Sunday, September 30, 2012

Rosehill Cemetery Crypt 5K: Race Recap

Last week when Erin posted about the Rosehill Cemetery Crypt 5K I knew I wanted to run it!  I am huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and this seemed like a unique opportunity to run a non traditional road race through an old graveyard (and pretend to be an awesome vampire slayer)! 
The Rosehill Cemetery is the largest and oldest cemetery in Chicago and was chartered in 1895.  War veterans from every war, including the American Revolution, are buried there in addition to many famous Chicagoans.  (source)  

This was the first time they have done this race so there were a few kinks, but overall it was fun!  I had to get in one last long run before my first marathon and split it into two parts to get in six miles.  I ran about 2.7 miles to the start area.  The race was supposed to start at 7pm, but it didn't start until 7:28pm.  This was quite frustrating.  No one was happy about the situation.  
We started right outside the entrance to the Rosehill Cemetery and ran through the stone archway as the race started.  

It was really dark for most of the race, thankfully there was a full moon which shone a bit of light in areas not shaded by trees.  The darkness made things difficult to see at times so I tried to be very careful about where I was running.  I kept a slower pace because I did not want to twist my ankle a week before the marathon.  If the race had started on time it would have been a bit lighter which would have made running a bit easier.  I was looking at the ground a lot of the time. 
The moon shining through the tree cover.
A few areas of the path were candlelit, but mostly it was dark.  Some runners had glow sticks and small lights which was smart and helped light the path if you were near them.  I expected it to be a dark run since it was at night, but the path could have been better lit considering there were many turns and some uneven pathways.  A bit more light would have made it easier to see some the graves and crypts we ran by as well.  
Around mile two there was a section that was lighter and was really cool to run.  It was by a small pond in the cemetery and I got to see some of the cool crypts and statues.  This was really cool, I just wish it would have been like that the whole way.  That was really my only complaint about the race otherwise I thought it was really cool.  Unfortunately my phone doesn't have a flash so all my pictures are pretty hard to see.  I should have brought my digital camera. 
My finish time was 40:23.  Certainly not my best, but it's not a big deal to me; it was dark and the race was more for fun than anything else.
Post race in front of a crypt in the cemetery.
There was small after party once we crossed the finish line.  They had a good band playing, food truck, and post race snacks for us to enjoy in the cemetery.  This was a smaller race which was nice.  I stayed and listened to the music while enjoying a BBQ pork sandwich from the food truck Beyond Borders.  It was messy, but pretty tasty.  

I hope they do the race again next year and fix a few things to make it even better.  There is really so much potential!  A few other local bloggers ran, but I missed them before the race and it was hard to find anyone after, hopefully next time we will be able to meet up though.  I had a good time and I think it is really cool to say I have run through a cemetery!

What is one of your favorite non-traditional road races?  Have you ever run in graveyard before?