Bob Green race at Elma. I saw that M1353 was planning to run, but had not done one of these "holiday" races before, and I was able to contact her and warn/advise her about what to expect. I thought that there would be at least five of us at the 9:30 start time, but Monte and Jim opted to start off on their own at 7:30. So three of us (M1813, M1353 and myself) start together on a cool but very nice day for running. Three others would start at 10:30, along with just a few doing the half, ten miles, 10K or 5K.
Mile 5 - The three of us running together holding a steady 9/mile. Chatting away.
Mile 6.4 - Here is the turnaround, it is the double out and back course. The turn around is at the exact same spot as at the Easter Marathon, well short of the 6.55miles where it should be. I think about going out a little farther but I know that the other runners (at least the 10:30 starters) won't do it. 25.8 miles is close enough to 26.2 and would make up for some of the marathons that have been long? Really I do not think so and in fact I vow to not run this course again, unless he gets the mileage correct.
Mile 8 - M1813 starts to lag. M1353 and I continue at our steady pace.
Mile 10 - The chatting stops, we are together but have stopped talking. Runners coming at us, who started at 10:30. Can't tell who is doing what race. I hope that fast guy is only doing the half. With such a small field there is the potential for me to be overall winner.
Mile 12.8 - Turn around back at the park.
Mile 14 - We have slowed down some since the turn around. M1353 is lagging just a bit. She is on her 4th marathon or ultra in 4 weeks and ran a 100 mile race just two weeks ago. Her normal times are a little faster than mine, but given what she has done recently I think that I should be able to beat her. I decide to get my pace back to 9/mile and the distance between us grows.
Mile 16 - Bill Herzog pulls along in his truck, then pulls over to join me for the last ten miles. So great to have his company. Too bad I am starting to tire somewhat. I don't feel horrible, but not great either.
Mile 21 - Still holding pace. One of the late starters (M989) is coming at me and a quick calculation tells me that there is no way my time will be faster than his. Nothing I can do about that. M1353 is gaining but I am not slowing much. Bill encourages me to drink and to gag down that third GU. I am not going to go all out today, but I would like to run the whole way with no walk breaks.
Mile 24.5 - Aid station. I don't want to litter so I drink from the cup at the table and put it in the trash bag, and there is M1353 passing me by. Bill and I continue running, but M1353 has really picked up the pace and I have no chance of catching her. Plug along to the finish, able to run the whole way.
Mile 25.8 - Hang around the finish area recovering and waiting to see who comes in next. M989 rolls in easily taking first place. He has a PR and is most unhappy about the course being short. The others finish later. Highlights today were pleasant running with M1352, M1813 and then Bill. Also the decent weather and the horses, cows and red tail hawk. Low light was the race distance. I just can not do this one again unless I know that the course will be accurate. I do have a number of races planned for days that are the same as these holiday races, so I probably won't be back to a Bob Green race for some time.
3rd place of 8
Marathon or ultra #40