My third time here, but first since 2011. Previously I have run the 5K but today I will run the 10K. Great little event put on by my running friend Barb, with proceeds going to church missions. Only $20 day of race, with the no T-shirt option.
Mike Henderson and Ron Burford are here, but running the 5K. They will finish 2nd and 3rd just behind the winner. It would have been close and fun to have run that race. There are just a few of us doing the longer event. Band-tailed pigeons sighting.
Start - 10AM start and we get going right on time, after I have a decent mile and a half warm up. Loren is here and thinks that I might be close to him, but he is way faster than me these days. From the start, he and a woman go out super fast and I will never get close to them. This leaves me in a pack with 5Kers. On the sidewalk and a few quick turns.
Mile 1 - More turns. One guy passes me. Some 5Kers are ahead too. Pass the bank where I see that it is 41 degrees. Light rain and a little wind. Up and over the Highway 12 overpass. Down, past the off ramp and to the 5K turnaround.
Mile 2 - After those streets and turns it is nice to be on the little used road at the Vance Creek ponds. Flat and a long straightaway. I am in 4th place of the 10K and gradually catching up to number 3. It takes a long time to get to him. Then I say hi and run alongside him for a bit. If I were to try to pass him quickly I would be in trouble. I am going about as fast as I think I can hold. Not sure what pace I should be going. Hoping to not falter in the second half, doubt that I will have saved too much energy.
Mile 2.6 - We see numbers 1 and 2 come at us, then the turn around at mile 2.9 on my GPS. No volunteer here, but I think it was marked well enough on the road. I get just a few steps ahead of Brian, my new running pal. Just in time I see a chalk mark with a left turn and we do a short out and back. From looking at the hand drawn course map before the race, I thought that we were supposed to stay on that road and then make two turns to get back to the main road. But it is a dead end and the arrow clearly shows us where to go.
Mile 3.5 - Ahead of Brian but I am afraid to look back. I know that he is close. I intend to stay on the road, past a volunteer but at the last minute he yells that I am supposed to turn into the park. Ah, this is the little off road bit that Barb had shown me on the map. Now on the paved trail in the park and trying to hold my pace. Have to kindly shout to a couple walking side by side that a racer is coming through. Now I see the volunteer who points me back to the road.
Mile 4- Start to feel tired. I have put in more miles than usual in the past days, including a 50 mile week and a seven mile tempo run yesterday. I expected it to affect my time today and I think it is showing now. No pains though, so I am running happy. Just a little scared of Brian behind me. Third place overall sounds so much better than fourth, plus I think he might be in my age group.
Mile 5.5 - Over the Highway, on the Main Street. Then the turns. Finally past the school and a quick look back starts to give me confidence that I will hold my place. I have slowed a little but and still running OK. Passing a couple of 5K walkers. Right turn on the gravel road and I have to swing wide on the uphill to pass two walkers. Now it is a straight shot to the finish.
Mile 6.2 - Done! Only 6.01 on the GPS and I suspect that the course is a little short. Hard to say for sure. My GPS pace reads 7:54 per mile. If it was a true 6.22 miles, then my pace was 7:39/mile. Either way I will take it. Simple bib tag tear off and the volunteer puts it on the board. Awards and finish times are easy for them to calculate with this system and the small number of runners.
I forget to do a cool down run. Instead I put on a dry shirt and go into the church. So nice to have a warm and dry area. The church reception hall is full of food including sandwiches. Hot coffee too! Chairs for everyone. The wait for results is not bad at all. There are also so many random prizes that everyone gets two items. The pies are gone by my first pick, but I get a jar of home made jam on my first selection. A bottle of Tampico pop for my second pick. Then I get my age group ribbon.
I really like the relaxed vibe, yet quality organization of this event. I would like everyone to run this one, but if it gets too popular it will cause problems. Hope it stays small and good like this.
3rd place of 9