Third year in a row doing the 10K, plus I ran the 5K twice a few years before that. So this great little race has been around for quite a few years now, but just is not getting the number of runners that it deserves. I guess that the drive to Elma is a ways for some, but it is easier than going to Seattle. Plus being in the Winter. But with a warm church to wait in before and after, and the huge number of raffle items (two per runner this year) and the great vibe with support for walkers this really is a good event. $30 preregister and it came with a high quality beanie. I signed Jody up for the 5K and dragged her along this year. She has done this before but maybe forgot how nice it is, later she would thank me for encouraging her to come. She likes the 10:00AM start time too.
Super cold. My third race in a row all bundled up. About 26 degrees at the start. Jody is now assessing the competition and asks Barb if she can switch to the 10K. She is going to decide once she gets out there and sees if it is slippery at all.
Start - Both races start together and it is so small I have no trouble heading right out at the pace I want. Loren and another guy get ahead right away. I focus on pace. Off the main road and on the back street I see that Loren is not gaining any more. The front runner is getting far ahead. Through the school property and another back road and I am slowing gaining on Loren. So cold but not icy slippery.
Mile 1 - 7:54. Feeling OK and still gaining on Loren. Over Highway 12 to the 5K turn around. Look back and I can see Mike Henderson a ways back. He is doing the 5K and I realize that if I switched to that race, I could probably be overall winner. It is so rare that I win a race, it is really tempting to switch now. But unlike Jody, I never asked Barb if that would be OK, plus that just does not seem quite fair. The past two years I have been third overall in the 10K (out of 9) and as I continue on, I do pass Loren putting me in second place with no chance of an overall win.
Mile 2 - Long straight flat part by the ponds. Running scared that Loren will catch me. Later I will find out that he was really not feeling well and only came to make us work hard to beat his title of winning the past two years.
Every year the course out here changes a little bit. Volunteer directs out to the airport road, short out and back, then back to the little trail along the pond. Last year we went out and back here, but this year we will continue around the backside of the pond.
Mile 3.5 - Crunchy frozen grass trail and some gravel. Great excuse to slow a little and be careful. Plus it is so cold. These are good excuses for the fact that I probably will not beat last year's time. Plus no one I can see in front or behind me. Did I mention that the ponds are frozen over? On the way out I saw some large rocks that had been tossed out there. Now I can hear that someone is skimming stones and they are making an eerie reverberation as they bounce on the ice.
Out toward the playground and not sure if I should go left or right. I veer to the right and it costs me a few seconds as I remember that we are supposed to go over the little bridge and around the second pond on the left. I head over that way and see a comforting chalk arrow on the ground. Now a paved trail and easier running.
Mile 4.5 - Back to the aid station and over the highway bridge. Uneventful return trip. Going to be close to last year's time but I really do not think I can do it. Keep working hard to at least keep it under 50 minutes. Pass some 5K walkers. No ache or pain issues, everything is working well, but I will be happy to be done.
Mile 6.2 - 6.04 on the GPS. I cross the finish. Joke about will they stop the clock when my feet stopped running, or when my nose stops running. Congratulate Mike who did win the 5K. Find out that Jody is doing the 10K. I jog back and here she comes, cruising in to a first place woman award (out of three).
Now the raffles where we get pie, chocolate, a reflective vest and two-person tent. Plus a ribbon for me and trophy for Jody. Thanks for a great job as usual on this event, Barb. Plan to run it again next year.
2nd place out of 8
Run for Faith #5