Another cool shirt!
On Saturday, we ran the Run For Remembrance 5ishK for the third time. This race began as a fundraiser in 2013, after a devastating fire here in town. Two firemen died and two were severely injured. The race has continued to be held, both to honor the fire fighters and to raise funds for the injured firemen, who are still dealing with their injuries. Last year the race was held in the late afternoon, so we walked it, but this year it was moved back to a morning start, so we ran it. They had some really nice medals for the overall and age group winners, and Jeff, who has been having a great running year, decided to go for it and try to win one. As for me, my goal was to run 2:1 intervals, fairly fast, and have a good race. Simple enough, right?
Race morning arrived, accompanied by thunder, lightening, and rain. This has been the wettest, stormiest spring ever! The organizers posted on Facebook that the race was still on but the start might be delayed; however, they had a building we all could wait in, so we got dressed and drove to the fire field, where the radar was scrutinized:
Julia, CC, Loretta, and Jeff - weather watchers!
It was dark, rainy and stormy when we went into the building - we were in a large room with no windows, so we didn't know what was happening outside. We just sat around and chatted with everyone as the room filled up...it was pretty nice, actually. Eventually the race director came in with the announcement that they were cleared to proceed, so they began to set up the timing mat and the start/finish arch. We all made our way outside, where the skies were light and clearing, and it felt a little cool. Of course, that is a relative statement, considering we were in a stuffy room with a lot of people...it was 72 degrees with about 90% humidity, so obviously we Texans take what we can get in terms of cool weather.
Jeff and I, pre-race...with Karen's husband Jimmy doing some stealth photo-bombing in the background!
Just starting off...obviously one of us saw the photographer, while the other had her race face on.
(photo courtesy of Larry Field Photography)
The National Anthem was sung by a huge group of middle schoolers, and then, we were off! Only about 25 minutes late, so that wasn't bad, all things considered. Julia and I were doing 2:1 intervals, and the race starts off at a slight downhill, so we were going pretty fast. We ran down one stretch, made a left turn, then another turn...and then, we were at a water station, which I thought was odd because you don't normally see water at the half mile mark of a 5K. We kept going and saw Jeff, and then CC, on the other side, and then we turned down a section that is normally just before we head toward the finish. As we were coming out of it, Julia said "where are all the people that should be behind us?" There were maybe 10 people behind us, but there should have been a lot more.
We kept running, and my Garmin chimed the 1 mile alert - 12:16 pace, very nice - but we were nowhere near the 1 mile marker. I think we finally passed it when we were around the 1.5 mile mark. The entire race felt turned around to me - having run it twice before, I thought I had an idea of the course, but I was all discombobulated. We didn't see as much of the disaster scenarios that we normally do, and considering we were running through Disaster City, that was a little odd. The course has a lot of rolling hills and when we hit another water station, we walked through it to drink a cup of water and then continued to walk up a hill, so we got off on our intervals for a bit. Mile 2 chimed on my Garmin - 13:47 pace. I was hot and kind of tired of the rollers, but told myself that it's only one more mile and I can do this.
Well, we finally saw the 2 mile marker on the course. Our Garmins said we were at 2.63 miles...and that's when I got a little pissy. I told Julia that there was no way I was going to run a 4 mile 5K (it should be 3.1 miles), and I started looking for the way back to the finish line. We were still running, but I was hot and just plain over the race at this point. Luckily, we came to a turn where a race official was saying that if we'd run the big loop first, we just needed to turn left and head for the finish line. We happily turned and booked it in for the finish!
Right as we turned toward the finish, I told Julia to go ahead and race it in if she wanted to...I was a little bit dying here.
(photo courtesy of Larry Field Photography)
Looking a little happier here...must have been closer to the finish line.
(photo courtesy of Trisha Traeger Photography)
Distance: 2.88 miles
Avg Pace: 13:05
Mile 1: 12:16
Mile 2: 13:47
With any race, it's possible for misdirection, and that's what happened with this one. One wrong arrow, and hundreds of people went the wrong way. It's funny - I've gotten turned around while doing long run on a Saturday, and didn't get as irritated as I did when it happened during this race, but I suspect it was partially due to the heat, and partially because there was a finish line and I knew the longer I ran, the worse my finish was going to be. Not that I had any hope or fantasy of placing in my age group, but I wanted to see a good finish time for me. If there was any doubt, I'm my own worst critic when it comes to how I run.
Afterward, I had a nice cold bottle of Gatorade and a banana and felt much better. We waited around to see if anyone had placed, but apparently there were a lot of speedy people out there, so our group was skunked. Jeff ran 2.88 miles in 25:05, with an 8:44 pace, which is really good! I know he was hoping for a medal to go with his trophy, but it was not to be this time. He ended up in fourth place for his age group.
Jeff, Julia, me, Loretta, CC, Karen - USAFit was nicely represented!
When they were just about finished with the awards, the announcer said that the last runner was coming in, so we all headed to the finish line to cheer him on. I think he did a great job, especially when you consider how little his legs are:
So cute! He ran right into his Daddy's arms for a big hug.
Julia and I pre- and post-race...apparently whoever stands on the right has to pose with a bent elbow.