Beside the fee for the race we signed up to take the Fleet Feet buses which cost an additional $25 bucks. I wasn't to happy about forking out that much to get a ride that was about 1 hour long. However; this turned out to be well worth the money. I thought it was going to be school buses but it was the luxury buses. Three buses full of Rochester runners went to the race and we had bus competitions on who's bus was the best the entire way. I was on Bailey bus #2 and I think we had the best bus. Before we had traveled 20 min. the festivities began...food, treats, an assortment of drinks were passed around. Everyone was dressed up for the race and in good spirits.
Before the race I had had a tough week. My stomach wasn't feeling the best between what I suspect was from a bit of food poisoning earlier in the week on top of quite a bit of stress. I hadn't done a ton of running and prepping for the race and hadn't raced in 2 months. Then this week I barely got any running in because of feeling under the weather and spending hours shoveling heavy snow. I talked to Stephanie about running more for enjoyment at a slower pace and she agreed as she has been sick all week.
What I wasn't expecting was 3,200 runners, amazing spectators and really pretty good race course. The run started at the George Bailey bridge and ended pretty much there. The race was also at night and started around 4:45pm. The actress who played Zuzu was there to kick off the race, which was cool (though I couldn't see her and wouldn't have recognized her if I say her later). Stephanie and I had free Chiropractic adjustments before the race started. We both thought this helped us run better. As soon as the race started I lost Stephanie and got caught up in the adrenaline of it all.
I was happy that I took time to enjoy all of the decorations, spectators and their music and fire pits all while running a pretty good pace. The biggest problem was that after the mile one marker there wasn't a mile two marker. I had briefly looked at a course map before the race began and ended up not knowing where I was the entire run. So I felt really good running but didn't kick it in soon enough because I didn't know how far I had left to go. My time was decent 23.51 but I totally think I could have done at least 20 sec. better if I would have known where the last 3/4 of a mile began. Oh well. I placed 262 out of about 3,200 runners. I placed 6th for my age/sex group and placed 68 out 2,000 women runners.
We had time after the race to go inside, get warm, eat some cookies and cocoa, go to the bus to put on warm non sweaty clothes and walk around the town checking out the stores and sites. The bus ride back proved to me just as entertaining as the ride there and I slept wonderfully that night! I would highly recommend this race and if you are from Rochester I would highly recommend paying the money to take the Fleet Feet buses.
http://leonetiming.com/Searchable/2014/WonderfulLife/ Race results
My photos courtesy of Stephanie's cell phone!
downtown "Bedford Falls"
bailey bus #2
Bailey building and loans
holiday swing music
The infamous bridge