So my first race report on this blog will be my last race of the 2011 season, however I am happy to end on such a good note. Leading up to this weekend there were a couple of really exciting things going on. The weekend of the 7th and 8th I had the opportunity to race with a large group of pharmacy students and staff to form the ‘Drug Runners’ in the third running of the Bourbon Chase. For those of you not familiar with the race, it is a 200 mile run broken into 36 legs divided between 12 runners on a team. It took us about 24 hours and we had an absolute blast. One of the most memorable parts of the race took place about 3am, Mary (one of my team mates and fellow student) and I were sitting in a coffee shop in Danville, KY after getting about an hour of sleep on a gym floor. We looked at each other, with a little bit of disgust, and said that we will tell people this was so much fun, but I have never felt this miserable in my life… Anyway I was super proud of the team for sticking together and working hard the entire time. We finished with an average pace of 7:40min/mile.
Little did I know that this would be a great training weekend for my upcoming half. After a week of studying hard for the next weekends exams, (exams on the weekends?!?! more on that later) I felt like recovery was something was just way to far in the future.
So the couple of days leading up to the race I did my usual taper workout and included a lot of stretching. Before I knew it Saturday was here and I was packing up my prerace gear.
We also had a great surprise for the weekend of the race. An old family friend who recently got back in the states from a tour in Afghanistan, Mike and his wife Julie. They were there for support for the race and I think Mike rang the cow bells for every finisher until my dad crossed the line. (who by the way finished with a PR of 2:13)
The race started promptly at 8 am and it was about 44oF without a cloud in the sky and the sun was just getting ready to come up over the horizon. Needless to say this was a perfect morning for a run.
Initially the lead runner took off at a steady 5min pace followed by one other guy about 15 seconds back. Behind the second place runner, about 30 seconds back, we formed a small group of about 4. This kept up until about mile 5 when we had one guy take off and another drop back. I was comfortable sitting in the 4/5 position for the next few miles. Once we hit the halfway point in town I had finally found my stride and everything was falling into place. About mile 7/8 we were on the second out/back section of the course and saw the lead runner coming home. It was kind of amazing seeing this man run, the closest runner was about a mile behind him. When I saw these two guys I knew that top 3 would be almost impossible but I could still hold on to 4th place. At the turn around, just before mile 10, I got a look at who was gaining on me. It was a group of 3 guys that I had been running with earlier. Once I hit mile 10 I could feel them breathing down my neck and it started to get competitive. I glanced at my watch, it was just over 1:02, this means I had to run the last 3.1 under 18 minutes if I wanted to reach my sub 1:20 goal. At this point I didn’t think it was impossible but would be very difficult. On one of the up hills just before mile 12 the group passed me putting me in 8th place. It was painful to watch them creep ahead of me by only seconds on the mile. I pushed hard during the last mile to catch them, but after rounding the last hill they were too far ahead and we only had about ½ mile to go. Form there I just wanted to finish strong and have a good performance. I crossed the line at 1:21:54, good enough for an age group win and 8th overall.
Overall I am happy with the performance this year over last, I shaved off a couple of minutes and had another great experience.
Also a thanks to my mom who is always at the finish line with ready to offer some much needed water and a pat on the back.
Also a shout to some of my class mates and professors that showed up and had some great races; Ross Turner, Jane Regan, Jessica Curry, Victoria Taylor, Ashley Meurer, Mary Wheeler, and Penni Black
Some pics soon to follow
Till next time