What do you get when you mix some gorgeous weather,scenery and about 1000 of your closest running buddies? To me it sounds like the recipe for a great race day!
Driving into Fountainebleu State Park Sunday morning the temp was about 59 degrees/97% humidity/winds 8mph. For this year’s 5th year Anniversary race they went a step up in shirt design and bibs. I was very pleased.
Race start would be at 7am and I couldn’t wait to slip on this soft t shirt afterwards. Since this is a flat, scenic course many runners had a PR day in mind, me included although my speed work has been lacking to be honest. One person I was looking forward to meeting in person today was Mandeville Police Officer Becky Kramer White. She would be running the Half today in full police uniform to raise money for the Special Olympics. You can read more about her cause here. I caught up with her around mile 2 (right before my music died. I apparently failed in charging it the day before). I introduced myself and asked Becky if she would mind if I would run with her a bit today. She is a very well known local runner and fellow blogger. Today she would be extra motivating to many. There were extra police officers on the course to support her along the route taking pictures and cheering her on. She would finish today’s race in a remarkable time of 2:11. IMPRESSIVE!
Today’s race had a choice of a 10 mile route or 13.1. Around mile 7 my knee started aching badly ( the one I fell on a few weeks ago and had stitches). In that delirious moment I could not recall if you had a choice to run either distance. I had personally signed up to run the Half so even though my knee was questionable and my PR wish time of 2:05 was doubtful I kept pushing forward in the hopes of a strong finish. Passing that 10 mile sign was tough but I could see Becky in the distance and told myself to catch up to her and enjoy the course ahead. That’s what I was there for. Miles started clicking by again and I finally got my second wind around mile 11. I changed my Garmin view to see where I was at time wise. I could see that I was coming up short but pushed it as hard as I physically could. ‘Get to the Finish Fest’ I kept thinking plus every self motivational phrase I could think of “I am Fit, I am Strong”, “Keep Pushing”, “That beer isn’t going to drink itself”. I remembered the race was offering free race pics at the finish and quickly adjusted my bib and told myself to smile as I came in at 2:07. (2minutes shy of a PR) Self disappointment started to sink in knowing I wouldn’t have another shot at a PR race until December but happy about my time in all things considering. Now time to relax and enjoy the music, food and drinks the race offered afterwards. Races aren’t JUST about your finish time its the entire experience and that is a “win-win”.
I can’t wait to see the FREE Finisher pics courtesy of Northshore Plastic Surgery. That is one benefit of not running with music is those dreadful things wont be in the pictures! (Always look on the upside)
Race results can be found here.
Congrats to all that crossed the Finish!