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8:01 AM

13.1 mi


7:14 mi


152 lb


31 F

Race Result

2 / 74 (2.7%)
1 / 5 (20%)
2 / 40 (5%)
  • Map


Temp 31 Wind 5 mph.

Hard to think of this as a "race", but I have a bib on and its being timed. Needed some thoughts with some swagger to get mentally prepared for this, so came up with, "OK boys and girls, my just finish effort versus the best you got...let's roll." Whatever, just very, very happy to be running today.

5K, 10K and HM all start together. Have to be careful not to get sucked into something. Need to keep things at 7:15 to 7:30 or risk walking to the finish. Not real familiar with most of field, but had checked out entry list from and peeked at Athlink's results. Eye a guy in my age group (Pete L.) and also see Charley H. who won the OA FM three times in Cotter, the site of my last HM, with some low 2:50s. He is 39 now and not a lot of recent times. Trail runs and a 1:36:XX HM in West Plains in February. Have a theory.

We go out with a group of ten establishing themselves. Includes OA winner who leaves us in the dust early. 28 year old who coasted to a 1:24:XX. (Saw him at the turnaround point and looked like he knew it was game over and was phoning in the last seven.) Group includes Pete L. who is running #2 and Charley H. who I do not see yet, plus the top two females.

First four miles are flat. First mile is 7:14. Had pulled up to front runners before backing off again. First turn at around 2.75 miles. Running 5th OA. Guy pulls up beside me. We can now see first hill just over a mile up the road. Group has been chatting all the way so far. Comment that I am looking forward to the hill to break things up. He agreed. Told him my last HM was all flat and not enjoyable. Said he had ran a few all flat FMs and not so easy, although he had actually won some of them. I respond, "Charley?" Yep.

He's a state trooper from south central part of state. Started running and got pretty decent with 16:XX 5K PR and several 2:50:XX FMs. Destroyed himself on a trail race and has been off and on since (my theory was spot on). Several failed attempts at a comeback, then got PF and had to sit almost a year. His 1:36:XX HM a few weeks ago was a shock, but was hoping to run about 7:15-7:20 pace today. Think we just found our brothers in arms for the morning.

Next ten miles chatting it up about running and other things. Buried the next three runners when we hit the hills and had gapped all of them by a minute or more by the turnaround just shy of 6.3 miles. Just out for a Saturday long run clicking off mile after mile at 7:15 - 7:25. Walking / stopping at every water station, then back at it. Course gets a little nasty in mile nine, but we plow on through and coast onto mile eleven.

Mile eleven starts a series of short, but very steep hills. A couple of paved roads are on flat ground, but cumber is brutal and switches sides. Take the first hill on Velma strong. Just what I needed to wake up my fast twitch. Hit 11th street and have all kinds of pop in my legs. As we approach mile twelve marker, CH starts to fade. Ask if he is OK and says he about done. Sends me on to finish strong. Mile 12 split was 7:05, then knocked off a 6:29 mile thirteen. Struggled with a "death drop" on 8th street, then straight up one more time. Only part of run that felt like a race effort. Thought I slowed down and was coasting in, but actually crossed the line at a 5:48 pace.

Second place OA and AG win. Course plotted on map at 13.16. I had 13.08 making sure to always be on the side of the road closest to the finish line. Others had 13.06-13.14, so pretty doggone good. Slowest HM by over 3:00 minutes, but an absolute blast. So great to be able to run, even if I cannot run fast.