyone to take cover, and promised they would get us all out and organized before the start.
What could I do? I went into one of the official shelters, staked out a comfy piece of floor, and sat. And sat. And sat. And sat. I projected a delay of at least an hour. We had to wait for a storm to blow over that hadn't even blown in yet. And I figured at least 20 minutes after the all-clear to line up and get started. I decided that if we weren't running by 9:00, I would bag it and go home. The Little Joggers were actually home alone, and I didn't want to leave them too long.
I needn't have worried. The all-clear came at 8:15, and it only took 15 minutes to get us lined up and sound the gun. Which was just as well. The storm was done, but the rain wasn't. So I was wet, stiff from sitting for over an hour, hungry, and I had to pee again. It wasn't the most auspicious start for a Pikermi.
I actually came out fairly strong for the first six miles or so. The rain let up within the first half hour or so, and I found a convenient porta-potty (although I had to wait a short bit to get into it.) At mile seven or so, the sun was out, and it was already getting on for 10:00, so it started to heat up, which sapped my strength a bit. I did a fair bit of walking between miles eight and twelve. Right about mile twelve, the 2:30 pace group caught up to me. That spurred me into action. I took off and ran the last mile and change, beating the pace group by a couple of minutes.
Overall, it wasn't a great time, but that's OK. I covered the entire distance, and didn't die.
One thing I love about the MMM is that you can sign up a year in advance. I registered this afternoon for MMM IV, on August 18, 2012. See you there.