Beautiful day for a race. If it was maybe a touch warm, there was no humidity, so all was well.
Bigger field this year, so got there early, made sure I got in. Lined up right in front, spotted the usual suspects. Got off well, fell into third place around the first corner. It was clear the kid was going to win it running away, and it was also clear that good ol' (actually young) Lenny Arias was going to try and stick with him, and that was a losing proposition. I caught him by mile 1, and from then on out it was just about keeping the kid in sight. He sort of just slowly pulled away the whole race. But I knew I had second sewn up after mile 2. Never heard any cheers behind me. Just about pushing and trying to find a few seconds.
I found 6, so it was a good day. Even earned a little cash. I definitely slowed on that third mile a lot. Lost concentration or will? Dunno, but with another good weather day in 2 weeks I think I can take some more time off this. Good stuff overall.
MTA: winner was 18 in 16:20. Never feel bad losing to an 18 yo. Damn kids.
MTAA some thoughts on becoming a professional:
My amateur status was shattered with $50 in cash on Sunday morning, my reward for just under 17 minutes of huffing and sweating through a small section of the rolling hills of Monroe, CT. That’s an hourly rate of $177 (no chump change, that). I had finished in second place in the Sprint for Monroe 5K, ahead of 905 other part-time “athletes”, and far behind 1 fit teenager. Five years of running races (for this and for that - for cures, for funds, for fun), 47 times toeing a start line at distances from a mile to the marathon – and finally I’d won something other than a plastic trophy (or coffee mug, or medal, or chili bowl – though that one had potential, its current location escapes me). Cold, hard, beautiful cash was my prize. And the cost? What did I pay to earn this journeyman’s ransom? Aside from the $25 entry fee (race day registration, pre-reg would have saved me $2.50), and the $45 dollar shoes (about 8 per year) – all it cost was on average 7 hours per week for years of grinding mile after mile in cold, heat, snow, rain, wind, humidity, hills, and mud on roads rutted with plow raked potholes, oblivious texters in giant death mobiles, and the occasional zealous mutt. And I did it – “pro runner”, baby! The gratification was delayed a few days – I couldn’t stick around for the awards ceremony because my son had a soccer game and my daughter had a birthday party and my wife couldn’t be two places at once. The $50 arrived in the mail today. $20 was returned to my son’s piggy bank, which his mother had previously raided to pay for some school fund-raising effort. And the remainder was spent on hot dogs, ice cream and mini-golf to celebrate the end of school. Just like that. It was gone. Easy come, easy go, I suppose. But Goddammit, I got paid to run.