With budget cuts to the county Parks and Recreation department we lost my favorite Fall short race, the Ghostmuster. Thankfully the city of Lacey has stepped into the race directing game and has this offering. Jody and I chose the 10K and registered the morning of. Start and finish at Rainier Vista Park. The course is flat and heads to the Chehalis Western (paved) trail. Turning left we will run south and exit the trail in order to circle Horizons Elementary School, site of the Run for Luck (another race that may be no more). About half of this course is very familiar racing territory and the whole thing is flat and should be fast. Cold and foggy.
Start - One mile warm up, then some strides. Greet lots of local friends. Feeling good and ready to go. I have something of a training plan for the coming months and just 5 days ago I did a tempo run at 7:30 pace for 4.5 miles. I want to extend the length of that pace, so today I will just try to hold a 7:30 for the full 6.2 miles. It should be doable and not too difficult. No chance of a PR (7:09 pace) so I will run at this tempo speed and if I feel good pick it up in the last mile. Mile 1 - My neighbors Maureen and Kent are calling out mile times. I am at 7:28 and running smoothly. Another neighbor, Lauri directs us onto the trail and points the way.
Mile 3 - Pass a couple of people, run for quite a while next to a guy about my age. Not a talking pace, we exchange a few words. Finally I move ahead. Lots of wet leaves on the ground, but no slipping.
Mile 4.8 - Heading back now. We have merged with the 5K runners who started 15 minutes earlier, so I have to pick my way around the slower ones. Someone says that there is a mile to go. That is true for the 5K, but we get directed onto a side street where we make a half mile loop. Then it is back to the main road for the straight shot to the park.
Mile 6 - I am at 7:26 overall pace. Very pleased with the running today. Time to see what I have left and sprint to the finish. I can hear footsteps behind me and catching up. That sound and the cheers of some friends propel me forward and I cross the line without getting passed. Former Ghostmuster RD is volunteering at the finish and comments on my 2002 Ghostmuster shirt. As a replacement race for the Ghostmuster I am very pleased with Turn Back the Clock. Well organized, lots of helpers, accurate timing, nice age group awards, plenty of food and good sized turn out. Do not have to wait long for the awards ceremony and it was generally a very nice time.
18th place of 96 runners
24th 10K, race #177