Back to Centralia for my second time here. Over 120 in the 5K but far less to take on the 10 miles and the hills.
Easy parking and day of race registration. It feels like Autumn, and the wind is blowing a bit. It will be mostly sunny and feel just a little warm later in the race. Terrific scenic course......if you like hills.
Start - Hard to judge the competition. Then we start and it is clear that there are some fast guys here. One takes off super fast, two more are close behind him. I positioned well and we have the whole road so it is easy to find my pace. Except that I go out quicker than I should. Watch says 7:40 per mile, which I know will never hold. I should slow but I don't. Until the first little hill.
Mile 2 - A guy and then a woman pass me. But I pass one guy and then catch another who is walking up the steep first real hill. I encourage him to get running again and he soon does. But from here on out I will be running alone with no one very close. On the long views I can see the two who passed me get gradually smaller. I never sense anyone behind me.
Mile 3 - Joppish road and the long gradual downhill. I pick up the pace but do not feel strong today. The first hill was tough! Now my legs feel tired. I have doubts about being able to hold on to this pace. Enjoy the downhill while I can.
Mile 5 - Holding steady on the flats, working hard and not feeling well in my legs. Tired and this is too hard. And now is the big hill. Look back and see that I have a decent lead on those behind me. No chance of passing the guy ahead. So I give it a good effort up the hill but not my best stuff. Pump those arms and try to save something for the next 4 miles.
Mile 7 - Flat and now the steep downhill. Try to not slap too much. Focus on form and running about as fast as I can.
Mile 8 - Tiring now. I can feel that I am going slower. Have to really focus to keep it going. Worried that I will be passed keeps me running as best I can.
Mile 9 - Merge with the 5K walkers and have to work around those who are walking in groups. Not exactly flying past them. Legs feeling somewhat battered, not firing quite right. Won't beat last years time. Have to hurry to beat 1:23
Mile 10 - Here is that mile marker with another 0.1 to the finish line. Cross OK and glad to be done. 10.11 on the GPS.
Finish - Congratulate the winners. Cheer on those coming in. One guy was close behind me, then a big gap. We all talk about the challenging course. It is hard to remember a year ago, but today seemed more difficult and less fun than last year. Two minutes slower than last year, but then I had competition with me most of the way. The race itself is a nice little event that I hope to run again.
5th place out of 39
Cooks Hill Challenge #2