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The end of March was my second ever race (after failing to start the Flying Feather back in November due to a torn meniscus) and a great result and a race day.
The race was starting from the same location as the first race that I did which was nice as it meant I was reasonably familiar with the area and part of the race route was actually going to be the same. I got up early and arrived on site way too early. The nice thing was that COSI was open so I was able to go inside and enjoy the warmth (and proper toilets) until the race started. The cool thing was that some of the other Turtle runners that I run with on Thursday nights were also going to be doing the race so I wasn’t going to be a lone runner in a sea of 1500 other runners.
We all managed to meet up before the race and the obligatory photos were taken. (Thanks to Tina for taking the photos – I went to take a photo at the start of the race and every time I went to use the camera app on the phone, the application would just close – REALLY annoying and meant I didn’t get any photos throughout the day.)
After accosting various other runners to get some photos in before the race started the huddle started as everyone chatted and got excited before the gun sounded. It was quite an experience being in the crowd and I was surprised how loud it was. It was impossible to hear the announcer talking through the megaphone and could barely hear the music that was being played.
Within a minute we crossed the line, I remembered to start my garmin AND runkeeper on the phone and we were off. Immediately I lost sight of the group I was running with but they soon caught up and then we were navigating around the 4 walkers who started at the beginning of the pack (mutter mutter) and then it was off to run over the river and down Broad street. Although we weren’t on main roads for very long, it’s pretty cool to run down the road with all the traffic stopped for us.
It didn’t take long to realise that my shorts were too lose so I spent the first half mile tying and retying the shorts until they weren’t in danger of falling down. Heather and I were going to run the race without stopping and were about the same pace so we settled into a comfortable pace and enjoyed the race.
About half way through the first 5k we were actually overtaken by a woman pushing a stroller – with 2 babies in it. I couldn’t believe that not only were we Chicked – (when a guy is overtaken by a female runner) but we were actually Babied! Props go to the runner who was doing a good speed and navigating through the crowds as she overtook people.
The rest of the first half of the race was pretty uneventful but enjoyable and we were making good progress – I wasn’t sure how it was going to be when the 5k’ers split off to finish but I still felt good and was running strong and I had to laugh at the guy standing in the middle shouting “5k Left, 10K right” – that was one guy who was going to be sore the following day! It turns out that there were more people running the 10k (810) than the 5k (474) so we were still in good company. As we crossed over the river again we hit the 5k mile, in 30:16 (I think) which was a PR for Heather who I was running with and a milestone for me – I’ve run 200 miles and yes I threw my hands up and shouted 200!
Back to the second half – we kept up the sub 10 pace, enjoyed the change of scenery (it was cool that each loop was not the exact same route) and kept pushing each other through the hils. The only down side to this part of the route at the 5mile mark was an out and back loop on a narrow part of the course AND with hills (not major ones but still not flat!) and it was then that I realised I needed to pee -right on the most public part of the course.
I held it in and we continued to approach the 6mile marker. Pushing each other through the hills – “almost there, keep going!” It was great to encourage each other and ensure that our pace still held to the sub 10min mark (faster than both of us would normally run).
We hit the 6mile marker and Heather encouraged to go for it – we were still nicely under the 1hr mark and I started to sprint towards the finish. It was a cool feeling to go sprinting past the runners in front of me – I think I gave a couple of them a bit of a fright as they heard me coming up behind them, breathing really heavily. I kept going and then felt that I had started the sprint off too fast, but there was NO way I was going to slow down or walk that last 200′ in. Hearing spectators cheering me (or someone else but I didn’t care) on gave me that extra push to keep going. I crossed the line at 1hr and 3 seconds on the clock. I knew we started way after the gun initially went off so was comfortably under that 1hr magic marker.
30 seconds later Heather crossed the line – in under 1 hr and a PR for her too. We congratulated each other and with Melanie and Mike headed off towards the finish line to cheer in the remainder of the Turtlers – Tina, Heather and Leslie. Tina got a PR too – not sure about Heather and Leslie.
Checking the stats it looks like I overtook 13 people in that last sprint and knocked 30 seconds off my time. Final result was 455th out of 810, 61 out of 78 for my age group (yes I’m now a master) with a time of 59:11
After the race we headed out to North Market and after a disappointing attempt at grabbing some coffee at the vastly oversold coffee roaster, we ended up at the Lan Viet Vietnamese restaurant for a great recovery Chicken Noodle bowl (#9 left). Highly recommended and you don’t even have to run 6 miles to enjoy it.
All told – a great day, great running, great company and a great time socializing afterwards. Running with friends really makes the experience rather than just being one runner amongst 1500 others – thanks fellow Turtles for a great race and I’m looking forward to the Scioto Miles 15k on April 22nd.