An oddity of sorts, this race is in the afternoon. I am so used to waking up early for races that my day feels odd when I get to hang around for the entire day before the race. We spent the morning taking a walk with the dogs and grocery shopping, then stopped for a sandwich. It was our first time to Katz’s deli.
We left the house around 3pm for a 4.20pm start time.
Parking for this race was similar to last year, we parked at a church about a mile away. The organizers have buses, but they don’t seem to be enough as there is always a line waiting to get on. So, we made the decision that we were already going to run 6 miles, so walking 1 shouldn’t be that big of a problem.
Bag drop moved this year and we had a hard time finding it, all kinds of people lined the paths to move around. I dropped my bag and we made it to the start line in time to see a friend start her 5K race. We saw the start and were surprised to see some very quick teenagers at the start.
The line up for the 10K started and since our pace is not that quick, we were close to the back, this changed quickly as they pushed everyone forward. I think the race organizers were lucky that a lot of people were scared of the weather and didn’t show up, otherwise the corral might not have held everyone. Moments before the 10K start, we started to see 5K finishers. This meant they had a time around 20 Minutes.
The trail for this race is very hilly and sandy in spots. I really enjoy it as something different than road running. The first mile or so is done in multiple loops where the organizers have the first aid station. Nice that they have this station, but the trails are narrow and it got congested, I vaguely recall the same thing from last year. After the two loops to complete mile 1 and maybe another 1/2, we head off into the trees where I was passed by the same teenagers from the 5K race who were finishing when we started.
The run through the trees is fun, no cars passing and no police holding back traffic, but due to the size of the race, one tends to be running alone. Around mile 4 I started to see people heading back to the finish, I thought this was encouraging because it meant I was getting close to the turn around. At the same time, I started running with a guy from Scotland. We talked while we ran and maintained the same pace for another mile and a half. We even picked up another runner at our pace who told me that she was happy to find a pace with other people since most others she had tried with started walking.
Mile 6 came pretty quick and as I got back on the road heading to the finish line where I started running at a much quicker pace. I finished in 1H5M55S. This was a little over 8 minutes faster than my 2013 result. My goal was to beat it by 10, but this was acceptable.
I waited with our friend for Emily to finish and we were excited when we saw her heading towards us. She crossed the finish line and we headed over for food. The line for crawfish was too long, so I picked up some fruit and a couple of beers and had a relaxed time the rest of the afternoon.
This is a really fun race and I really like the activities afterward. I look forward to beating my time again next year.
One last story from the race, at the beginning we were near quite a few people, one was telling a story to his friends about his daughter. She had apparently dropped out of college and was earning a living going from town to town participating in trivia contests to earn money. My only thought was “you must be so proud”.