The big race day was today. Because of my previously mentioned busyness I haven’t trained nearly like I would have liked. In fact over the last month I’ve run pretty sporadically. It’s been really hit or miss. I had planned to go out and run the race route for the last month. That didn’t happen. With my crazy schedule I’ve been lucky to run a couple of days per week. I didn’t run at all for about a week and a half. Needless to say coming up to race day I was pretty anxious about the whole thing.
Last week I decided maybe I should run the route. It kicked my butt. It’s been in the 90’s here over the last week or so and I’ve had to run in the afternoons. Not good. The terrain was much different than the trail I normally run. It’s much hillier. When I tell you the route was up hill both ways I do not exaggerate. I almost backed out of it. I didn’t want to embarrass myself. It took me close to 45 minutes on both of my trial runs and then I found out that I’d misinterpreted the route. It was actually a half mile longer than I thought.
I decided that finishing the race was my goal. If that side stitch caused me to walk more than I’d planned so be it. If it took me an hour and I finished dead last what would I have to be embarrassed about? I would be accomplishing something the majority of people won’t even attempt. Enough with the excuses. So off I went.
When I got up this morning, to my surprise, it had rained during the night and cooled things off significantly. Temperatures were in the mid sixties. Great! It remained a bit overcast so no glaring sun. Even better. I warmed up properly, stretched and felt pretty good about things. I arrived, got my first ever number bib, and waited for the race to start.
The race coordinator started out by calling all those who planned to finish the race in under 21 minutes to the front, then those planning to finish in under 35 minutes, then those in under 45 minutes and finally those who planned to finish in under 55 minutes. I stayed toward the back because based on my two trial runs I thought it best to stay out of the way of those faster than myself. Most people piled in the middle in the “planning to run in under 45 minutes”. He blew the whistle and we were off. Up hills and down hills we went. Surprisingly I kept a pretty good pace. I did have to walk a couple of times, but even with that I think I finished pretty well. Better than I thought anyway. I had a finishing time of 35:52, 15th out of 18 in my age group and 77th out of 101 runners overall. Average race time was 30:43. I’m hooked and I’ll certainly be running another one.
The Masked Avenger took the top prize as usual. I’m not sure if anyone really even knows his name. He shows up to all of these events donning a colorful wrestling style mask. He runs the race in it and after the race changes into fresh one. He ran the race in 17:51. Needless to say I was well impressed. Cudos to the Masked Avenger…whoever you are.