This blog post is a little late since I had a shortage of internet at home which is now thankfully rectified.
On March 17 I participated in the St Leo’s Road Race with my good running buddy Jennifer. This was to be her first 10K, and her first race longer than a 5K (the slightly longer 5.5K from New Years doesn’t really count). Ironically this was also my first 10K, although it’s coming 2 weeks after my first half marathon, so I have covered this distance, both in training and in a race.
Jennifer has got on her green for St Paddy’s day and she is ready to rock!
So there was a little bit of confusion at the start and a little bit of mismanagement, so I was a little worried, but it turned out to be OK. The races consisted of both a 5K and a 10K with the 5K starting 10 minutes before the 10K (personally I think it would have made more sense to start the longer race first, but the 5K was a much larger crowd, so maybe that was the reason). The start line was a chalk line on the pavement, and although our bibs had tags on them, there was no timing mat at the start, only readers at the finish. The 5K was off and then we got lined up to start the 10K.
The gun goes off and we are off and running. We start out at a slow but steady pace, neither one of us wanting to burn our too quickly. We slowly fade to the back of the pack, which is fine with me. The course is very hilly and while well marked, there is some confusion about where the turns are. It’s a 3.1 mile out and back course, so there are arrows pointing in both directions and also places where the 10K and the 5K split off from each other, but we manage to stay on course. It seems to take a long time to get to the turnaround point, although we bested Jennifer’s best 5K time in the process, and I don’t remember the exact time. By this point we have realized we are in fact the last two people in the 10K group. Somewhere after the turn around we pick up a police motorcycle riding behind us to keep traffic off of us as there were a few cars on the course (thank you winston salem PD). Jennifer is struggling a little bit at this point, but she is determined to finish and so we soldier on. With about a half mile to go to the finish the policeman and then a race official told us we would have to finish on the sidewalk, but that there would still be someone waiting at the finish line for us. I didn’t realize we were under a time limit, but apparently it was around an hour and a half. We finished up the race, and the people at the finish line were as happy as if we were the first two and not the last two. I backed off the last couple steps and let Jennifer cross the finish line before me so she wouldn’t be dead last (she didn’t notice this until I told her later).
We did it. We finished. We survived. I knew we would, I had no doubts, I think Jennifer was just happy to still be alive. (Admittedly the race was harder than both of us anticipated). As a reward for surviving, we managed to both win door prizes. There weren’t too many people left at the after party and they had a bunch of prizes to give away, so they kept calling names until someone who was in attendance could claim it. I won a 25$ gift card to Fleet Feet Sports, which will certainly go to good use, and Jennifer won a 30$ giftcard to Dick’s Sporting Goods which should also come in handy. We missed out on the big 100$ grocery prize or free dinner at such and such place, but we both got something that will help us in our running so that’s good.
Our finishing time (by my Garmin, ironically ours were not the same) was 1:38:10. Just a little bit over a 15:00/mile pace. Jennifer was hoping to finish in under 1:45, so despite being last to finish we still beat her time goal.