I have these 4 races in 4 weeks that I love each one for different reasons. GOAT is a wonderful trail, Bellingham is one of the best marathons out there, at Defiance next week I get to run all day and see lots of friends. Here, today is the quintessential small town fun run. Well organized little event as part of Apple Fest.
I won a free entry for this year at last years race raffle and am happy to be back. My third time here. Twice around the lake gravel and maybe a little long, plus my second year doing marathons the past two weekends, so I am not here to run fast. Just have fun.
Hour drive from home, but it is worth it. Easy to park and get my number. Love the feeling like everyone knows each other. I only see one runner that I know, but it is a nice atmosphere. Large mug that I will use that work.
Cloudy and cool, great for running. I get in a 1.5 mile warm up and the legs feel good. Marathon six days ago. Tuesday was a rough jog/walk. Thursday felt better but not great by any means. Took off Friday hoping to be rested up enough for today. In fact it all feels good and will for the length of the race.
Start - Don't want to get trapped behind folks on the long double track trail, so I line up near the front, just behind some very fast looking kids. We start right at the tower and narrow down to the trail. Looks good, no one rushing past me. It opens a little, then I do get behind two runners but am able to move around and pass. From here on we can pass or be passed with little trouble. Around the gravel pile, then the uphill and screaming downhill. Pace is sub 8 which seems fine on this gravel trail.
Mile 1 - Off the trail and glad to be on the pavement where I can try to get into some kind of rhythm. Really if I can hold this pace and feel like this, I will be very happy. Great volunteers at every turn. I make the second sharp left and there is a car right in front of me, but I get around with no problem. Then the parade route. Trying to keep things smooth and steady.
Mile 2 - Back to the lake and another lap. I had passed a couple of people in the past mile, now no one close ahead of me. Up the hill and that slows me, first time today I feel really tired. Scream down the hill and I know there is not far to go. Maintain a good pace, but one guy comes flying past me. No chance of keeping up, I just run it in as best I can.
Finish - 3.17 on the GPS (3.16 last year) I won't realize it until I get home, but I beat my time from last year by one second!
Rain starts and wind picks up. Thank you volunteers for continuing to work the timing boards. I change and wait in my car until the award ceremony. The rain stops just in time for awards. I get first in my age group ribbon out of 5. Great raffles again, but alas I do not win anything. Still a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning. Only race I know of where we do a group photo after.....
10th of 85?
Race#399, 5K#105, Apple Fest 5K#3