First time event, organized by the Capital Christian Church. Isaac told me about it, I had not seen it on any race calendars. The last time I know that I ran a race with Isaac was in 2001. Day of race registration is a mere $10 and includes a T-shirt. Since I was not sure I would be able to race this weekend, this is a way better deal that trekking up to Tacoma for StN and paying $40 plus parking. Chambers Trailhead is close to home and I will get back early for family time.
Out and back on the paved Chehalis Western trail. Since it is a first time event, put on by a church, I do not have great expectations for organization. I will just enjoy it as a fun run. Also I did marathons on the last two weekends, my legs are tired and I have not done speed work in a long time.
I get there plenty early and sign up is easy. Time for a 2 mile warm up, then change into racing shoes. They do have things well organized and we start right on time.
Start - It is a small race and a fairly wide trail so I do not line up right in the front. We go off and I immediately wish that I had started closer to the line.Some people start by walking and others are starting very slowly. I bump into the guy in front of me who had bumped into the guy in front of him as we come to a sudden stop. Nothing bad really and soon we are running. After about 30 seconds of assessing the situation I go to the far left of the course and zoom past a big cluster. Now room to run and a few guys are already getting quite a bit ahead of me.
Mile 0.5 - Pass a few and now gaining on the second place runner. I am able to pass him and get into a solid second place. First place is a young guy (later I will learn that he is 14 years old) who is out of reach but not gaining much more distance. My only hope is that he falls apart in the second half.
Mile 1 - Working hard and maintaining second place while number one is the same distance ahead. Stinging nettles reach out onto the trail and I consider brushing against them to distract myself from the effort of holding this pace.
Mile 1.35 - I can see number one at the turn around. He stops to drink at the aid station. He starts again and then turns around to properly cross the line, as directed by the volunteer. This lets me get a little closer. When I reach the table I get a quick drink and make sure to cross the line while turning around. I can see the volunteer's eyes on my feet, keeping us all honest. Start heading back and I can see that I have a large lead on number three. Number three is farther back from me, than I am from number 1.
Mile 2 - The first place guy is getting faster now and will clearly win. I try to count runners heading out but give up with some large packs. There are bout 60 I estimate. Some want to high five me and I oblige. One tells me to "catch that kid", which is exactly the type of thing that I would say to someone in that situation. Another person tells me that I will get the silver medal. I like that
Finish - Surprised to see 21:00 on the watch. Then I see that the mileage on the GPS is only 2.84 miles. That would still give me a 22 something on an accurate course and I am very happy with that. I congratulate the winner. Watch and cheer for the runners coming in. Great vibe from the volunteers and participants. No timing or place recording though. That makes it easy for them. The website clearly stated that there would be awards for the first male and female and the first family that finishes. They do have those prizes and those are the only runners that they need to keep track of. I like this idea for a small event like this. Maybe they could just have a big clock going so people could see their finish times as they cross the line. It was a nice event and way to get some speed work in. Really great to see lots of non serious runners of all ages out there getting excercise and enjoyo=ing the outdoors
2nd of about 60