Finish time- 22:32
Place in age Group- 2nd
Wow. What a tough course. Everyone said it was a hard course, and not to expect any pr’s out there, but I never thought it was going to be like that…
When I got there yesterday, I was looking around for the regular faces, and I saw a few I recognized. Most all of the typical “lead pack” was there, RJ, his buddy thats been winning a few lately, and shirtless guy that wears the bright green shorts.
I start looking for my age group competitors, and only see one I recognize, but it’s the guy who always beats me. I walk over and speak, and we started trading off training ideas/practices, and he mentioned a hip issue he was having. Needless to say, I knew a stretch or two to share.
My dad actually came out to this race, so I had a little extra pressure to do well. I picked this race because I knew I’d pass the start line several times where he would be entertained, and not just waiting at the start gun for 20+ minutes.
The race itself was entirely on the Goodyear Danville golf course, so we lined up cross country style across the #1 tee box.
I mention cross country, because that’s really what the start felt like. Slinging mud, a mad dash to the front, don’t slip and fall rounding the corner.
We hopped on the cart path pretty quickly, and you could then start to see the pecking order and who was who.
One out and back near the start, then another out and back toward the start.
At that point, I hadn’t seen why the course was so difficult. Sure it wasn’t flat, but it wasn’t awful. One mile marker I was feeling pretty good, but could feel myself slowing down. Mile one split-6:21. Awesome, I think. Hang on to two more 7~ish minute miles and I’ve got a pretty good race.
I made an honest effort to maintain my speed as far as I could during mile two, but then at ~1.5 miles, I see it. The climb. It didn’t seem as bad at first, but then it kept on going. At the two mile marker, I had passed one guy since the one mile marker, but no one else was even in sight. And this hill felt like climbing a mountain. Toward the top, I saw a water stop which meant mile two. Watch said 14:xx, and I knew I had slowed way way down. I round another corner and finally a downhill section. I try to pick up the pace a little, but am hearing someone breathing heavily behind me. I think it’s the guy I had passed just before the hill still holding on.
Around another bend and another hill, although much more slight than the previous hill. But it was still harder than expected, but I’m sure it was simply because I was spent from the big hill. The guy behind me speaks up–“Last hill, Patrick”.
Now I’m curious. I knew the guy I thought was right behind me (the fellow I passed) didn’t know me or my name.
I refuse to look back and
1. Give the guy the satisfaction that I was worried
2. Slow down enough to actually look back.
I see the 3 mile marker and the race director yelling at everyone (words of encouragement, of course). I drop off the cart path back on the greenway and really start slinging mud and muck trying to get traction to gain some speed. I come through the gate at 22:3x.
I’m not the happiest with the time at first, but after talking to several other, everybody added 1-3 minutes to the times they ran 2 weeks earlier at a flat course, so I’ll take it.
At the award ceremony, the top male and female runners both became “professionals” (winner in each category got a free set of tires courtesy of Goodyear)
Then they gave away two more sets of free tires at random via drawing. (You counting? That’s 4 sets of free tires!!)
After they gave away what seemed to be 100 door prizes, they got to the age group awards, where I got 2nd place in my age group. It was a good race, even though it was all kinds of tough.