I thought it would be nice for Nylia and I to take a 4 day weekend to the D. It’s been a good 10 years since I’ve attended the Auto Show and before that, my attendance was pretty regular. I love cars for the design and manufacturing aspects. I could care less about status.
I found out about the Auto Show Shuffle from the NAIAS website. When I told my bro Jason about it he told me to “Go for it.” My Mom thought I was crazy for wanting to drive to Detroit in January.
Our departure from Louisville was delayed because we got a dose of Michigan weather which stalled everyone’s Friday morning commute.
I took my time and made the mandatory detour to Hebron, KY. There sits a GAP distribution center tucked away in an industrial park. There are deeper discounts than a regular outlet, with other brands besides the GAP family.
After minor traffic hangups due to snow squalls, we arrived safely to Roberts Riverview Hotel. After our check in we headed to Sweatwater Tavern for their famous wings and seasoned fries.
On Saturday morning, we went to the Port Authority around 7:20 for a 8 a.m. start. Parking was a breeze at the Miller garage. The Port Authority had plenty of room to hold all the runners to help us stay warm.
I picked up my packet which included a $4 off Auto Show coupon for up to 2 people. They even offered hand warmers and gear check.
The temperature was a blustery 7° with sub 0° wind chills. There were a few flurries. We went outside about five minutes before the start. The announcer made it known that the riverwalk was clear but to be careful with potential slick spots.
Just as the race started I could see a beautiful sunrise off the Canadian horizon. It was red like the Windsor Casino sign. As cold as it was, that peak of sun gave me energy.
The riverwalk was a little narrow but I didn’t have a problem weaving around slower runners. This one chick answered her phone. I don’t know why slower, non competitive runners line up so close to the start.
The River Walk was clear but there was snow on Atwater Drive as we crossed to the Dequindre Cut. This slowed me down big time. I had to stomp out the snow once I hit the asphalt.
I went on to lengthen my stride and take advantage of my upper body strength. My core felt together and I owe this to spin class.
I kept hearing music blasting. Turns out there was a gator with speakers and a DJ. Nice race touch for the birthplace of techno music.
I approached the turn around and saw the first place woman. I told her “1st place, Get em.” A few more runners passed then I spotted the second place woman. I looked at all the faces and as I approached the orange cone I realized I was in 3rd!
I was scared and confident. I was afraid there was a woman on my heels I would have to hold off. I was confident because one of my strengths is sprinting.
I knew I had to run over that compacted snow area and lose some time. Turns out there was snow and an old brick road. The brick wasn’t that bad though.
I hit the River Walk and I hear breathing. Luckily it was a man who wouldn’t ruin my placing. I stayed close with him and didn’t hear anyone else.
The Ren Cen seemed so close but so far away from the finish. The head wind was so bad that my lips felt numb and sweat was forming ice beneath my nose. I blocked out the tingly fingertips. The hand warmers only helped my palms.
I managed to thank every volunteer because I know they had to be cold just standing and waving flags. At least I was moving.
Finally, I see the finish along with 2 photographers. I smiled and threw up my arms. I perfected my form and sprinted across the finish line.
This race has doubled in size from last year’s inaugural race of 350 participants. 700 registered and 619 ran.
My 23:00 finish earned me #1 in my age group, 3rd place overall woman and #25/619.
The main reason I was holding that 3rd place is because the Auto Show Shuffle website stated there would be awards for top 3 overall men and women. This is a common practice when race organizers splurge on medals for all finishers.
I was disappointed when Nylia told me she overheard a race organizer mention 1st and 2nd awards. I was told the info on the site was incorrect and was from last year’s race. I pulled up on my phone where it clearly showed 2014.
Still no real explanation about the error. I waited around an extra 30 minutes for nothing. Plaques were given to the 1st place overall and 1st place masters. I noticed the Masters woman was 41. That’s the youngest Masters I’ve ever seen.
An announcement was made that age group awards would be mailed out. This totally contradicted what I was told and what was posted on the website. I don’t want an age group award. I want my overall as advertised!
I wasn’t about to let the awards thing ruin my day. Attitude can make or break you. As I headed out this lady handed me a parking pass. I told her I already had the 1/2 off ticket. She looked me in the eye and told me, “This is a free one.”
Overall this race offers a lot for the $30 race fee. The tech shirts are gender specific and true to size. The finishers medal was the best 5k medal I’ve ever received. The race route took me to unchartered territory at the Dequindre Cut.
This race is advertised as a Run/Walk. As the numbers increase it should be mentioned for the walkers to line up behind the runners for safety and courtesy.
I love how the Auto Show recognizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle by organizing this race/walk.
On to the NAIAS…