>Look What I Can Do!>Winner winner chicken dinner!
Last time I won a race it was the mile in a high school track meet when I was 16. Then I didn't run for a long time and somehow became 37. It happens.
I signed up to do a 5k race held in conjunction with a local Celtic Festival (post-race mead anyone?) because my wife was running and the RD is a mutual friend.
We get to the race and our friend comes up and tells me I've got a shot based on who's pre-registered. A couple of minutes later I run into another friend, fast guy (Joe), who's decided to run it on a whim and I think to myself, "I dunno. I'll just run the race I planned to and see what happens."
It's a small race, just a couple hundred, and there are a few fast looking people up front but after the starting cannon blast (not kidding!) only four of us pull away from the rest: me, Joe, a high school CC runner in school singlet and a fast 11 year old kid who's in my running club (Liam). The CC runner takes the lead and the rest of us fall in.. Liam drops off the back in the first half mile (to finish in 19 and change, tremendous considering his age!) and then it's just CC, Joe, and me. We finally catch CC at about the one mile mark and he asks me if we're in the 15-19 age group. I grin and tell him I look old for my age. First mile in 5:40 and I realize I've been chasing a bit, but I'm not too far off the race I'd planned. As we pass him I take the initiative and pass Joe, too, soon turning a corner into a headwind on a long straightaway. It turns out to be a good thing. I can't hear him breathing.
When I finally turn away from the wind I sneak a look back and I've got Joe by about 200 yards. Awesome, but I'm hurting and it's not quite mile two yet. I just try to give it what I can and hold pace, but I can feel my legs getting heavy and think that it's really too early to feel this tired. I chance another look back and Joe is holding the gap, but he doesn't seem to be gaining. There's an overpass about 3 tenths from the finish and going up is just agony, I'm panting at this point, but I know that if I can just hold, I can win it. I put *that* in the center of my mind and struggle on. No more looking back now, just giving everything I have left and hoping it'll be enough. The finishing stretch is on a slight uphill and I'm willing my legs to go faster and it's molasses city down there, but up ahead is the clock. And the clock is in the high seventeens. Goundergoundergounder. I'm all arms now, legs screaming, lungs on fire. The clock is relentless: 56, 57, 58, 59 - I cross. First place! People cheer! Strangers compliment me and give me water. Staggering, I wait to congratulate Joe, 35 seconds back, and thank him for bringing out the best in me. Only 21 years between wins. Later, the official results confirm a time of 18 flat, which is a PR, too. For a moment I lament the lost second.. breaking 18 will have to wait, but then there's elation because on this day and in this place - I was the best. There are a billion billion things in life just waiting to knock you down a peg, but not right now. Not today.
My guts hurt the whole rest of the day from overexertion. Know what? It was totally worth it. And I drank the post race mead anyway
1/24 - Beast of Burden 50
4/20 - Boston Marathon
Congratulations!!! I am stil a LONGGGGG way from ever accomplishing that myself.
Awesome race and write-up! Big congrats!!!!
Live the Adventure. Enjoy the Journey. Be Kind. Have Faith!
Nice racing, nice report! Congratulations.
Interval Junkie --Nobby
Wonderful write-up. Always best when a shadow is chasing you to a PR.
2014 Goals: sub-3 Marathon
Current Status 11/10: Back to building up miles. Junk feels mostly okay. Kinda.
"molasses city" love it, can I use that? great job & very motivational! thanks for the write up
"I look old for my age", haha nice! Great win, congratulations!
Runner's High® - Endurance Nutrition
Great read! A PR and a 1OA ... doesn't really get any better than that. Congratulations.
Way to go Blarg!
And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx
There are a billion billion things in life just waiting to knock you down a peg, but not right now. Not today.
I love this sentence! Great race and report.
I really enjoyed that race report, great job! Congrats on 1OA and the new PR. It's one of those little running life gems that is yours forever now.
First or last...it's the same finish line