Back to Elma for the second running of this event. Faith Lutheran Church. Proceeds to benefit a missions trip to Africa. This race is small enough that there is a chance that I could win. Last year I came in second place out of eleven, a little behind Erik Lindberg. I was nursing an Achilles tendon then and I know that on a good day I can beat him. Well hopefully he won't even be here. Jody and I pull into the parking lot and there is Bob Martin. Oh I am never going to win now.....but wait, he is running the 10K race. Looks like a larger crowd than last year and some runners look quick so who knows? Now I see Dylan Miller, the ten year old that I raced against last week. It took me 3.5 miles to catch him last week; he may be my toughest competition here.
It was a poor week for running last week. My head cold got real bad and I just had to take a few extra days off, with no quality work outs since the race last week. I did start feeling better by Thursday and with the lower mileage this week I realized that today I will hit 15,000 life time miles. I ran a little yesterday just so that after today's warm up I will be just under 15,000. This race will be a nice way to celebrate that milestone. Jody ran and won the 10K last year. She is back to repeat that distance. We were all wary of the predicted rain, but it is dry although the roads are wet and it is very cloudy. Temperature about 50 degrees with no wind, so very nice for running. I do my usual warm up and am ready to go.
Start - For some reason we are starting right near the main road this year. If the turn around is at the same spot this will make the course about 40 yards shorter than last year. I can not actually remember the exact placement of the turn around, except that we have to go over the highway overpass, so there will be a little uphill to start out the way back. RD Barb gives us directions and then we see a car pulling in with Erik Lindberg. We give him time to pin his number on, but no time to warm up and then we are off.
Mile 0.5 - Dylan takes off like a shot, really fast. I have to go faster than I want, but a 5K is pretty much go all out for me anyway. Bob Martin and Dylan are together and I am about ten feet back. I see that I am holding pace with them. I might as well surge and catch them and run with them. I am able to do so and it is a fun way to celebrate my 15,000th mile. I see Bob all the time but we never get to run together. Since he is doing the 10K, our paces are about the same here and we run together.
Mile 1 - Negotiate the back of the school area and through the gate. At one intersection a car approaches and stops at their stop sign. We run through. Next I hear the car proceed and this tells me that there is no other runner too close behind us. It just may be me and Dylan going for the win. Yikes I am at a 6:48 pace!! Last year I ran the race at 7:15 pace.
Mile 1.4 - Volunteer tells us to cross Third street and turn right. Last year we made the turn before crossing and ran over the highway on the right side of the road. Now the three of us are on the left side. Up and over and down. I can see the aid station that must be the turn around on the other side of the road. But wait, here is a big 5K with chalk turn around arrow on the ground on our side of the road. Dylan overshoots it, hesitates and turns around just as I get to it, as I had been a few feet behind him. Bob goes on for the 10K and I make the turn just even with Dylan.
Mile 1.6 - On the uphill I can hear his labored breathing. If I was breathing like that I would not be able to last much longer. I get a sense of confidence that I will be able to pull ahead for the win. I make a short surge but he matches it and we are side by side. Other runners coming toward us, on both sides of the road, but none are close enough to worry about.
Mile 2 - We are slowing just a little. Right when I get feeling comfortable I decide to break him and put on a super surge. I can only hold it for a few steps and he has no problem charging past me and settling in a few steps ahead. This happens three times and then I know that I will probably not win.
Mile 2.6 - Up the little dirt road and hill to the main street. Dylan starts increasing his lead. I do my best and feel good, realize that I will crush last year's time, but I just can not beat the kid.
Mile 3.1? My GPS says 2.99 with a pace of 7:06 and a time of 21:13. Even that was a fast super pace for me. If the course was really 3.1miles that would put me at a 6:50 pace per mile and that just does not seem realistic. I think that it was a little shorter than last year, but still I ran very well. I congratulate Dylan and hope to run with him again. Always fun to have some close competition that makes me run better. It will be fun to watch this kid in the coming years. Cool down jog and go out to find Jody. She is doing well and feels good, but is in second place of the women as a faster one came this year. Turns out that she would have won the 5K had she entered that race. We run the last mile together. Then we wait for results. With 24 runners in the 5K and 7 in the 10K it should not take long to tabulate the results. They do some raffles and Jody wins a pie. But there is some confusion with the results and Barb is trying to figure it out. After and hour of waiting we really need to leave, and do so before the ribbons are awarded. Other than that wait, and the experience of coming so close to winning, but not quite getting it, it was a nice event. Rain started falling just as we were leaving. Pigtails LakeYoungs 50K is next week. I have not done a long run in five weeks, so it will be a good slow endurance training run and possible mudbath.
2nd of 24
Run for Faith#2