Tune Up Race for Standard Chaser: Jen Bigham
Going into last weekend we caught up with the one and only "Blue Ribbon Bigham" as we call her: Jen Bigham. Long time veteran Oiselle team member who lives in Pittsburgh, PA and is a mom of two, Currie 3 and Wells who just turned 1 last weekend. Jen recaps her tune up race at the Great Race 10k on Sunday in preparation for the California International Marathon. (Take a look at how all of our Standard Chasers have been racing!)
My baby turned 1 year old the day before the 2014 Great Race. From the day of his birth, I thought I was destined to run this race - one of the largest road races in the country with over 16,000 participants - when my water broke under the start line banner just 2 days before last year's race. Less than 2 hours later, I was holding my newborn in my arms and I knew I would *own* the race in 2014.
My goals going into the race were the same as always - have fun and go for the win! I didn't allow myself to think about a little setback I've been dealing with lately, a sore glute/hamstring. Instead, I focused on telling myself "this is YOUR race. You are strong" many times the day before the race.
The Great Race features a net downhill course and many people run their fastest 10k here. I prefer uphill running to downhills so I knew it would be a challenge, but I was ready to accept that! I run parts of this course frequently since the start line is just 3/4 mile from my house. Several portions of the course are familiar territory to me. It was exhilarating to do my pre-race routine alongside so many runners! I like races of all sizes, but there's something about a large race and seeing so many people coming together with the same goal of reaching the finish line. It always puts a huge smile on my face! I was so pumped by the time the gun went off!
In the end, I finished in 2nd place in a time of 34:45. In all my years of racing, this was my first 10k so it was an automatic PR! After the race, it was great to meet up with some of my Oiselle teammates. We had Volee members Karissa and Kelsey racing, along with Flock members Carrie, Cathryn, Steffany, Vicki, and Shannon. We were lucky to also have a cheering section including Flock members Amanda, Elisa and Faye! After the race, a group of us were able to share some good food and conversations over brunch. A Great Race weekend, indeed!