The people who put this on really know how to do it to. The cost is a mere $18.00 for the 10k run + shirt + a ridiculously large 5 lbs goody bag packed full of things like moon pies and granola and everything in between. The best part is the supreme breakfast buffet that is served up after the race. Biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, sausage, yogurt, fresh fruit and a host of other breakfast foods. This breakfast smorgasbord is included in the race entry as well. I'm telling you, the people of Burnettsville know how to put on a race and I just don't think you could find a nicer group of people than the swarm of worker bees that volunteer their Saturday morning to put this race on.
I was very excited for this race because my oldest daughter Kasey was running it also. It worked out perfectly as she had a weekend off from running cross country. To make the day even better at the last minute my wife decided to sacrifice her Saturday morning to ride along and support us. I cannot tell you how much that means to me because I know she gave up valuable study time. The only thing missing was my youngest daughter who didn't have the weekend off from her cross country schedule and we missed her for sure.
On to the race. It was about an hour away with the very foggy conditions and back roads that we had to travel to get there but we made it in time to check in, warm up, hit the restroom and line up with about 10 minutes to spare. Plenty of time for a small race.
When I signed up for the race I was hoping to go under 40 minutes. I really didn't think I was feeling it this morning and I initially lined up in the middle of the pack. After a few minutes I reminded myself that that is not really the runner I am and started making my way to the front. I couldn't get all the way up but I was comfortable where ended up and knew that I could get through once we started running.
As always, I made the Sign of the Cross and offered the race as a prayer. It is something I do in thanksgiving for the gift of my body that is healthy enough to run and the gift of running itself. We started out and the running felt slow and relaxed and I just figured I would settle into a rhythm and see where I was. We hit the first mile and I was running a 6:11 pace. 6:11, oh yeah I am feeling it and it is on!
The course is an out and back and the first 2 miles are pancake flat. Mile 2 has a couple of moderate hills and the hill work I have been doing paid off. I ran those hills with very little trouble. Mile 3 right before the turn around has a hill that belongs in some other part of the country like a mountainous region. Okay, I may be exaggerating slightly but the hill is steep and long. The kind that makes your heart feel like it is going to come right out of your chest. Again, the hill work paid off, I climbed it and it hurt but I recovered quickly as the turn around was right at the top and we headed back down that same hill.
At the turn around I spotted a runner and targeted him for a pass. I concentrated on closing the gap and caught and passed him but offered encouragement as I went by in hopes that he could finish strong. I wasn't sure how much longer I could hold my pace. My quads were burning and my legs were starting to feel a bit like jello and nausea was beginning to set in. A few minutes later I heard the foot falls and labored breathing from behind and thought that he had gotten a second wind. I kept fighting and finally caught sight of the runner out of the corner of my eye.
It was not the guy I thought but a new challenger. This is exactly what I needed to help me finish strong. I am an very competitive runner and cannot stand to be passed. It was an all out foot race for the last 2 miles. With a 1.5 miles left I officially threw down the gauntlet as we passed a water station and I pointed it out to him and said "You better get a drink, it's gonna be a long mile and half". From that point on we traded the lead a couple of times and I tried my best to block him and cut him off. Anything to throw off his stride in hopes that he wouldn't be able to regain it. But he hung right there. In the last 10th of a mile you round a curve and the finish line comes into sight.
I don't remember what the clock said but I knew I was going to make it in under 40 minutes. We were still racing but I began celebrating in my mind. With about 5 steps left I began to pump my fist in victory. I didn't have the lead that I thought I did and this loss of focus was enough for him to come into my peripheral vision. I tried to surge to lock in the foot race victory but my feet got tangled up. I am not sure if it was the mat or if they just tangled in themselves but I went down as I crossed the finish line.
I tore the palm of my right hand up pretty good and have a bruise on the side of my right knee and right hip. I jumped up right away and went to offer congratulations to my competitor. That foot race alone was probably the most exciting thing I have done running since I started running. I cannot tell you how something like that changes the race, it is just something that you have to experience.
|That is what I get for celebrating early. Lesson learned.|
In the end, I PR'ed, I won my age group, placed 7th overall, and got a sub 40 minute 10k. My official time was 39:37, an average pace 6:23/Mile. My daughter also PR'ed the 5k and took second in her age group. A very happy day indeed. I have been training hard for the marathon and all of that hard work showed up and paid off today. This race was a humongous confidence builder and I am re-energized to finish out the marathon training.
|Yeah, 1st in my AG!|
|Placing in our AG's, just another thing my family likes to do together :)|